This gives you a clear idea on how to communicate in an organization to employees when surrounded by a crisis. It also elicits examples on what a business leader's role is. Jet air-ways case study simplifies this HR leadership role.
Communicating in a Crisis : The Case of Jet Airways
Communicating in a Crisis
and the Role of a Business
The Case of Jet Airways
About the Jet Airways:
Airways (India), one of the leading domestic
airlines started off as air taxi operator and has
grown exceptionally to a level of operating 370
flights per day.
Jet gave importance to team work esp. between
senior management and HR. Thus provided a
high quality professional service to customers.
Retrenchment & Reinstatement
Drama and turbulence in aviation
October 2008, as the 1st phase of
retrenchment to streamline it’s operations
850 employees were sacked and followed
by 2nd phase of 1100 employees belonging
to various departments on the next day.
This was undertaken without giving prior
notice but was given only a month’s
Thus Jet received criticism and employees
Goyal , Chairman of Jet reinstated a day
later that he was aware of the situation through
media and retained all the sacked employees.
The problems started taking a new turn with
serious salary cuts due to bad phase of aviation
Fuel price rise made financial crisis much worst
by the end of 2008.
Insecurity and rise of NAG:
retrenchment and then the
reinstatement saga had bred insecurity
among the employees.
The airline pilots did not have any union
and being contract employees could be
shown the door anytime.
This led to the formation of the National
Aviators Guild the NAG. On July 24 2009,
the NAG -National Aviators Guild- was
registered by the Regional Labour
Vengeance of Jet & revolt of NAG:
July 31, 2009, the two senior pilots of Jet
Airways, who were both office-bearers of the
newly formed NAG, were dismissed through a
single-line e-mail to quit without mentioning
The pilots appeals and requests went in vain.
Thus NAG issued a strike notice on Aug 24,
Therefore, Jet suffered severe losses during
the strike despite of compensation work done
by crisis management centre.
the talks between Sanjay
Nirupam, representatives of the pilots and
Jet Airways Chairman Naresh Goyal were
fruitful and all the sacked employees were
The negotiations ended with the formation
of a grievance committee consisting of
both pilots and administration members to
hear such cases.
the HR problems faced by Jet
Airways in 2008.
Jet focussed mainly on high managerial
employees and team work rather than
solving the problems of pilots and other
members of the staff.
the rationale behind Jet’s
decision to lay-off employees and the
reasons behind its later decision to take
back the sacked employees.
Jet in order to survive financial crisis have
undergone retrenchment which adversely
affected them by criticism. Thus under
great political and media pressure took
back the decision.
Understand the importance of
communication in an organization and
analyze whether there were any loopholes
in Jet’s organizational communication
No proper communication between the high
level management and employees at lower
level. Thus created a havoc in aviation
the rationale behind the pay
cuts initiated at the company.
As the Jet was undergoing a serious
financial crisis and to sail through this
turbulent phase , they had to cut the pays
in-order to survive.
Understand how environmental variables
could affect a company’s HR policies.
Due to the severe financial crisis, their
compensation was at stake.
and reinstatement made
employees suffer in fear of losing the job
which might have affected their productivity.
They should have created a pleasant and free
work-force environment to motivate
employees in the financial crisis.
Instead of setting-up a crisis management
centre, they could have reinforced that
money in focussing the employees on vision
and mission of ‘their organization’.