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WestJet Airlines Clear Skies Or Turbulence Ahead Case Solution

Solution Id Length Case Author Case Publisher
1675 1248 Words (7 Pages) Parbudyal Singh
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This case is based on assessing and evaluating the strategic implications and growth plans of WestJet airlines, keeping in view the resources that they have- with a special focus on the human resources. Though the company formally started its operations in 1996, the business was conceptualized since the late 1980s, and developed subsequently by the founding members – Clive Beddoe, Tim Morgan, Don Bell and Mark hill. WestJet is a low-fare carrier, that launched itself with following Southwest’s footsteps of offering the best prices to the customers for low fare carriers, and hiring 220 right people for the job and providing them with adequate training to keep the operations running smoothly and dedicatedly.

Following questions are answered in this case study solution

  1. Introduction: Case Analysis

  2. Key issues facing WestJet

  3. Recommendations

Case Analysis for WestJet Airlines Clear Skies Or Turbulence Ahead

The launch of WestJet was based on thorough market research which had not only analyzed low-fare carriers and how their operations led to profitability, but also on the fact that the success of companies such as southwest lay on the focus that they maintained on grooming their employees through training, and through enhancing their organizational commitment and motivation. The market research had also reviewed and analyzed the market trends, which had allowed WestJet to be positioned favorably in the market with the key USP of being a friendly carrier with low fares. 

The success of the company, through its earlier years, however, has stemmed from its focus on ensuring employee happiness and satisfaction. Not giving into hard times when its travel right was suspended by Transport Canada, Westley ensured that none of the employees was laid off. Instead, they fought the challenge as a family and came out successful – which increased the employee commitment, and as a result, increased their motivation towards improved services. Since then, WestJet has been a commendable player in the industry and has come off strong in the face of challenges such as rising fuel costs. The credit for its strength is attached to its organizational culture, and employee team – both managed by the human resources team.

The organizational culture is attentive towards grooming and training employees and facilitates them in achieving personal as well as professional goals. This attention towards ensuring employee satisfaction is part of the company's business model – according to which, improved employee satisfaction will lead to enhanced service, which will lead to higher profits for the business. The company aspires to be one of the top brands in the air travel industry and admits that this may only be achieved with a strong workforce and focused strategy.

As a result, WestJet has maintained its low cost operational efficiency.  Moreover, it has also focused don its marketing activities, and most importantly, it has maintained the right organizational culture to foster growth. The company has programs through which employees can get shares of the company, and also share in the company’s profits. The overall culture of the company encourages employee involvement and participation – which leads to higher commitment and performance on part of the WestJetters. Employee motivation is also kept in check through the company's carefully strategized compensation package – which is transparent and fair and offers employees variable pay options in addition to the base pay.

The human resource team is especially responsible or the continued high performance of the employees through its focus on employee training and developmental activities, as well as through their strategic involvement in the overall decision making and planning for the company. However, with the vision of being listed amongst the top five low carriers internationally, WestJet’s human resource team is challenged as the company transitions from being a leisure carrier to a mainline airline. The integral challenges facing the company are discussed briefly following:

2. Key issues facing WestJet

Compensation

The organizational culture that fosters employee motivation is primarily held on the company’s variable pay packages, and the variable compensations and benefits that employees receive for their performance. With growth and expansion plans, the company is also bound to face volatile market conditions. In event of such market conditions which might influence the variable pay of employees, and even lead to its shrinking, the company is going to be challenged to maintain its relations with the WestJetters, and keep their motivation and organizational commitment high.

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