Staff fight back against ‘unfair’ performance review

by L&D26 Aug 2016
British Airways cabin crew are furious about a new customer feedback scheme that rates their performance on the spot.

In particular, staff are claiming that it results in them getting unfairly blamed for faults they have no control over, such as problems with air conditioning.

The idea of the scheme is to “support people who need to improve” and reward people who perform well, according to British Airways.

It involves a table of employees' results presented on a dashboard where staff can be provided with immediate feedback on their performance. Red lights indicate whether a staff member has given ‘poor’ service. 
 
In a recent vote, 91% of the British Airlines Stewards and Stewardesses Association’s 8800 members backed action short of a strike.
 
Cabin crew will instead choose not to engage with the new system, and will refuse to sign off the feedback forms.
 
Unite, the union which encompasses the association, said the scheme is so bad that cabin crew have been getting marked down for faults in the entertainment system.
 
Matt Smith, regional officer at Unite, said the BA management should note the “enormous strength of feeling” against this policy with what they suspect is a “hidden agenda of future job losses”.

“There is a window of opportunity here for BA to allay our members’ fears and change direction, said Smith.
 
“A number of major companies are moving away from performance management appraisal schemes such as this.”

Smith added that it is completely unfair to expect staff to be placed in a league table, competing against each other, over on board issues that are clearly out of their control.

“Hopefully, on the back of this result, BA will reflect and realise this new costly appraisal system that creates this amount of unhappiness in its employees has clearly already failed,” he said.

“Cabin crew time spent on these wasteful performance schemes is crew time not giving passengers value for money in a highly competitive premium market.

“Ironically customers may see an improvement in service to passengers during this action. We hope those on board will appreciate we are making a stand whilst managing to avoid unnecessary disruption to them as valued passengers.”

British Airways said in a statement that customers would experience "no inconvenience" as a result of the action. 

"The system we have recently introduced includes feedback from customers about how they are looked after onboard," the airline said.

"This sort of feedback is common in all industries and enables us to commend cabin crew who perform well and support those that need to improve.

"We remain open to discussions with our cabin crew and their union representatives about this new system."
 

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