Career Switch / Job Change / 2022

IndiGo flights didn't take off because its employees did. Here's why.

. 3 min read . Written by Muskan Miglani
IndiGo flights didn't take off because its employees did. Here's why.

IndiGo passengers all over the country found themselves in utter dismay as nearly 55% flights were cancelled. The airline that operates nearly 1600 flights (both domestic and international) everyday faced a sudden upheaval on 2nd july. Why? Because of employee sick leaves. The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) asked to launch a probe into the matter, because something sounded off.

On a normal day, IndiGo flights show a significant OTP (on-time performance) of over 80%, but the same dropped to 45.2% on domestic flights on Saturday. An airline’s OTP is the percentage measure of the number of flights leaving within 15 minutes of their scheduled time.

While IndiGo’s OTP staggered, airlines like Vistara, Spicejet, AirAsia, and Air India operated per normal.

How did so many of the IndiGo employees call in sick at the last moment? Well, Air India is to thank for that. The company launched the second phase of its cabin crew recruitment drive for Air India Ltd., and the IndiGo staff didn’t want to pass up the opportunity.

India’s largest airline struggled to maintain its operations because of the shortage of crew on board. But why did IndiGo bear the brunt alone?

IndiGo sick leave debacle: Is the Great Resignation here?
IndiGo had been making news since it slashed pilot pay during the lockdown. The company then gave the crew a hike, but the low increment did not go down well with a lot of the members. So when opportunity knocked, everyone jumped to grab it. That the Air India walk-ins received such an overwhelming response from its competitor has made it clear that the Great Resignation is here.

We’ve heard of the Great Depression and the Great Recession, but the Great Resignation is a whole different deal. From the IT sector to consulting firms, a lot of companies are witnessing higher than usual attrition rates.

What is also being called the ‘Big Quit’ or the ‘Great Reshuffle’ began in May 2021, but the trend doesn’t seem to die down. The phenomenon that was earlier attributed as one of the impacts of COVID-19 involves people leaving their jobs in huge numbers. But what has prompted the mass exodus, and is it a real thing or just another fancy economic term?

The term was coined by Anthony Klotz, a management professor in Texas, who said that now that people have had a taste of the new normal, no one will be willing to return to the old normal. The employees, having witnessed a better work-life balance, are apprehensive of going back to the taxing office jobs that require them to travel and expend more (money, time, and effort).

According to a survey conducted by the global consulting firm PwC, nearly 1 in 5 people out of the 52,000 people surveyed were planning to leave their jobs. The reasons for this are many — while some people might be apprehensive of returning to the exhausting work schedule, most of them do it for the money. Nearly 35% of the people surveyed were going to ask for a raise in the next twelve months.

Others still might want to switch jobs because the impact of COVID-19 has only enhanced the burden of their present field. In such cases, people are looking at complete switches, not just in the job, but in the profession too.

While a lot of companies have been advocating the cause of mental health, few have recognised it beyond a simple campaign. Organisations that hamper the employees’ mental health or don’t allow a healthy space for their employees to grow are witnessing higher than usual attrition rates.

A lot of companies are questioning employee loyalty, but the need of the hour is to identify the problem. While the causes are numerous, it has been reiterated frequently that companies do little when it comes to compensating employees or lending them other benefits (like insurance, mental health care, year-end bonuses, etc.,). Retention rates are dipping, attrition rates are touching the sky, and the Great Resignation doesn’t seem to resign.

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