Airbus Company HR Strategy, Essay Example
Airbus is one of the leading aerospace company that designs and develops innovative aerospace products and solutions. The company is a manufacturer of commercial aircraft with various divisions including space and defense as well as the helicopter division, which makes it the biggest aeronautics company in Europe. Being a worldwide leader in the said industry, the company has approximately 180 locations together with over 12000 suppliers across the globe. Airbus has helicopter and aircraft assembly lines in various continents, including Asia, America, and Europe that continue to increase. A company as big as Airbus relies on specific human resource strategies to gain a competitive edge over companies such as Boeing. With a good work culture that engulfs all its stakeholders, the company believes that becoming a worldwide leader requires more than the basics. Shaping a culture that defines a company requires the observance of the core values as well as the corporate social responsibility amidst the internal and external market and industry forces. Therefore, the report shall delve into analyzing the HR strategy at Airbus and how it is affected by various industry and market forces. The cultural norms of the organization shall also be investigated upon which specific recommendations that can improve the company’s efficiency shall be highlighted.
Airbus Approach to HR strategy
Airbus HRM strategy emphasizes on the continuous development of its human resources to align them with current and incoming market demands. The plan entails competence management, recruitment, and training. The procedure involves identifying and intensive analysis of unexploited opportunities, trends of skills in terms of development, and the gap in the existing knowledge. The strategy is based on the need to gain a competitive edge in the market by achieving sustainability-focused more on fulfilling responsibilities to society (Cohen, Taylor & Muller-Camen, 2012, 16). In implementing the strategy, Airbus Company aims to deliver shared value for the entity and the society that is benefits to the shareholder and capital availability. Airbus Company shared importance has been influenced by the stiff competition in the Airline Industry and the internal culture that focuses on innovation. There is pressure to improve the products and services as a way of sustaining a competitive advantage in the industry, fueling the entity’s need to identify its lifeline. The company has successfully identified activities crucial towards achieving the mission and specified the roles critical towards achieving them. The functions symbolize the overall management to explain the company’s lifeline by identifying the technical and soft skills necessary.
The Airbus HR strategy offers its human resources data for their future skills to persuade them to take responsibility for reading, thus constructed a learning culture. Airbus’s company has changed its management style based on the subjective function that is effective in achieving the short-term financial outcome. Airbus company management realized that they need to do things in a different approach to maintain a competitive edge in the market. Therefore, the company implemented a more sustainable method to prepare leaders that find the solution to emerging sustainability changes in the market. The company had to involve employees by handling them as stakeholders, including those working as vendors in other parts of the world. The strategy does not focus on the immediate needs but future ones; thus, the company opts for more holistic management of people. HR management offers critical skills to ensure a smooth change in top leadership and cultural stewardship. The approach is influenced by external market factors that keep on changing, thus require prior plans by preparing the workers for future needs.
The changing in customer demands and preferences has influenced Airbus Company to develop a world database to determine their secure areas. The company possesses operations points all over the world, thus recognizing the need to monitor its managers. The company management realized the need to ensure that the right managerial skills conform to dynamic customer behavior and preferences. The fundamental basis for this strategy is identifying training and retention of talents. The process of monitoring the expertise has been made efficient by implementing updated technology by using IBM to identify promising talents through regular reviews(Information Document, 2018,8). The company keenly considered the development of managerial skills suitable in the fast-changing environment. The company emphasizes on individuals that are flexible in identifying future needs to implement necessary measures for sustainability. The process is strictly guided by business ethics with regular updates to cover all the risks in the course of employee training. The company holds stringent policies that address on main principles regarding risks on their partners, mergers, acquisitions, or other areas of interest (Sesmero-Moreno, 2013, 34). The managers worldwide are equipped with skills to embrace the cultural, legal, and social norms in their countries of operations. The policies on bribery and corruption are part of the company strategy to participate in moral awareness as per the society’s expectations.
The changing market conditions underscore the company needs to exploit new potential markets in other parts of the world, such as America, Asia, and Africa. The HR strategy entails the managers’ evaluation to work in new locations based on the skills and know-how (Information Document, 2018, 12). It is based on the Adam’s equity theory to avoid employee de-motivation in regards to their duties and organization. The theory strives to avoid a situation where an employee feels that their inputs fail to match the output. The primary purpose of the Adam’s equity theory is boosting job satisfaction and motivation level by addressing the gap between employee and employer (Coldwell & Perumal, 2007, 198). In Airbus Company the inputs that are put into perspective include; loyalty, commitment, skill, adaptability, enthusiasm, trust and flexibility. Outputs comprises; reputation, stimulus, praise, pride of purpose and recognition. The constant employee improvement is to encourage manager mobility. The HR management evaluates its managers in either movable or immovable through an updated scale. The development of the company’s mobility pyramid is implemented as a response to changing conditions in managers’ lives and company opportunities. The method motivates the company qualified and experienced managers to work overseas swiftly in case an opportunity presents itself. Also, it is contributed significantly to a diversified way of logic for HR managers on various methods to exploit the available market. Managers are swiftly allocating duties to any part of the globe, thus grabbing opportunities fast to outshine their rivals in the market. The company employees are empowered to identify future roles in emerging technology. The training programs provide the top executives to create mobility pyramid. The industry environment is changing, with competitors moving fast to grab the share of the unexploited market. Airbus Company management understands the need to achieve this in a different perspective by preparing their workforce for future needs. The command is aware of the best suited managerial talents to be assigned the duties in different parts of the world.
