Teamworks Practices in Roy Airlines

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Introduction

Roy Airlines is a company working in the airline industry. The company purposes to provide quality service to its customers and expand internationally to offer international flights. In such an industry, everyone involved is expected to work as a part of the team. An error from a single person can cost the company a significant loss bearing in mind that flight services demand precision in delivering services and organized teams. As a student taking a course on teamwork, I took time at a Roy Airlines located a few Kilometers from my home. It was astounding to observe the operations within the airline company. For this paper, I will analyze teamwork practices among the different departments at Roy Airlines service providers. I will concentrate on the three most crucial departments within the industry that require teamwork for a successful landing and flying including pilots, flight dispatchers and meteorologists.

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As a student taking teamwork as a major course, I believe that teamwork is the most critical component of any successful organization. I also agree that it is equally one of the critical issues facing many organizations in the modern-day and a challenging element in an organization’s operations. In the text, Debra (2007) looked at teamwork and argued that it is a critical component determining how successful an organization is in production and growth. Strachan (2000) also added that teamwork improves service provision within an industry by necessitating maximum input from every individual. From responses I got from the team managers at Roy Airlines, it was apparent that the airline is growing big by day. Last year, financial projections revealed that Roy Airlines operated ten flights in a day to various destinations. In the current year, the company operates over twenty flights and the managers’ prospects are that the number is going to increase in the next financial year.

In a team, it is obvious that members have to share resources. On the same line of argument, the members need to collaborate and work together to deliver the final service. From a closer look at the three departments within Roy Airlines, I came to realize that the flight dispatcher and the meteorologist have to use the same system in facilitating successful flights and landings. I observed that the airline uses an instrument landing system (ILS). This is a ground-based instrument system that facilitates landing and flying by providing precision guidance to all approaching and landing aircraft. A response from flight dispatchers and the meteorologists revealed that the system is of high value, but they have to share among them to direct pilots landing and flying the aircraft. I observed that cooperation among them uses a combination of radio signals and high-intensity lighting arrays, which help them to decide on what to do at every particular time. This is critical for the team to facilitate a safe landing.

A Herculean challenge also faces the three departments when cooperation is eminent and extremely critical for a safe landing and flying. Responses from the three departments revealed that there are times, which they refer to instrument meteorological conditions (IMC). These are moments for instance reduced visibility because of heavy rains, fog or blowing snow and low ceilings. Such moments are the most challenging between the departments, which need teamwork desperately to facilitate the flight service. I happened to be there at a time during heavy rains, and I witnessed the enormous challenge in landing and flying aircraft. The service has to be all-weather bearing in mind that its competitors are advanced and facilitate efficient services. Based at the meteorologist room, I could watch the flight dispatcher struggle to ensure that the pilots landed the aircraft successfully. The meteorologist, on the other hand, worked to ensure that they updated the pilots and the Dispatcher every minute on the weather conditions and how best they could carry on with the service. Cooperation between the departments was important, and I witnessed a safe landing, which I could prospect to have been a disaster if there was no cooperation among the three departments.

As observed from the three departments at Roy Airlines, the process of collaboration demands that all team members communicate effectively which is subject to project management skills, communication skills and interpersonal skills. In a paper on teamwork, Karen & Brian (1996) looked at communication as a vital tool that propels cooperation and teamwork in general. Without adequate communication, there is always a problem in cooperation and conflict of interests. Poor communication slows down the operations or can collapse the activity as a whole. There is a possibility of stagnation of any practices within the company if the problem is not resolved in due time. A response from the questionnaires revealed that flight delays and cancellations are just some of the worst experiences that Roy Airlines has ever experienced because of poor communication. I also observed that poor communication lets down the efforts of others who lose the motivation to work, and this worsens the situation.

A good number of responses from Roy Airlines employees indicated that subject to poor teamwork, numerous cases of turnover have been experienced. In this context, some of the employees feel unmotivated by the kind of working environment, and they prefer to quit. Supporting this assertion Strachan (2000) looked at teamwork as a tool that merges the employees and without it, the possibilities of turnover are high. I also realized that absenteeism behaviours are also subject to poor teamwork within Roy Airlines. Being an industry that requires maximum cooperation, if individuals lose the motivation required to retain him or her in the job, they tend to pass the blame and certainly skip some days off because of the perception they have regarding the kind of work environment they anticipate to meet.

As I reflect on my own beliefs about teamwork and cooperation, I agree with the case analysis I undertook and responses to the questionnaire I used. The responses were clear in espousing the idea that an organization cannot survive without teamwork. I also agree with the fact that the leadership of an organization has a strong impact on teamwork development and management. From the responses I got from the questionnaire, the leadership of the industry was blamed for poor cooperation among the various departments because of poor strategies as established in governance. Looking into the works of Strachan (2000), leadership is responsible for the guidance and management of all company operations.

