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easyJet Morale Rock Bottom

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easyJet Morale Rock Bottom

Old 3rd Oct 2002, 04:35
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easyJet v Southwest and why easy is sinking fast

Just last night there was a very interesting program on the Beebs about LCAs. Southwest took the trouble to provide a senior marketing exec for interview and the contrast between his comments on the success of the SW business model focussed on how much they rely on the sharp end employees and why they are so highly valued and considered. In 31 years of operations they have never laid anyone off and have had 29 consecutive years of profit which is a record, and attained only by being completely faithful to the proven business model). He stressed how important that the high morale of all employees is to profitability and success and that it comes only through leadership.

'Ray' on the other hand was colourless, unenthusiastic and boring, intimating that the problems at eJ had nothing to do with management. He just denied them and maintained a head in the sand attitude. Fortunately he wasn't given much air time anyway, but then the BBC aren't altogether fools either.

Listening to the difference between these two leads one to believe that any integrity of our business model vanished with the personality to drive it, Stelios. He was motivated and people oriented, knowing that his and the Companys future lay squarely with the proven SW business model, that is the goodwill of the other members of the company and a proactive people centred approach. The current bunch of 'suits' at easyJet are in it for only themselves, they have made that abundantly clear.

How very sad to see it going to the dogs, such great potential squandered by unappreciative fools. Keep my shares Ray, they won't be worth diddly soon. The price hasn't halved simply because of the market downturn, but I guess you won't admit that either.
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Old 3rd Oct 2002, 06:51
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I did not see the programme to which you refer. The principle that it refers to, i.e keeping your staff on side is surely one which applies across many professions. The trouble is that many senior management see employees as nothing more than numbers on a balance sheet - which is what I guess they are at the end of the day. Trouble is that this approach will always fail to get the best from them and lead to industrial strife. There is another UK airline out there that probably has the worst pilot morale / welfare problems in the industry. Nearly all of this has been driven by management incompetence and failure to lead.
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Old 3rd Oct 2002, 09:03
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Red face

N T E I agree with you 100%, the man needs to be replaced before any further damage is done.
I vote we get Babs !!!
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Old 3rd Oct 2002, 11:11
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The management and direction of British airlines has changed deeply since I first started in the business in the 70s. My CEO in this period would stop you in the corridoor at head office, remember your name and ask you how you thought a particular route was going - or whatever. You were valued and respected. Today - well, it is no wonder that there are so many threads on this forum dealing with morale issues. CEOs are almost always transitory, have no real long-term passion for their company and are often plain bullies. Ask any Cabin Crew what they think of the British businessman - unjustified intellectual snobbery - sneering discourtesy and boorish behaviour. God knows how they must treat their wives. This mind-set is taken into the work-place and they appoint middle-managers who have the same stance - hence the tranche of arrogant second-raters who run, with a truly stunning lack of integrity, some airline fleets and training departments today. The one bright spark in this lamentable decline has been Barbara from 'GO' - who saw as plain as day that if you adopt the Southwest model, then people skills come with it too - she believed it and she acted it.

The current direction in the British airline arena is pretty dire - more or less across the board. CEOs must come to realise that the airline business is truly different to selling houses/soap/used cars et al, and that the people who work for them start out not as ciphers, but as motivated, valuable, technically trained professionals. It is, of course easier to be destructive from below than constructive at the top; nevertheless, if some integrity is not pumped back in soon, then I fear for the safety statistics.
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Old 3rd Oct 2002, 11:37
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Couldn't agree more Earthmover - with comments as eloquently put as yours you should write a book. Spot on.
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Old 3rd Oct 2002, 11:54
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Nil Tarus, sorry mate but you are wrong in your assessment of easyJet and RDW. He has brought the airline to Europes No.1 LCA, has he not delivered an IPO and profit, not to mention the purchase of one of our main rivals? What you fail to appreciate is that RDW has been running the airline for a long time and where, the persona of Stelios has been an important in the past, the brand and product speak for themselves as will the solid financial targets being achieved.

The business model is sound and developing with the integration of Go into an even stronger footing with all the best of Go, which , if you recall, was one of the reasons they were so attractive to buy, we are delivering on that promise I believe.

The comparision of Southwest and easyJet doesn't really hold water either considering their respective stages of development, you're comparing an airline that has had over 30 years to perfect the model in a very different operating environment then ours. Go back in SWA history and they will admit to having had growning pains in the past as well, as their own staff have told us.