The company culture at Airbus mostly revolves around innovation and design. Ever since its inception, the greatest challenge at Airbus has been integrating innovation and design as part of its culture. Initially, the plan was to welcome new ideas that are beyond the usual business. Incorporating new ideas would see the organization achieve greater heights while at the same time maintaining the usual level of quality and safety. To execute this plan, the company sought to create new partnerships with various recognized organizations as a way of gaining access to the most recent technological advancements (Gale, 2020). This would expose the employees at Airbus to an enhanced entrepreneurial mindset that would propel the organization to greater levels of success.
Airbus company pays specific attention to employees, who are without a doubt, one of the greatest stakeholders to the success of an organization. With its plan to create a culture that is centered around innovation, the results have been profound. The company has made it known to its employees that they are a valuable asset to achieving a competitive edge as far as innovation is concerned. Sarah Fister Gale writes that the company executives chose to ramp up the production cycle, whereby various strategies were identified to enhance agility towards an innovative culture throughout its departments. Identifying opportunities that would encourage the inclusion of new ideas across all the departments remains the main concern of the organization. This culture would see that all relevant stakeholders are involved in the production of its final products, including the needs of the customers.
The innovation and design culture has played a significant role in shaping the HR strategy at Airbus. One of the primary concerns of the organization is to create new avenues that would inspire new ideas. The executives of the organization discovered that a significant number of new ideas arise from within the corporate structure of the company. In this sense, teams operating independently followed a specific decision-making process that did not involve outside experts. This aspect posed a great challenge to the organizations because outside experts are known to have specific knowledge and expertise that can improve the performance of an organization. As a result, the organization sought outside collaborations that would contribute to its overall performance.
As a way to ensure competency in innovation and design, the organization sought to include smaller companies to be part of the Airbus supply chain. Through this, the organization has significantly added value to its existing designs and processes. For instance, Airbus has been collaborating with one Canadian manufacturer that is known to utilize nanocomposites in aviation to reduce laser light reflection that affects pilots while landing (Gale, 2020). In this case, pilots are protected from laser lights, making it easier for them to land and take off. Even though the technique is under testing, its potential benefits to the organization are speculated to be far-reaching.
This culture has influenced the HR strategy in the organization as the company has been able to achieve innovative resolutions. Part of the organization’s HR strategy is to integrate the latest technology while building aircraft. Indeed, the company has realized a shift from the traditional supply chain process to more advanced ways. The overall expectation is that by incorporating various companies, better and enhanced aircraft components shall be achieved. Most importantly, new ideas from different experts are incorporated into the working culture of the organization.
Part of the cultural transformation of Airbus involves opening up opportunities that would the employees of the organization working with entrepreneurs that have an agile approach towards development as well as access to sophisticated technologies in aerospace. Indeed, through the leadership of Brabaux, the organization came up with the Airbus BizLab, an aerospace business sector that would see Airbus and other startups within the organization expedite the transformation of ideas into practical businesses. The original BizLab was established in France in 2015 before other startups followed closely in the later years(Gale, 2020).Perhaps one of the most notable startups was that from Hing Kong that had the idea of developing flexible-business class suites that could as well fit in the economy class seats. BizLab is an important HR strategy that provides support of up to six months to startups within various departments in the organization. Startups that arise from other organizations also provide specific insights regarding finance and marketing, the legal environment, and the latest technologies among other domains.
Involving employees and customers into the affairs of the organization is an important HR strategy at Airbus. The leaders at Airbus have been testing better ways of directly working with employees and customers, especially regarding co-innovation projects. For instance, recently, Airbus entered into a partnership with a European airline to come up with better ways of troubleshooting technical faults. The two organizations also sought to come up with a tool that would predict the likeliness of aircraft failure. Before implementing the tool, Airbus prefers including customers. Customers are provided with a step by step procedure whereby they can provide their feedback. Creating value for customers has been one of the organization’s stronghold.
