Implementing Digital Communication Strategy Within the Qantas Group
|✓ Paper Type: Free Assignment||✓ Study Level: University / Undergraduate|
|✓ Wordcount: 1922 words||✓ Published: 9th Nov 2020|
The purpose of this report was to look at the Qantas Group and identify a communications strategy based on instant messaging and how to implement it.
Instant Messaging (IM) technology allows people to talk to others instantly and privately. IM requires only an internet connection and an app loaded onto a computer or mobile phone. It differs from email, primarily in that its focus is on the immediate delivery of messages (Quan-Haase, Cothrel, Wellman, 2012). The total number of users of messaging apps like WhatsApp, Skype and Facebook Messenger alone has more than 1.2billion monthly users (Anadea, 2018). Chatbots may sound a futuristic notion, but according to Global Web Index statistics, it is said that 75% of internet users are adopting one or more messenger platforms (Techlabs, 2017).
The Qantas Group
Qantas stands for “Queensland and Northern Territory Aerial Services”. The company has been in operation since 1920. Founded by two world war one veterans, Paul McGinness and Hudson Fysh, they were “inspired by the spirit of ANZAC” (Qantas, 2019). Today, Qantas is a worldwide operation employing 30,248, with 93% of its staff in Australia alone. (Forbes, 2019).
Qantas Groups need for Instant Messaging
Reviewing the IT services currently available to employees, alongside discussions with current airside staff, it has been identified that office-based staff employees have access to a range of instant messaging applications. However, the airside crew do not share this efficiency system. Currently, airside crew utilize the People App provided to them for company use. As is the case with airlines, there are times where flights will be canceled, delayed or diverted. While the current staff portal is an excellent way for displaying a weekly roster, there are no means to disclose roster change to employees other than the portal.
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An Instant Messaging app communication is direct to mobile phones. It is an instant form of communication to staff members and can be used to access a variety of information anytime, anywhere (Gan, Li &Liu, 2017). Text messages can direct Qantas staff to further information portals. A specific instant messaging service that would be a candidate for Qantas would be ‘Crew’. This is a system for employees, as it connects team members on the front line whereas for businesses, it can manage a workforce with all team members on the same page through immediate communication (Crew, 2019). In terms of the airline staff in Qantas, this would appear to be a viable solution to one of their communication needs.
What the Qantas Group can Achieve with IM
Instant Messaging (IM) entails communicating faster with reliable, organised messaging. In the case of the Qantas Group, communicating directly to staff via mobile phones, as airside staff do not have access to computers. IM can simplify scheduling for the entire team. Using IM will be quicker for airside team, as communicating is done without having to exchange numbers.
Proposed Digital Communications Strategy
There are many Instant Messaging (IM) apps available today. Unlike collaboration software that has evolved around the needs of office workers, Crew targets the millions of other workers who don’t have ready access to effective communications services. Lunden, cofounder and CEO of Crew App (2018): “Crew is a chat app that specifically targets businesses that employee shift workers who do not typically sit at a computer all day.”
In many organisations, employees are collaborating via IM, either as a complement to email or as a replacement (Handel &Herbleb, 2002). Crew can be used to immediately message all team members, distribute the schedule and find shift coverage across the Qantas Group. When schedules are published by managers, they are automatically sent to employees via crew. Rosters can be viewed and distributed with a few taps on the phone. If the company permits, a staff member can swap shifts with co-workers, ask their manager a question. Employees will get a reminder two hours before their shift starts (Crew, 2019). Managers and employees can create group messages and schedule shifts. Crew is used to quickly and easily send instant messages to anyone you work with, without sharing your phone number or knowing theirs. An admin worker can send a group message or have a one on one chat (Speramus).