We're in the middle of the integration of two excellent airlines, we've had our moments of course, but there is a clear understanding with the Directors and Management groups of the need to focus on our people as much as the business, this is happening but getting the two airlines together will not happen overnight. I refute your allegation that the mangers in this airline are in it for themselves, the carpets of easyLand are stained with the blood, sweat and tears of those 'managers' who have got the airline where it is today. They are as committed to making this business a success as they were 5 years ago.

You seem also to ignore the fact that easyJet has offered hundreds of pilots and airline staff opportunitys which were not there before, what's the average Command upgrade time period in easy versus the traditional airlines? Come on, this business is very successful and going from strenth to strength.
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Old 3rd Oct 2002, 15:27
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I think no sig's post just goes to prove that our "management" really do have their heads well and truly buried in the sand, and are still believing that self congratulatory orange c**p that continually spews from the orange tin hut.
Might I suggest a visit to the crew room, no sig? You might find a slightly different point of view from the guys on the line. Oh, and don't bother asking any of your fellow "managers" where it is because none of them have dared go over there either!
If there is any blood, sweat and tears to be found then its on the front line, NOT in your cosy little cafeteria in lala land.
This is not meant to be personal, no sig, but I, along with many others have just about had enough.
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Old 3rd Oct 2002, 15:31
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Thumbs up

That's great to hear. Pay rise for everyone then.
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Old 3rd Oct 2002, 15:46
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if you're only interested in someone floating your company then you get Andersons (RIP) to do it.
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Old 3rd Oct 2002, 17:21
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Well said orangewing and I dare say that is the feeling within 99.9% of the crews within the airline at the moment.
Wakey wakey managers, patience is running thin, as Orangewing mentioned nothing personal but we all have had well and truely enough now!
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Old 3rd Oct 2002, 22:48
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Once again Well said Orangewing !!!!!, Totally agree with what you've said, I only hope that the management start paying attention and start speaking to their staff, instead of at them and more importantly start listening to them, not just at easyjet but at all the other Airlines, LCAs, Charter and Scheduled start listening to your staff, support them make them feel worth their weight in Gold and they will give 200% and that's cheaper than when they dont care and work to rule ect.
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Old 4th Oct 2002, 07:44
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No sig let's check your credentials

no sig,

I like many others who have put easyJet where it is today have held my tongue too long but before we start getting examining the nitty gritty of what is really wrong with eJ let's just see where you are coming from and where your loyalties lie. The question for you is one of integrity and is quite simple:

Are you one of the direct beneficiaries of the 10M payout ie. one of the 'Top 40'

A simple yes or no is the only answer that will suffice.

Your credibilty in this forum rests on your honesty.
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Old 4th Oct 2002, 09:48
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No Sig

No one is is denying your assessment of the ej business model and the success of the company, as well as who's been running the engine roon throughout - erudite as usual.

You fail to see the point completely though - this debate is about people and culture, two things that are terribly hard to quantify but a great sight glass to the shape of the business.

You see, I feel it very hard stomaching this 'people matter' and 'you make a difference' b@ll@cks coming from the top of such a successful company when those same managers look like they're about to try and slash 2% off their contributions to my pension and scrap our annual profit bonus, just as a way of saying thanks for helping them through this 'difficult period' and lets share in the success. Do I feel like I matter in the long term? NO.

Maybe you will already have a feel for it on the ramp at LTN, if you don't I think you're about to get a taste, but it works this way; when people feel valued, rewarded and trusted and respected, things go well and the company prospers. When they don't, they either put their size 9's on and go elsewhere or just plain old don't give a sh!t anymore.
You can figure the next line out yourself, you're a smart person.
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Old 4th Oct 2002, 09:51
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no sig, do you spread the holy gospel on this site in your own time or whilst clocked in at citric acid HQ. Maybe it is during your lunch break.
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Old 4th Oct 2002, 09:57
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I have to agree with Nils Taurus Excretus on this one.

My previous posts, both this forum and the easyJet forum, reflect this attitude.

easyJet have not been faithful to the Southwest business model - in fact one wonders just how flexible a business model can be before it disappears up its own posterior.

