The results of the latest “American Voice” employee survey has finally reached social media and the outcome is very much in line so far with previous polls in which American Airlines workers expressed enthusiasm for coworkers and even their immediate supervisors, but offered something of a vote of no confidence when it comes to the airline’s senior leadership.
American Airlines’ “American Voice” initiative is a laudable program in that it gives the workers who best understand the carrier’s day-to-day operations a chance to offer potentially valuable feedback to management – in theory without fear of repercussions. Each year, however, when the survey results inevitably become public, the program becomes an exercise in public shaming for the senior leadership at the world’s largest airline.
Responses to last year’s poll, sent to more than 100,000 mainline employees, were downright brutal. For the most part, those responding saved their harshest criticism for upper management. Early indications are that this year’s survey is following a familiar pattern.
According to an internal memo obtained by The Forward Cabin, the more than 40,000 American Airlines employees who responded to the survey were overwhelming positive about their coworkers, immediate supervisors and overall career prospects. Those same workers had mostly unfavorable opinions of their treatment at the hands of upper management and the decisions made by the airline’s executives.
Although less than seven percent of respondents indicated that they expected to leave the company in the foreseeable future and only eight percent of the employees voiced an unfavorable view of coworkers and expressed a similar view of their immediate supervisors, a full 51 percent of those surveyed questioned the decisions made by upper management. Approximately half of respondents indicated that executives did not make the right decisions to support workers and were unlikely to listen or attempt to understand frontline employees and crew members.
These early results aren’t especially surprising given previous surveys and current labor disputes. A series of informational pickets by flight attendants, this summer, and more recently over the holiday weekend travel period, cited work rules, health concerns over recalled uniforms and a harsh new sick time policy as serious grievances – all concerns that fall under the direct purview of senior executives.
[Photo: Reuters/Mike Stone]