Why ‘Crew’ Works for Qantas
Through the Qantas People app (airside crew portal), employees need to sign in to check for rostering updates. They do not necessarily know there has been a roster change unless they sign into the crew portal. With Crew, it is easy to send a mass text or announcements to all staff members quickly as all phone numbers are linked. With the Crew Instant Messaging app provides scheduling alerts. Team communication via push notifications, chat/messaging, time and attendance. When flights are canceled, delayed or diverted, a message can be sent to each crew member informing them of the change in their work schedule. Managers can see if a crew member has seen the message.
How to implement new communications strategy
In order to facilitate the most effective implementation, we will need to identify the exact requirements in conjunction with Qantas. As the ‘Crew’ services team (2019) states: “team communication only works if everyone participates”. It is important to consult employees as well as offering the most current forms of communication. Employee involvement brings a further sense of belonging which subsequently results in higher productivity for the company.
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First a full review of the existing communications strategies for airside crew will need to be understood. It is recommended that a panel comprising of flight crew, ground crew and baggage handlers are used as a consultation group. The staff portal will be utilized to request staff give their feedback in terms of what they deem the best form of Instant Messaging services.
Open API and off the shelf integrations enable Crew to plug seamlessly into existing technology stack. Sync Crew with your scheduling and labor management software to maximize labor efficiency, cover shifts faster and save manager time.
Crew comes with a flexible adoption plan.
Ensure your whole team is on ‘Crew’ with adoption paths that work for every person. Every employee is invited to join the Qantas Group ‘Crew’ Enterprise via QR code, phone number or bulk upload integrations.
Danny Leffel (2017), cofounder and CEO of Crew stated: “When teams have the ability to quickly communicate with each other from their mobile devices, this creates new opportunities for a smoother operation and ultimately better customer service”. Qantas Group’s airside crew currently utilize a People App, an onboarding experience and a tailored Employee Value Proposition” (Qantas, 2019) as a way for communicating. As the group moves forward, celebrating one hundred years of service, it is time to ensure staff have access to effective and professional working practices.
Employees and teams benefit from having a single place to get all the important information they need for a successful day at work. Integrating the team schedule with Crew means putting the schedule in every team member’s pocket, in the same place they access all other critical work information. Crew APIs support two-way syncing of the scheduling, pushing scheduling data into Crew and syncing any changes to the schedule that happen within Crew.
- Anadea. (2018, Jan). What is a chatbot and how to use it for your business. Retrieved from https://medium.com/swlh/what-is-a-chatbot-and-how-to-use-it-for-your-business-976ec2e0a99f
- Business Wire. (2017, May). Crew introduces new service for purposeful and organised team communications that keeps everyone on the same page. Retrieved 10 December 2019, from https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20170504005542/en/Crew-Introduces-New-Service-Purposeful-Organized-Team
- Forbes. (2019) Retrieved from https://www.forbes.com/companies/qantas-airways/#1e794757e7a9
- Crew Features. (2019). Retrieved 9 December 2019, from
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- Lunden, A. (2018, Dec). Crew, a Workplace and Slack messaging rival for shift workers, raises $35M, adds enterprise version. Retrieved from https://techcrunch.com/2018/12/19/crew-a-workplace-and-slack-messaging-rival-for-shift-workers-raises-35m-adds-enterprise-version/
- Scott. (n.d.). The pros of using Instant Messaging in the workplace. Small business-Chron.com. Retrieved from http://smallbusiness.chron.com/pros-using-im-workplace-10534.html
- Speramus. (n.d.) Crew. Retrieved from https://www.capterra.com/p/165481/Crew/
- Techlabs, M. (2017, Nov). Top 5 benefits of using chatbots for your business. Chatbots magazine. Retrieved from https://chatbotsmagazine.com/top-5-benefits-with-using-chatbots-for-your-business-159a0cee7d8a
- Quan-Haase, A., Cothrel, J., Wellman, B. (2005). Instant Messaging for Collaboration: a Case Study of a High-Tech Firm, Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, 10(4) https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1083-6101.2005.tb00276.x
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- Handel, M., & Herbleb, J. (2002, Nov). What is chat doing in the workplace. Paper presented at CSCW 2000, New Orleans, LA.
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