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Tag Archives: Organizational culture

Scandalous data breach in EK

I’ve promised not to post new stories unless something really big or serious happens and it just did.

I’ve found out about a serious data breach in Emirates Airline. Namely, a whole list of crew, with their personal data, became available online!

I will not say where this list was uploaded, but I’ve got a confirmation that it’s legit and authentic.

Now imagine the quality of EK’s IT and data security experts when anyone with the access to the EKHQ’s computer can download and e-mail this crucial business data which supposed to be a strictly guarded secret for many reasons, especially in one airline company.

I guess that nepotism, wastas and corruption in EK are starting to leave deep and irreversible consequences for EK. Shame for Emirates Airline. I really wanted to love that place and I really wanted it to heal itself from devastating business politics as a proof that people are capable to think ahead and to take care for each other more than they care about money and power.

I am curious to read Mr. Tom Burgess’s comment on this news.

 

22016557_10155194447380958_437454487_nA person who posted the crew list on Facebook

 

Screenshot (714)Excel file with crew’s data (I’ve covered crucial data)

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5 Emirates dark secrets revealed – from a perspective of a former EK cabin crew

 


The glamorous life of Emirates cabin crew: sleeping on the airport floor

This is an e-mail I’ve got a few days ago. I will let you draw the conclusion about safety, EK’s organizational culture and fatigue. I will also let you wonder where the pilot and co-pilot slept that night.

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Hello,

Thank you for your blog. Emiarets is a terrible companyy to work for.
Please, do not display my email address or my name…..
This is a picture of Emirates Airline Crew sleeping on the floor. The JFK airport was closed and the company asked us to leave our hotel and go to the airport anyway and wait on the airbridge until they open the airport…..
The fact was that the airport was closed because of the heavy snow and we had to wait on the floor for several hours, more than 6hours…… We could not even use the
emirates lounge at the jfk airport. They told us to wait at the airbridge.
.
.
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Redundancies in Emirates Group: Why does Dnata fire its employees?

Since I never looked forward to Emirates Group falling apart, on this occasion I will not write a long article about the fact that we all knew that management’s eternal arrogance and incapability will lead to employees massively losing their jobs and Emirates Airline slowly vanishing from the map of succesful airlines.

To be honest, Emirates had a potential. That potential has grown to greedy company’s growth and abuse of labour and human rights. There were many warning signs, including this blog, but there was nobody to listen.

Now, some announced changes may improve the alarming situation, but people will lose their jobs and the company lost its reputation so the damage is already irreparable. It could all be prevented if there were just a few people in the top management who didn’t lose their touch with reality and who respected the front line employees who, actually, do the job, instead of caring only about their bonuses and power.

I’ve got these few photos from a Dnata employee. They present e-mails which Dnata employees got recently, notifying them that DnataTravel’s revenues are down 13% and that sales have decreased 14% and that there will be redundancies. Shame.

I wish Emirates Group good luck and I wish them to get rid of all the corrupted managers who threaten their employees with prison. I also advise them to pay their employees deserved end of service money and to treat them with dignity.

 

 

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Update from former Senior Vice President of Emirates Airline

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?

Mr.Tom Burgess's (former Senior Vice President in Emirates Airline) blog.

Mr.Tom Burgess’s (former Senior Vice President in Emirates Airline) blog.

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.

DSVP of EGIT department

DSVP of EGIT department Patrick Naef

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.

Mercator Asia project is mentioned very often at Mr.Burgess's blog.

Mercator Asia project is mentioned very often at Mr.Burgess’s blog.

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.

Posted by Tom Burgess at 22:37

 

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Loss of cabin crew

Hello Dragana,

I hope you are having a good day.

I would like to share an interesting fact with you. Please keep the name and source confidential xxx. I am providing you with his name so you know the information I am sharing is credible.

xxx

He stated that in 2014 the company recruited approximately  6000 new cabin crew. By the end of 2014, the total number of cabin crew in the entire cabin crew compliment had only increased by 1800. This is a clear indication of the high turnover and loss of cabin crew from the company. And this is only the figure for cabin crew. Imagine the number of employees that leave each year as a whole. The figures are staggering and are an indication of the poor working conditions and poor management.

No wonder the organisation spends so much time and resources on massive recruitment drives. They can’t maintain their people.

