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Background and Methodology
Starting in September 04 and finishing in February 05, ABA Research interviewed and listened to Menzies Aviation's (MA) managers and staff, as well as operational staff from some of their customers in stations around the world. The objective was to identify what it felt like to work for or alongside Menzies and to understand the values; the things which are important to staff about working for MA and the reasons they like working for the company. We also wanted to hear what didn't work as well and why. Beyond these needs we also wanted to find out what the main purpose of MA is, what is its focus and its reason for being.

We visited eight areas, which were representative of the main regions in which MA operate. They were :
LHR – Cargo / MAN – Cargo / HKG / SYD / MEL / CUN / AMS / LAX

As part of this project we also interviewed a selection of key customer contacts from a list of MA's most important global customers. Our aim was to understand the type of relationship they had with Menzies, to identify what type of company they would like MA to be in the future and to see what this would look like. Again the Vision and Values had to work with these customers as well as MA's own staff. The discussion with the customers was based around a set of guide notes, which were developed as a result of the many conversations we had with Menzies' own staff.

These interviews were conducted using both telephone and face to face interviews, which in the main was determined by geography. A number of the face to face interviews were also scheduled during our visits to Sydney and Hong Kong.

In total we interviewed:
All ten directors of MA / Interviewed 44 managers / Held 33 focus groups with up to ten staff in each

Interviewed either face to face or on the telephone, 64 clients

This gave us a detailed and clear insight into how it felt to work for MA and to be served by them. From the research stage we then held two workshops, which used the results to fine-tune the values into a manageable six. This included asking the Board to think about their own values and those we had found in the business and make the final decision about the six to be used. The same six were chosen by the staff as by the Board. It was after playing with the values chosen that Craig Smyth and Paul Mallard found that the word Spirit could be made from the values.
Findings from the Research
There are some slides in the presentation which give the outline findings of the research and this page is to give you some background to those outline findings. The key points are on the slides, and we have taken each one of those key point slides and written in more detail on the notes page of each slide.

Overall what we found was that staff love working in and around the airports and with airlines. They also like their colleagues. Some of this is due to the shared love of airports and planes but it is more than that. It is about being in a disciplined but relatively free thinking environment. Those who have worked for national carriers often said they found the hierarchy stifling and some of the rules restricting. This is not the case at Menzies. A can do attitude has been fostered, particularly at ground floor level and this makes work much more enjoyable.

The concerns, which we heard from staff, were mainly about lack of resources, not enough equipment and sometimes too few staff. The speed of change can also be an issue, but it was also recognized that things did need to change quickly in the airline industry and Menzies had made a commercial business in an area where many had failed. The fact that Menzies has developed a secure and profitable business is seen as a real benefit as it gives staff a sense of job security, which is often unavailable in aviation.

From a customer point of view Menzies are admired, more from a global perspective than a local one. From a global perspective customers can see the difficulty in running an organization such as Menzies Aviation and can see that it is being done well and with some consistency. Locally most customers are happy. Many are very happy. They like the freethinking flexible service, which the people provide and cost wise, find Menzies keen on price. Complaints are about lack of equipment and staff in some of the places we visited.

The suppliers to Menzies whom we interviewed were airport authorities and they all admired Menzies. As a company, they have cut through many of the problems which exist in the ground services business and either solved those issues or are working on doing so. This fresh thinking approach makes Menzies a welcome partner at airports.

There is real passion in the business from the Board, the staff, the customers and the airports Menzies operate in. The values we identified in the business are all important and are only things which Menzies are doing already. As one of the staff from Cancun said:

"We want airlines to come to us for a good service. They should go elsewhere if they want mediocrity at a lower price." It was this sort of sentiment which summed up what we found at Menzies Aviation and what the values have been put in place to enhance.
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