It’s been nearly a month since I came on board as the new Director General for ASA and I am looking forward to the exciting challenge ahead. With the support of ASA members, I look forward to building the reputation of the ground handling industry. I believe that communication is key to address issues such as staff attraction and retention in the ground handling industry
Employing hundreds and thousands of people across the world, ground handling is a significant industry. ASA aims to unite members to provide a platform where our independent companies can drive change, influence the industry and promote safety and quality at our airports.
In this context, ASA is excited to announce that we have recently formed a Communications Working Group in order to bolster the reputation of the industry. Through this forum, ASA members are able to identify common shared challenges in our industry (excluding commercial issues, in accordance with anti-trust legislation) and address them from a communications perspective.
Whilst the participant companies operate in completely different areas of the globe, from America to the Middle East to Asia, the concerns raised point to one and the same preoccupation: the state of employment in the ground handling industry. Crucially, the challenges mentioned – employee attraction and retention and high staff turnover – were often brought up in relation to the perceived lack of brand awareness, both at industry level and within the companies themselves.
Indeed, passengers don’t seem to ever wonder who checks their bags, loads them onto the aircraft and makes sure that they arrive at their final destination or who refuels the aircraft, cleans it and ensures the provision of food and beverages. In other words, who makes it possible for passengers to travel safely and comfortably. At ASA, we recognise and value the work of the men and women who service the aircraft at all times and in all weather conditions. We are determined to get the message across: no plane can take off without us.
Communicating in positive terms the existence of the ground handling industry will help us assert it as an appealing professional choice, especially among the younger generations. Staff attraction and retention remain problematic and high staff turnover is detrimental to the quality of the services we provide – ultimately, to the safety of passengers and crews. How can we build a company culture our employees will be proud of participating in? How can we improve outreach? The next few months will entail significant work to flesh out a cohesive communications strategy to tackle these problems at an industry level.
We are constantly working to ensure that issues relevant to our members and our sector are given due visibility – and the appropriate solutions. Don’t ever hesitate to get in touch – we always welcome your input and feedback. We are with you every step of the journey.