Historically, the prevalence of legacy practices at Delta such as tenure-based layoffs were often implemented with damaging results. The restructuring effort during bankruptcy required a change in this approach to retain the highest talent based on solid criteria. Rather than years of service, performance and competency fulfillment were used to rate employees.
Every person was assessed and ranked into quartile groups. The stated objective of this ranking was to retain the strongest employees and for the least strong to exit the company.
Processes to improve coaching, teaching and leadership were rolled out from the top down so that each level of management could support their direct reports as they subsequently took the same classes. Therefore, mid level managers were carefully developed for the future by their direct leaders.
Every organization needs skilled managers distributed throughout the ranks of leadership to support company initiatives and drive performance. By focusing on the front line of leadership as well as the mid level managers, the entire organization improved their capabilities, skills, and execution.
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“In my particular case, I certainly care about the HR functions, but that’s not why I wake up every day. I care about advancing the ball down the field with our people’s professional development skills and knowledge. You guys focus 100% on the learning piece, and that’s what I like.”Jim StewartCLO, Teradata