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Responses from Roy Airlines employees revealed that there were three consecutive strikes last year because of poor leadership. The employees complained of being exploited by the previous management, which forced them to work overtime without adequate compensation. At that time, flight delays were paramount, and many were cancelled, which threatened the collapse of the airline company. The management reported a substantive loss in that fiscal year, which made it difficult for the company to sustain itself in operations until this fiscal year. The management has, however, revealed that there have been substantial improvements in this year attributed to the cooperation among the employees in various departments. In fact, from what I realized, the company has realized the three departments including pilots, flight dispatchers and meteorologists are of value, which has motivated them and became the most efficient this year. The management ascertains the motivation and team spirit as the source of success in the company’s growth.

I utterly believe in the works of Raimo (1996) who argue that diversity among employees is a stronghold of teamwork. On the same note, Drew & Colin (1997) looked at diversity as a teamwork fostering tool. A reflection of the industry brings out a clear meaning of diversity. Diversity management is also paramount within a company. The concept involves coming up with appropriate strategies that intend to maintain an ideal workplace environment. Aguinaldo & Powell (2001) noted that usually, diversity management is fostered by the Human Resources professionals within an organization. Roy Airlines exhibited that supervisors and department heads facilitate cultural diversity within the company which has worked well in increasing the productivity of the company. I observed that in the three departments the employees were from diverse cultures. Two of the meteorologists are foreigners who were recruited into the company two years ago.

The diversity at Roy Airlines was attributed to an effective diversity management program established at the company. The employees agreed to the fact that the program has been influential in promoting respect and recognition for the differences that exist amongst the employees. Karen & Brian (1996) in-text wrote that diversity management is a style that managers use to encourage employees and make them feel comfortable with diversity within the workplace. As the case with Roy Airlines, I believe that there would not have been successful flight operations if the employees in the three departments did not appreciate diversity. However, I believe that the employees appreciated differences in race, sexual orientation, gender and individual backgrounds because they did not seem to have any problems or difficulties in their communications with one another. I observed that the employees within the company have a sense of respect for one another, and they value diversity, which has kept them strong and holds them close. I even noticed them supporting one another in difficult times. Surprisingly, I noticed one of the meteorologists working as a flight dispatcher at a time when the one responsible got ill and was recommended for bed rest. What more would teamwork work call for if this is not what it is all about?

As I take a stand on teamwork and its relevance, I also believe that for teamwork to withstand within an organization proper management is a requirement. Aguinaldo & Powell (2001) espoused that effective management builds strong teams, and it establishes their long-term survival. Nothing beats exemplary leaders who appreciate the employees’ needs and concerns. It came to my understanding that Roy Airline leaders have transformed after the last group of leaders was dispatched. They have come to terms with the fact that the employee is the most valuable asset in a company’s growth. They also respect the fact that an employee’s voice counts a lot in the context of ensuring that the company’s operations run successfully. Ingram & Terry (1999) in-text wrote that the employee’s voice counts as a tool to propel the company and ascertain that it runs smoothly. The employee responses indicated that incite among the employees has always challenged teamwork within the company. With incite and rumours being allowed to spread among employees, there is a tendency of employees to lose concentration in their works. Lose of focus means reduced productivity, which is disastrous for the long-term survival and growth of an organization.

It also came to my understanding that teamwork builds healthy competition within an organization. The responses obtained from the departments are an indication that competition is paramount among them. However, there is a clear indication that they value healthy competition, which contributes to the growth of each department and its success in increasing production. Eli (2008) looked into the competition between departments of an organization and argued that it is valuable in establishing the growth of an organization. Teamwork in this case improves the skills of every individual within the working environment where members train and support each other. The responses from the employees also revealed that they have supported each other in learning new technologies introduced in the company for instance a computerized system of operations.

A closer reflection on the survival of teamwork within an organization espouses the need for motivation among the employees. Steven, Erik, & Klein (2003) asserted that motivating people at the workplace is probably one of the most critical issues that a manager should handle with absolute seriousness. It is a matter of looking into how the leader handles the subordinates in pursuit of either maintaining or increasing their daily output to the organization. Various ways of improving motivation at Roy Airlines are well-known. A closer look at the responses from the employees across the three departments supported the assertion that the management had done a lot in motivating the employees. I came to realize the incentives and compensations are some of the strongholds at Roy Airlines, which have motivated the employees and boosted teamwork. This is the tool that Roy Airlines used to motivate people and capacitate them to work at their full potential and to get work effectively.