In so far as Stelios is concerned he did indeed put people first and realised the importance of this policy (someone please tell me that he is alive and well - he seems to have vanished since stepping down as Chairman). I remember him stating publically that his pilots would be amongst the best trained and highest paid in the industry - for the very reasons set out by SouthWest. Now we are all starting to wake up and discover this was only a dream.

For the first time (as far as I am aware) pilots are leaving the company through dissatisfaction. easyJet was a great airline when Stelios was in command. It is only a good airline, like many others, in my view now. What it will be like in 12 months when the new pay deal has been ratified is anyone's guess. If crew food is discontinued (for example) and our terms and conditions eroded maybe we should all turn around (with BALPA's backing) and simply refuse to accept the new terms and conditions. It is our right - a contract is a contract and if one party (easyJet) modify those terms and conditions then no employee is under any obligation to accept them. The men in grey suits might suddenly become aware that pilots are not simply numbers on paper but pretty important in the operation of an airline! - in fact b****y indispensable! Lack of suitably qualified and motivated pilots in the right numbers will be the one constraining factor in the future expansion of easyJet. Management can not afford to disaffect the pilot workforce - and particularly not at this important time in the airline's development. They will rue the day if they do!

Stelios had the vision and determination to rise above the mÍlee and strike out on his own. Ray Webster may be the business brains behind the venture but he lacks the flair and imagination so crucially brought to the airline by Stelios - as with so many partnerships it is the synergy of both individuals which ensure success - take one facet away?!. It may be a gross error in judgement for the company and the city to have agreed to him stepping down before the easyJet/GO merger. He was a steadying influence and would have been seen to be leading the company at a critical stage. (I appreciate that other factors are involved here)

I dislike the term 'bean counter' but the company does appear to have been taken over by that breed of dull, unimaginative, men in grey suits who, it seems to me, probably think the 'missionary position' is a clerical job vacancy in Africa!
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Old 4th Oct 2002, 11:00
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My response was with regard to Nil T's post , I disagree with his views with respect to easyJet sinking fast, thats simply not the case.
No where have I said everything is rosey with respect to culture and people, but my point is, there is a lot to be proud of at easyJet and yes of course we have all been involved.

I would answer your question Nil Taurus regarding my personal situation had you not linked it to my credibility, thats like me linking your views with the current pilot pay negotiations.
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Old 4th Oct 2002, 14:30
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It won't take long before EJ's customers start voting with their feet. The expressions and manner of some cabin staff also make this inevitable, along with the smell of the toilets!!! Ex-ZRH last night!!

....And, when your operating a very very sorry looking -300, then they won't stand it for long!

Yes it is cheap travel, but there are limits.

Let's hope it doesn't all go to the dogs!
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Old 4th Oct 2002, 19:02
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Heard it all before

Doesn't this all sound rather familiar...as recently as five years ago, Virgin was the fashionable airline to try and get a job with, then the management slowly lost the plot and now they nearly can't give the jobs away.

And so it will come, all you suckers who have been taken in by this "orange culture" malarkey will - best case - see it, sooner or later, for what it is.

And the alternative - worst case - go figure; the worm is more than halfway round its turn, I fear.
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Old 4th Oct 2002, 20:48
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Well it is quite interesting to see that NO SIG is semi-admiting that life is not "rosey" at eJ, I hope that the rest of the management that are reading Prune are taking note or at least that it is being reported to them.
Many people are walking and don't deny it. Many more will gol if we don't start to being rewarded for our hard work and heavy disruption, letters that tell us that how valued we are not enough.
Recruitment has been easy for eJ in the last year because of other carriers misfortune but things change rapidly in the airline industry so stop having your heads buried in the sand and show us that you value people as much as you like people to think in your "orange" hype.
I have remained silent for a long time especially on public forum but enough is enough so please don't spoil what EVERYONE has built over the last few years.
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Old 7th Oct 2002, 16:47
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Thumbs up

A Captain once said to me.

"The two best jobs in aviation are your last one, and your next one".

Things are not all rosey here at easyJet, but, neither were they at any other carrier at which I have worked. One of those is now bust, the other probably will be in the next 6 months, given its rebranded itself 3 times in the last 18 months in the hope of attracting customers back.

Given the choice, I would choose to continue to work for easy, and I will continue to recommend it to others, both as an airline to work for and to travel with. The work is hard, but at the end of the day the rewards are worth it.
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