Thanks again.

xxx

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Cabin crew’s job satisfaction in Emirates Airline – survey results

It has been two and a half months since Head of HR department, very much respected Mr.Abdulaziz Al Ali, sent an e-mail thanking employees for participating in the company’s survey on job satisfaction and promised to share results. This survey was conducted soon after this blog started with its first post – Open letter to His Highness the Chairman of Emirates Airline (EK). And whilst three vice-presidents of Human Resources department were thanked for the service in EK and escorted out, they never sent a goodbye email, so we don’t know the reasons why their services were terminated. There is an assumption that they were fired for the devastating survey results. Despite the promise of sharing these results, employees didn’t get to find out what is happening in their own company so far. So, due to the lack of company’s survey results, this article will offer some poll results from independent third parties, conducted among EK cabin crew.

EK Employees asking for survey results on PPRuNE.org forum

EK Employees asking for survey results on PPRuNE.org forum

Since there is a lack of communication between managers and employees, staff has no other way to find out about happenings in their own company than to use Internet websites such as, besides this blog, Emirates Illuminati (blocked in UAE), PPRuNE.org and few more.

Just in past 5 days 80,165 people came to this blog in search for the information on working conditions in EK: Some of these websites are used as a source of information on employees’ job satisfaction by third parties. I will not reveal my sources (it is enough to say that I can defend myself in the court of law with evidence if sued for publishing this data), but I am presenting some of the results of one such survey conducted on a representative sample of EK cabin crew.

Results of this research are not surprising for those who are working or who worked in Emirates Airline. So, what is the real state of the employees’ and customers’ satisfaction in Emirates Airline?

Mr. Abdulaziz's promise to share survey results

Mr. Abdulaziz’s promise to share survey results

The most vulnerable groups of employees in Emirates Airline are ground staff in Airport Services – check in and boarding agents and cabin crew, while pilot‘s dissatisfaction is in constant growth.

The biggest problem of EK in these departments is huge staff turnover. And while managers will always say that this turnover rate is “expected” in big companies, they don’t have an answer for how to deal with it. Their only solution is to pressurize already exhausted staff to work over their physical and mental capacities and law limitations, which is especially dangerous in the Airline Industry. Another threat to the airline safety is lack of experienced staff, which is, again, another consequence of huge staff turnover.

Emirates Airline recruits thousands of very young people to ground staff and cabin crew positions every year to replace employees who massively resign. These people can not be trained fast enough to meet all the criteria for safe flying. And while they have the physical appearance and smile necessary for customer service delivery (at least in the first couple of months of a honeymoon period within the company) their life and work experience is insufficient for more serious tasks in airline safety. And when they reach the satisfactory level of this experience, they are fed up with injustice and pressure inside the company and they resign.

Capture

I am not inclined to believe that disposable staff policy is an unofficial policy in EK because nobody is that unreasonable to cut the branch they are sitting on. Or are they?

Company, also, makes huge and unfair differences between ground staff and cabin crew. Ground staff (doing the same customer service job) are discriminated on every possible level compared to cabin crew, who have much better accommodation, salaries, medical care and benefits. Knowing this it is just a devastating fact that cabin crew resign in such huge number. It means that someone is not doing their job while getting huge salary for it. How bad is that for business?

According to mentioned research, the biggest dissatisfaction of cabin crew lies (not surprisingly!) in the way their managers treat them, while they are reasonably satisfied with their benefits, accommodation and salary. But when it comes to communication, superior – staff relations and personal contact between managers and crew, survey results are disappointing and poor.

This particular research was conducted on a representative sample of cabin crew using scientifically recognized statistical methods and tests. There were difficulties during the conduct of the survey as many employees are afraid that expression of their opinion on company will lead to the punishment or termination of their service.

80,165 visitors in 5 days

80,165 visitors in 5 days

These are some of the survey results:

A Cabin crew’s satisfaction with benefits and working conditions:

  • 68,12% of examinees are generally satisfied with the job of cabin crew in Emirates Airline. This is a solid result in Emirates Airline’s favour, although company should not underestimate dissatisfied percentage of crew.
  • Only 37,68% of examinees find working conditions on board satisfactory, while the majority – 62,32% find the them unsatisfactory or remained neutral.
  • 73,92% of cabin crew are satisfied with benefits (salary, accommodation, transport…). This is also a good result. It would be interesting to compare this number to the number of people satisfied with benefits but working in ground staff. I predict immense difference.
  • 69,57% of examinees are not satisfied or remained neutral in answering the question about their rostering and flight time limitations. This result proves that cabin crew are pushed to their limits and overworked.

