It is universally well accepted and established fact that Airport plays a pivotal role in the country’s economic and industrial growth.
Shri K.K. Jha, Member (HR), Airports Authority of India (AAI), spoke exclusively to Mail Today, wherein he gave us an opportunity to have a glance into what it takes to attract, select, develop and retain a highly motivated professional workforce for organization such as AAI which is not only technically oriented but also has to ensure highest standards of safety as there is no scope whatsoever for margins of error. AAI can ill afford to lower its guards as ramifications of the minutest accident have widespread / internal implications. AAI, being a multi disciplinary / faceted organization, offers a unique opportunity for professional growth in areas like management of airports and regions (consisting of multiple airports), which entails command and control of operations (inclusive of airspace management), finance, technical (inclusive of engineering i.e. electronics / communications, civil, electrical and mechanical) and HR. More importantly, with service in AAI having an All India posting liability, one gets an exposure to the diverse Indian culture and heritage, which undoubtedly contributes to experience and personality growth of individuals.
Appended below are the excerpts from his interview:
AAI lays great emphasis on evolving the values, ethics, work ethos and HR policies which are required to not only attract but also to ensure that they go a long way in retaining talented professionals within the fold of AAI. He was very emphatic about recruitment procedures being adopted / followed by AAI, especially taking into consideration the basic core business of AAI, i.e. managing airports / airspace which demands 100% safety and thus, the need to have highly motivated, talented and professional workforce.
Accordingly, AAI Corporate Human Resources (HR) policy lays down the strategic content for its workforce initiatives. It is based on the best, time tested values and work ethos as prevalent in the Public Sector Establishments in Indian environment. It adequately addresses to all those engaged in dealing with people and to all HR professionals.
It is a well established fact that it is the knowledge, skills and competence of AAI’s employees which decide on its success in the marketplace. Therefore, it attains much more importance as to how the professionals are treated from which flow out values / objectives and its definitions thereof.
Recognizing the above, AAI Corporate Management has created its HR policy wherein the five-steps PRIDE process is implicitly followed in letter and spirit; so as to address the key issues which are bound to manifest in attracting, retaining and developing a fully motivated and talented workforce.
P—Provide a Positive Working Environment
R—Recognize, Reward and Reinforce the Right Behaviour
I—Involve and Engage
D—Develop Skills and Potential
E—Evaluate and Measure
AAI Values and Leadership
Our values and leadership principles describe how our employees behave, as they are the basis of our business relationships. Therefore, special attention is paid to the AAI’s values and the company culture which aim at –
- Value for the customer
- Visible leadership
- Commitment to people development
- Continuous improvement of products and services
- Safety of employees and passengers
- Superior business organization
- Truthful, timely and continuous information
Successful team leaders manage with:
- Respect, trust and fairness
- Clarity and focus
- Openness and truthfulness
- Commitment to employees
Our senior management is not only committed to these values and work ethos but practice them also to demonstrate the path to others.
AAI Human Resource Policy
Employment and employee motivation
AAI, being a Schedule ‘A’ organization, wherein its core business is to work alongside / in association with many an international organizations, offers a variety of attractive positions. The majority of them are tightly linked to customers and to our business of managing airports and airspace. They require high levels of competence, skills and knowledge.
AAI believes that only highly motivated employees are the key to customer satisfaction leading to business success. Therefore, we lay emphasis on employee motivation and create action plans accordingly in order to constantly improve the motivation level so as to sustain it to desired degree. The aim is to establish a long-term work relationship in exchange for the commitment of the employees to adapt to constantly changing technology requirements through professional reorientation, continuous learning and mobility. We also strive for a congenial working environment that protects health of the employees according to high standards of safety and security.
Our success essentially depends on the quality of our people. We, therefore, seek to attract, retain and develop the right mix of people, who display, in addition to their professional skills, the following competencies:
- Customer orientation
- People orientation
- Achievement orientation
Other than the relevant skills, experience and above-mentioned competencies, we give no consideration to employees’ origin, race, religion or gender.
We believe in developing the skills of all employees, so as to create high levels of motivation and performance and to allow them to reach their full potential. The objective is to have well-trained and highly knowledgeable staff. The annual assessment reflects an unbiased review of the strengths and weaknesses of the required skills and competencies of the employees. This review results in a development plan with concrete measures and actions.
The responsibility of employee development lies with three partners: the employee, her / his superiors, and the human resources manager. Various processes and methods are followed for the development of employees such as:
- Classroom training
- Job rotation
- Performance management
- Project assignments
Employee development is considered within the broader framework of Manpower Resource Planning (MRP), which aims at anticipating the future needs of employees as well as individual career interests. Special care is taken to detect, develop and prepare talent at all levels for greater responsibilities within our organization. We also encourage a good balance between professional and private life to build up motivation.
