Our employees’ safety and wellbeing are our top priorities as we facilitate a strategic plan to handle the rebound in the aviation industry. Between stretched resources, a gap in employee experience, and complex operations considerations related to the pandemic, 2021 is proving to be just as challenging as 2020. Gearing up for the summer peak means we’re welcoming new employees to our Unifi workforce and providing quality training while taking the best care of our growing team. Read more to learn how we’re ramping up to optimize our operations and safely serve our carrier partners with excellence.
Equipping a New Class of Aviation Professionals
Reassembling our workforce from the economic impact of COVID-19 has happened in two phases. In phase one, we brought back our existing employees and reskilled them from a safety standpoint after months of furlough and reduced working hours. As demand for aviation services looks to exceed our current Unifi team capacity, our recruiters are working diligently to hire new employees to keep up with a rebounding industry in phase two. Along with hiring this new group of aviation professionals comes the mammoth training initiative to get our “freshman class” up to speed and equipped for a successful future at Unifi without compromising safety.
We take pride in adapting to quick changes with creative solutions. That’s why we launched our first off-site training center in Atlanta, GA. This facility allows us to waste no time when it comes to efficiently onboarding and training new employees. By leveraging our offsite training hub that’s independent of potential delays related to the airport badging process, we’re able to maximize the first few weeks of on-the-job training. New employees are immersed in a week of classroom training before introducing the hands-on airport environment, leaving them better prepared to engage in on-site learning.
Capping Hours to Promote Safety and Avoid Employee Overwork
After a season of extended dormancy, the busy summer is in full swing. Many aviation industry leaders face logistical and operational challenges related to the record-breaking rebound of leisure travel. While continuing to keep up with this positive momentum, creating a safe working environment by avoiding overwork is one consideration that’s top of mind at Unifi.
Managing fatigue is paramount in the ground services industry and Unifi must balance keeping up with rapidly changing and busy carrier flight schedules and protecting our team. By placing a cap on weekly hour allowances and the number of hours worked in 24 hours for all employees, we can ensure that our employees are operating safely and efficiently, without risking injury or ground damage incidents. In addition to avoiding exhaustion, we have instituted thermal stress awareness initiatives and hydration schedules to combat the summer heat.
We’re also actively fostering a culture that encourages our team to do the right thing, even when no one is watching. Our organization is focused on addressing the behaviors that lead to mistakes and reframing incidents as learning opportunities to understand the decision-making process that led to the event. By participating in investigations, post-incident training, corrective measures, and re-training for all employees, we can rise from a safety event stronger than before. Most importantly, we also want our employees to feel comfortable reporting incidents without fear to ensure that both people and aircraft can operate safely.
Safely Serving the Airline Industry’s Comeback
Our elite team is eagerly preparing to be your partner in our industry’s comeback. We must unite in our goal to eliminate lapses in safety amidst the chaos of an accelerated rebound. Many of our airline partners have actively participated in fostering best-in-class relationships around our shared safety initiatives. By facilitating open, transparent, and honest discussions about safety, we can improve the working environment for our blended teams while continuously learning and improving. We analyze safety issues and problem-solve together with our airline partners to find solutions that can apply broadly. Each investigation and its conclusions are a new opportunity to discover a better way of doing things that we might not have recognized before. A culture of openness and collaboration allows us to stay in harmony across our growing networks, evolve safety measures, and negate risks along the way.
As we look ahead to the remainder of 2021, we’re determined to find new ways to adjust to our ever-changing industry safely. The challenges associated with operating at total capacity will return, and we need to ensure employees are adequately trained with the right tools to adapt safely. Our organization puts a strong emphasis on change management to be successful and serve you with our best foot forward.