B Crew’s satisfaction with management style, communication and working atmosphere:

  • This result is alarming56,52% of cabin crew find that their work is not acknowledged by the company. 27,54% of examinees remained neutral.
  • 66,67% of examinees are not satisfied or they remained neutral when asked about their satisfaction about the way the company communicates information to them.
  • 49,27% of cabin crew doesn’t feel that their company (managers) support them. 28,99% remained neutral, which makes the total number of 78,26% of cabin crew who are not satisfied or don’t know how to feel about the support they are getting from their superiors or they don’t want to tell. Very worrying number which demands immediate attention.
  • Another terrible result is acquired in answering the question whether employees feel that they can voice their opinion without the fear of being punished for it. Disastrous 71,01% answered that they feel afraid to express their opinion on work while 14,49% remained neutral.
  • Another destructive result: 66,66% of cabin crew feel maltreated by the company. 23,19% remained neutral.

C Cabin crew’s engagement in achieving company’s goals:

  • 81,16% are interested in the company’s affairs.
  • 85,51% of cabin crew are proud to work for the company (good result) and 72,45% would help the company to reach its goal of being among the most successful companies in the world (also very good result).

What can we learn from these results?

We can learn that cabin crew are fairly satisfied with their working benefits (salary, accommodation, medical care, face cards…). They feel pretty proud of working for such a big and known company. Most of them would help and are helping Emirates Airline to achieve its goals and vision. Most of them do care about the company’s image and are interested in internal happenings. So, what is the problem then?

Maybe this commenter described it in the best way:

Although my story in general was not sad, between 2006 and 2008 I witnessed many changes within EK, mainly the beginning of the “report” system, the increased workload, the switch from a personalized to a staff number relations and many more. I witnessed the jump to the new HQ, which contributed to the massive growth of overexcited managerial staff. All of them trying to prove themselves came with ideas, some were pure demonstration people’s servility with no positive benefits. I witnessed many of the qualified staff go, because they were fed up with the all growing number of restrictions, penalties, insane rosters, and last but not least the spreading fear. Many of these people were seniors who used to protect their staff. Eventually in 2008 I handed my resignation as well.

The comment about EK's decline

The comment about EK’s decline

Majority of cabin crew are not satisfied with their working conditions when it comes to the way management and superiors are treating them. The percentage of dissatisfied people is alarming and it is the reason why so many crew resign, despite their relative satisfaction with working benefits. This fact just proves the catastrophic state of human resources in Emirates Airline and rotten, bossy and authoritative organisational culture imposed by incompetent managers.

Rule of fear is evident and proved in the percentage of the crew who are afraid to express their opinion (around 70%!).

Majority of the crew doesn’t feel appreciated or supported by their managers, who are not capable to deal with the growth of the company and lack of staff in any other way than to exploit and overwork their crew, while not even appreciate or respect their efforts and hard work.

Even if nobody in Emirates Airline cares about humanity, they should understand that humanity and successful business are in direct relation. In Emirates Airline’s case it turned out that having so many disgruntled former employees willing to publicly provide their opinion on their ex employer was not a good idea. And it seems that it’s better that your employees do not leave the company hurt, angry and humiliated, because they are part of your image as well.

You should care about your staff. Even if they are staying in the company for just a couple of years and leave. Even if they are just in transit. Why? Because your customers’ dissatisfaction with demotivated crew attitude is growing in recent years. Just in EK business class negative feedback about your cabin crew makes 40% of all complaints. Because demotivated crew lead to lousy customer service and that leads to customers flying with another airlines. Because demotivated staff are not ready to go that extra mile that you need desperately to beat your strong competition. And unfortunately, a small piece of chocolate given during the forced training, which is Ms.Anoma Manuel’s idea of motivating her staff, will not work.

40% of complaints is a negative feedback

40% of complaints is a negative feedback

If you read this blog devoided of anger towards its author, you may be able to comprehend the extent of the human resources disaster in your company and to start with damage control and introducing some sustainable policies in order for your business to survive challenging airline industry conditions.

I will not write all of my ideas on how to improve your business, as it is an expensive knowledge and I worked hard to gain it. I trust you have enough money to employ some competent people to help you resolve the issues. And to help you even more, I hope that I will soon have survey results for the Airport Services ground staff, where are I expect a real tragedy.

Bottom line and the most important question for managers is: if your employees care for you and company’s image, how is it possible that you don’t care about them?

Emirates Airline was a nice place to be not so long ago. Even I feel proud for being a part of EK at some point of my life and was careful about its image while I was working there. But managers didn’t seem to understand the importance of respecting their loyal staff and dialogue, so in the same way they usually “push” people to resign, they pushed me in making this blog by forcing me to escape the country and by not paying me my EOSB.

 

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