Strategic staff planning helps an airline analyse future staffing needs

After a strategic dialogue based on predictive analysis of staff data, an airline has a solid basis for aligning its staffing policy to its strategic targets.

What was the problem?

An airline wanted to know whether it could implement its new five-year strategy with its current staff complement of more than thirty thousand employees. Did it have the right employees to undertake a digital transformation? Where could it expect to see growth? What would be the impact of an ageing workforce? And what sorts of trends could it expect in staff hiring, promotion and departure? The airline already had some notion of where things were headed, but could not predict the timing or magnitude of the effects. It wanted hard figures to support those ideas and to underpin its policies. It also wanted to compare staff productivity, turnover and salaries with the average in its sector. And it wanted to report on all of this within a single quarter.

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So what was the solution?

A team of the airline and PwC HR specialists and data analysts looked at the implications of the airlines strategy for its future staff composition based on the parameters production, volume (FTEs), costs and qualifications. Our data analysts constructed a table showing past staff turnover and trends as they would unfold if the airline did not alter its strategy. PwC also created several different scenarios, for example for ageing workforce, new career paths and digitalisation. In a series of workshops, the airline staff worked with PwC consultants to identify possible staff policy interventions that would allow the airline to achieve its strategic targets

What was the result?

The project went from start to finish in only ten weeks’ time. Comparing the predictive analyses with the ideal staff composition revealed the gap between wishes and reality. We also added information comparing averages in Dutch businesses overall and in the airline sector. For example, we calculated the impact of an ageing workforce on each business unit. Who will be retiring, and when? Now that this question has been answered, The airline can plan for these employees’ replacements and identify the requirements that their successors must meet to support digitalisation, for example.

In summary, now that the airline has been able to compare staff numbers and qualifications to its strategic plans, it can make data-driven choices that will optimise its staffing policy.

Contact us

Sabine Taalman

Sabine Taalman

Senior Manager, PwC Netherlands

Tel: +31 (0)65 75 055 61

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