Despite the strategy’s crucial role in preparing its human resources for future needs, the company needs to implement more measures to identify the bench ability and skills gap. Airbus company managers need to compare their abilities and qualities with the requirements of their respective positions. It can be implemented by inviting proposals on closing individual skills gaps by conducting measures such as mentoring, external knowledge, in house training, etc. the HRM managers should focus on comparing their databases with particular qualities in a position to identify areas that require additional improvement through training. The entity should acknowledge that the input of individuals on the system is voluntary, but HR will be using the database in executing promotion, global assignments, and identifying training requirements. However, the procedure should be implemented within the guidelines of specific information laws. European Union’s new information safety guidelines require employee consent to access or transfer their data.
Although the performance management system has been focused on different aspects, an effective rating on those parameters has not been made by the management of Airbus. Thus, the employees are not adequately committed towards the firm. One author argues that a majority of employees are driven by specific goals(Conkright,2015, 15).Airbus has several employees across the globe. Thus, ineffective management and performance appraisal processes lead to extreme demotivation, which results in a huge gap in the actual performance and the projected value. Thus, a SMART objective (specific, measurable, achievable, reasonable, and timely) can be framed by the Airbus to motivate employees. Furthermore, a measurable KPI could help the firm in analyzing the actual results in terms of job quality, quantity, and delivery.Measurable goals can also demonstrate how much an employee has successfully met the set objectives. The attainable, relevant, and timelyobjectives could further help employees manage the right work schedule as well as motivate them.
Additionally, the half-yearly and annual appraisal process could create higher motivation among the employees to earn more. At the same time, reluctancy among employees can also be reduced. The gradual improvement of the employees will turn into overall performance improvement of Airbus. However, taking peer review, supervisor review, and other members is also necessary to improve and identify the existing gapsamong the employees. Eventually, an effective agenda can be imposed. Furthermore, Airbus can also implement a 360-degree appraisal process to identify the challenges faced by employees and effect specific measures for performance improvement. Thus, the firm could improve workforce commitment, thereby experiencing higher workforce productivity as well.
Furthermore, conducting an effective analysis of the job market externally would also help the organization to provide the employees with standard salaries as per other firms in the industry. Moreover, to successfully establish the compensation management system, Airbus is suggested to properly evaluate every department of the company. Luecke et al. (2006) addressed that four techniques are available, such as job classification, job ranking, factor comparison, and point systems(p.12). These processes are adjusted for different types of organizations. Job ranking is the easiest way for the hierarchical ranking of the organizational position to overcome the internal equity issue in the organization. Besides, it is also recommended to conduct the internal analysis of the current pay practices. This strategy would be highly effective to improve internal equity.
It is also recommended that Airbus strictly identifies whether there is any issue in the present compensation system or not. This could be done by taking advantage of several reports extracted from the online salary information of the company. Once the employer is aware of any internal pay discrepancies, it would be easier to improve the internal equity in the compensation management system. Moreover, periodic reviewing of the company’s internal equity also offers the company an opportunity to overcome the compensation management issue in regards to the internal equity in pay. Hence, a pay equity study will be really helpful for the organization as it might make the comparison of the individuals who are holding the same job title.
Even though the organization includes its various stakeholders in the production process, it should consider paying attention to the needs of customers. Customers are an important part of any organization and therefore, their needs and demands should be the most important determinant of the overall service delivery in the organization. One way of doing this is by providing customers with a comprehensive report on the organization’s future plans. Such information should be readily accessible on the company’s website and social media pages so that it can be easily retrieved. Providing customers with such reports will be critical to the success of the organization as it can receive specific feedback that can help it improve the overall performance of the organization.
Cohen, E., Taylor, S. and Muller-Camen, M., 2012. HRM’s role in corporate social and environmental sustainability. SHRM report, 1, pp.1-16.
Coldwell, D.A.L. and Perumal, S., 2007. Perceptions of the measurability, importance and effects of work equity on job satisfaction and work motivation: An exploratory study of the utility of equity theory. Alternation, 14(1), pp.197-217.
Sesmero-Moreno, E., 2013. Airbus international mobility in the UK: A case study of how international transfers contribute to global integration.
Gale, F, S. 2020. Changing Course: Airbus’ Innovative New Culture. Insigniam Quarterly. Retrieved from https://quarterly.insigniam.com/innovation/changing-course-airbus-innovative-new-culture/
Conkright, T.A., 2015. Using the four functions of management for sustainable employee engagement. Performance Improvement, 54(8), pp.15-21.
Luecke, R. and Hall, B.J., 2006. Performance management: Measure and improve the effectiveness of your employees. Harvard Business Press.
Information Document. (2018) Presentation of the Company. Airbus. Retrieved from https://www.airbus.com/content/dam/corporate-topics/facts-and-figures/annual-report/Information-document-2018-pages-24-to-48.pdf
Time is precious
don’t waste it!