Developing leaders to be successful organizational communicators

United Airlines: Developing leaders to be successful organizational communicators

Challenge:

Emerging from history’s sixth largest bankruptcy, United Airlines needed to continue engaging frontline leaders and ensure that employees were receiving messages that would promote future success.

United undertook a Leadership Communications Skill Training program, successfully reaching over 900 leaders. The program promoted effective two-way communications with employees while reinforcing United’s journey towards continuous improvement and achieving organizational excellence.

Objectives:

  • Enhance the communication skills of managers and supervisors to continue sharing pertinent information, both operational and business oriented, to employees in a
    high-pressure and dynamic work environment.
  • Reinforce future expectations of United’s frontline leadership in a performance-based culture so that employees feel engaged and connected to the organization as a whole.

Actions:

  • Designed leader training that provided valuable ideas and strategies which were applicable to daily interactions with employees. Specifically:
    • Helped leaders understand the future expectations of United’s front line in a performance-based culture through the power of messaging.
    • Encouraged leaders to “own” United’s strategy, but convey it in their own words.
  • Dispatched 14 Gagen MacDonald facilitators to United locations.
  • Provided general coaching and communication support.
  • Results:

  • Trained more than 900 frontline leaders over a three-month period to:
    • Effectively engage in two-way dialogue with employees and help them connect to the larger organization’s mission, goals and values.
    • Tailor communications to create linkage between day-to-day activities
      and business outcomes.

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