History of serious mismanagement in Emirates Airline lasts for many years now. Like in every basket, one or few rotten apples spoil the whole basket of fruit.This process manifests itself as systematic disposal of honest and ethical managers and staff, who are not willing to comply to rottenness. This process went out of control since Sir Maurice Flanagan left the rudder to others.
So what happens with one company when honest people leave? It is left with network of dishonest, incapable and weak managers who abuse the company and its staff to get profit and benefits for themselves, especially when they know that they have to leave the country one day. Of course, these managers are not capable to create, conduct and successfully finish most of their projects as most of the good and skilled people left or they are kept quiet, blackmailed and threatened with warnings and service terminations.
I already wrote about Ms. Anoma Manuel’s (former Divisional Vice President Airport Services) failed project with new ABC check in and boarding system. Ms. Anoma is so rampant that she decided to forcefully implement this project although the feedback on it was very bad. But, as Ms. Anoma told me once – her seniors are friends of hers. So, she is protected. And her bonus is protected. But who will protect the company and its staff from this kind of incompetent and bully managers? Who will stop the absurd waste of money on meaningless projects, which their innovators falsely present as “successful and useful” or they just cover all the traces of projects’ failures?
People criticized me for asking Ms. Anoma about her salary. I was fired for asking her about her salary. But I would ask her again. And again. And again. Because she doesn’t care about the sufferings of her staff. She would rather waste huge amounts of company’s money on unnecessary projects, just to look good in her superiors’ eyes and to ensure her bonus, than to take care of her staff.
Unfortunately, she is not the only manager who wastes company’s money just as I am not the only former employee who writes the blog about injustices and management’s incompetency in Emirates Airline.
As I wrote at the beginning of this article, EK’s rotten management apples systematically spoil or get rid of their best managers. Mr.Tom Burgess is one of these managers. I will let you read his blog and decide about his intentions, skills and motivation. Today I want to re-publish his newest article which describes the exact mechanism on how managers waste company’s money on ludicrous projects while underpaying, bullying and punishing their hard working staff at the same time. This example is on the much higher level of management as Mr.Burgess had an important and responsible role in Emirates Airline.
Mr.Burgess was employed in higher management of Emirates Airline as Senior Vice President in EG IT department with Mr.Patrick Naef as Divisional Senior Vice President. On Mr.Burgess’s blog you can read everything on poisoned and backstabbing organisational culture in Emirates IT department, where Mr.Patrick Naef uses some questionable methods to get rid of all the managers who “stand on his way” of deceiving the top management about the real condition of his department.
This is just the part of the article. You can read the whole article here.
No winner, many losers.
Seeing the many comments on the web about the way staff are treated in the Emirates group, including a focus on salaries, led me to do a rough calculation. I believe that if the money wasted on Mercator Asia had been diverted to EKAS budgets, all ground staff could have enjoyed a 20% pay increase for every one of the four years of Mercator Asia operation. And this is only looking at the cost of one failed initiative – try to imagine how much money has been poured into the IT drain over the last nine years!
The most odious of problems facing the Emirates group is the bullying of staff by managers, but perhaps the biggest issue is that front line staff, critical to the business, are overworked and underpaid. But it would not be difficult to take a broom to the numerous support areas (not just EG-IT) and divert the proceeds to much better use.
Fundamental changes are essential, but some people are still thrashing around in the depths of the denial stage of the change curve. At least there has been recognition that there is a major problem, but real progress will not be possible until some time is spent looking in the mirror. It will take true leadership to get the ball of change rolling and then, when it comes, the really difficult challenges will emerge.
Perhaps the biggest task will be to convince staff that the company is serious about change. To illustrate this point, what will Patrick Naef need to do to persuade you to trust him?
And will anyone know what to do? Adopting a policy of being open and honest will be a major start. But, in my experience, the further people rise up the corporate ladder, the greater difficulty they have with the concept of being open and honest. The line between what staff should be told (i.e. most things) and what they shouldn’t be (i.e. commercially or personally confidential information) is well understood by the majority of staff, but creates paranoia nearer the top.
And who will actually lead this essential change project? Assuming someone who can be trusted is found, will they have the necessary skills? Turning a corporate culture around is not a job for a bunch of external consultants, a genuine understanding of the issues is a prerequisite. And he/she will also need the resolve to stand up to some pretty powerful figures, who I doubt will ever be genuinely convinced that a different way will be the right way.
However, the cause is far from lost because the company is blessed with tens of thousands of loyal, competent and hard working staff. They want success for the company as much as they want it for themselves and I am sure they will be tolerant during what will be a lengthy process. And for every bad manager in the company, there are numerous decent and capable managers. They just need to be given more of a voice.
But delay is counterproductive. As time moves on more evidence of the way Emirates treats its staff will emerge on the blogs and forums, more staff will resign, more careers will be wasted and more money will be poured down the drains of Dubai.