What are some of the key areas of talent management that Jet2 is focusing on?
Apprenticeships are something that we are really keen to do more of, as we see them as critical to our ongoing success. We have more than 100 apprentices in the business, and we also encourage internal apprenticeships at many levels, which are proving to be popular.
We are constantly reviewing how we develop colleagues at all levels of the organisation from the top down. Our culture regardless of the level is really important to us. As the UK’s largest tour operator and third largest airline, we have more than 12,000 colleagues but have managed to maintain a family feel because our values are embedded, and they run through everything we do.
In terms of benefits and rewards and ensuring we are competitive, we consider the economy and the market and last year we decided to do two salary reviews because after we awarded one, it was apparent the costs of living were increasing and so we gave an 8% salary increase last year. As we worked through a very challenging summer, we decided that we also wanted to say a massive thank you to all of our colleagues who had to work exceptionally hard and so every colleague received a £1,000 bonus. We also gave five extra days leave last year so colleagues could get some time off at the right time.
This year we have awarded a 9% pay rise across the business to help support everyone. We also offer superb bonus awards and profit share entitlements because we have performed well and we want to give back to our colleagues. We also introduced a Sharesave scheme last year for the first time which was extremely popular, and we were really proud to win awards for the scheme and the communications that we did in the UK and overseas.
How do you identify what areas of talent management to prioritise? Is staff feedback utilised, for example?
Colleague forums are something we have in every area of the business, and we hold regular meetings and calls as well as ad hoc ones if we feel we need to send messages out to the colleagues or want to ask if there is anything we can do to help. I will attend these forums as will the Chief Executive and sometimes our Executive Chairman. We are very lucky to have a very open culture and all of the senior leaders regularly talk to colleagues and act on the feedback. This is something all of our colleagues know – it’s not unusual for emails to come from colleagues letting us know what can be improved or thanking us or simply giving suggestions. We love this and we encourage it. The most powerful thing that drives our decisions is what the colleagues are telling us or how they are feeling. I hope that never changes because I think this is what makes Jet2 a great place to work.
Of course, people leave sometimes and that can be for many reasons, but it is important that we look at why and we regularly analyse the attrition levels across different areas of the business and why they are telling us they are leaving. This is key to understanding what we can change or improve but also ensuring that we are constantly listening to feedback. We also introduced stay interviews in key areas where the market was buoyant – we do still have to compete with some great brands out in the market who want the best IT and Marketing talent and it’s not just within the industry that we need to remain competitive and it’s not just in the UK. We are now the UK’s biggest Tour Operator and we have some of the best colleagues and understandably that means other companies target our people and we are very aware of that! But, when all is said and done – 20 years ago when Jet2 started there were just 80 colleagues working for the business. And half of them still work for us today – so that’s some retention rate!