When I reflect on teamwork in general, I have a reason to believe that trust is a critical element. Roy Airlines employees responded positively to trust their leaders. They had the view that they endow all decision-making processes to their leaders because they have faith in them. They also responded that they support every decision made by the board of directors because they believe it to the ideal and healthy for their operations. Drew & Colin (1997) looked at the element of trust within organizations and argued that without trust it is exceedingly difficult for a leader to pass a sense of shared responsibility to the employees. In this case, the employees subject the opinion of the leaders to their credibility and the perception they have over them.

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A high level of agreement was evident from the responses received on challenges that employees face because of poor teamwork. The employees acknowledged that teamwork lessens the role they play and the contribution they make in facilitating a particular task. In this sense, everyone understands that teamwork makes things easier and it is an assurance that the task will be complicated successfully without compromise and they will be done in due time. Supporting such assertion a previous study by Raimo (1996) looked at teamwork as reducing levels of exploitation among individuals within the organization and ensuring that deadlines are respected for the assigned tasks. However, the study justified the sense that individual efforts are accountable to successful team spirit because they motivate others to work hard. Employees from the three departments were relying on some individual efforts especially when it came to harsh conditions. I witnessed a pilot agreeing to work overtime to assist the flight dispatchers at a time when a few members of staff were called in for an urgent meeting.

As has been stated previously, I believe that companies have been successful because they have valued the element of teamwork. I agree with the point that a Roy Airlines service has achieved high standards because of the strong teamwork the company shows. Ideally, the company surpassed my expectations on issues relating to teamwork. When I visited the company, I had some misconceptions that I heard previously from the popular media. I also had some prior developed ideals about the company based on its history within the field. The gross memory of the company and how it operated last year made me believe that something was wrong with its leadership. However, as I continued to engage in the daily practices within the company, it came to my understanding that teamwork is the most vital element of the company’s survival.

Conclusion

I can summarize by saying that Roy Airlines, is an outstanding example of how teamwork within a company is extremely critical. Based on the responses I got from the employees in the three departments including pilots, flight dispatchers and meteorologists, I have a strong belief that the company’s survival and its strength of operations are attributed to teamwork. Having revisited the company mission statement, I realized that it purposed to provide quality service to its customers and expand internationally to offer international flights. I can ascertain that the company has reached this far because of valuing teamwork. In such an industry, everyone involved is expected to work as a part of the team. An error from a single person can cost the company a significant loss bearing in mind that flight services demand precise services and organized teams. As a student taking a course on teamwork, I have confirmed that the success of operations within the airline company can be attributed to teamwork. For this paper, I analyzed teamwork practices among the different departments at Roy Airlines service providers and concentrated on the three most crucial departments within the industry that require teamwork for a successful landing and flying including pilots, flight dispatchers and meteorologists. Everything points back at teamwork as what has made the three departments survive, grow and capacitate themselves to provide high-quality services in the airline industry.

References

Aguinaldo, S. & Powell, J. (2001). Assessing the level of teamwork in Brazilian and English construction sites. Leadership & Organization Development Journal, 22(4), pp.166 – 174.

Debra, D. (2007). Team basics: How to develop teamwork in training organizations. Performance and Instruction, 31(9), pp. 10–14.

Drew, S. & Colin, C. (1997). Transformation through teamwork: the path to the new organization? Team Performance Management, 3(3), pp.162 – 178.

Eli, G. (2008). Entrepreneurial team-starts and teamwork: taking the investors’ perspective. Team Performance Management, 14(8), pp.327 – 339.

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Ingram, H. & Terry, D. (1999). Teamwork in health care: Lessons from the literature and good practice around the world. Journal of Management in Medicine, 13(1), pp.51 – 59.

Karen, T. & Brian, H. (1996). Teamwork: the essence of a successful organization. Team Performance Management, 2(1) pp. 6 – 8.

Raimo, N. (1996). Teamwork and team leadership. Team Performance Management, 2(1) pp. 9 – 13.

Steven, J., Erik, R. & Klein, G. (2003). The importance of team task analysis for team human resource management, in Professor Michael B. (ed.), Advances in Interdisciplinary Studies of Work Teams, Emerald Group Publishing Limited, pp.113-145.

Strachan, P. (2000). Achieving environmental excellence through effective teamwork. Team Performance Management, pp. 25 – 29.

Wheelan, S. (2010). Creating Effective Teams: A Guide for Members and Leaders. (3rd. Ed.). Sage Publications. Wheelan (2010).

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