Employee Safety and Health Policy
Commitment and principles
- Safety is the essence and forte of AAI’s existence. It is implicit in our core business and in the way we work. We do not compromise either on the safety of our business or the health of those who work for our business.
- We believe that all injuries, work-related illnesses and accidents are preventable, and we, as such, strive for the highest standards of safety and health performance. Accordingly, we ensure that our employees are adequately covered through our various welfare measures / schemes which are in place.
- Our safety culture is based on prevention, hazard awareness, continuous improvement and compliance with carefully-developed procedures. Through this culture we ensure maintenance of the highest degree of performance. By the nature of our business, most of our people work independently. Hence, the safety culture will be fully effective only when each one of us personally and instinctively adopt and conform to it.
Remuneration – Compensation
This refers to various payments given to employees for performance of the assigned duties. This includes wages, salaries and variable pay such as incentives, bonuses, cash awards and pay increases. Personnel or HR policies usually state the company philosophy in managing compensation to attract and retain employees. Compensation policies include the areas of job evaluation, salary structure, pay increases, rewards and pay practices.
AAI, being a Schedule ‘A’, Miniratna PSE, follows a sound compensation policy in consonance with the laid down norms of the Department of Public Enterprises (DPE), which are the best in the industry and thus maintains internal equity and keeps the organization competitive with the external market. It does act as an ideal catalyst in attracting a qualified and diverse workforce. It is also an effective retention tool. We do motivate employees to stay with the organization by rewarding and recognizing individual and group contributions and work excellence. Our compensation practices reflect our commitment towards our human resources.
Lastly, we at AAI, strongly believe that a talented human resource is a competitive advantage in any economic environment. Thus, AAI takes every step and extends supportive hand in empowering its human resource.
We are of the firm opinion that competitive monetary incentives alone do not foster long-term commitment. To attract and retain people, who will thrive in a high-growth environment, we also offer good growth opportunities while maintaining high level of transparency and morale. Accordingly, we build and develop motivational culture that provides opportunities for professional growth to the employees.
Role and functions of H.R.
Human resource managers are business partners to line management and ensure business success through motivated high-quality people. To this end, AAI’s HR management:
- Supports the organization by providing sound policies, effective tools and systems and ensures their consistent and fair applications.
- Identifies, promotes and implements best-demonstrated HR practices and supports implementation of other best-demonstrated practices across the organization.
- Ensures effective and truthful communication with all employees.
- Provides assistance, guidance and tools necessary to select, retain and develop adequately qualified employees.
- Drives and ensures imparting of training for change throughout the organization.
- Supports a multicultural environment with employee diversity.
AAI’s human resource managers display, besides their professional skills, the following personal qualities too:
- Communication skills
There is a defined functional H.R. hierarchy – starting from the station level, passing through the Regional set-up and ending at the top with the Corporate Headquarters.
The recruitment process followed in Airports Authority of India is as per the government guidelines, i.e. by releasing advertisements in media / AAI website as per the eligibility criteria prescribed for different posts. Selection is done on the basis of written examination conducted by an outside agency and interview.
Staff Movements – Transfer, Promotion and Increase in pay and allowances
Airports Authority of India has a defined transfer policy and the annual transfers take place in the month of April / May, coinciding with the academic sessions so as to minimize inconvenience to employees. AAI has a well established and universally accepted system of yearly promotions as recommended by the Departmental Promotion Committees. An employee of AAI gets a decent increase in salary and other fringe benefits on promotion.
The attrition rate of employees in AAI has remarkably reduced after introduction of various schemes for the benefit of employees. Junior Executives at the induction level are now being given scale of pay straightway on their appointment instead of stipend as granted earlier. Besides, their service is also now counted as regular service from the date of joining as against the earlier practice of regularizing them only after successful completion of training etc.
AAI’s HR Training Institutions
AAI has Civil Aviation Training College (CATC), Allahabad and Indian Aviation Academy (IAA), New Delhi which are internationally renowned and accredited institutions, where we periodically organize refresher courses, team building exercises and motivational sessions for our employees of all cadres / disciplines. These institutions conduct training courses as per schedule drawn by them. In addition, there are Fire Training Colleges at Delhi and Kolkata.
Performance Appraisal System
In accordance with the Department of Public Enterprises instructions, new Performance Management System (PMS) has been introduced in AAI for all executives. The core components of the PMS are the identification of annual work plan and its achievements, key assigned task flowing from MOU, personal attributes and functional competency; constraints that hindered the performance of the assessed and the training needs thereof, etc.