The importance of Cabin Crew member teamwork on an aircraft
As a cabin crew member, ensuring passenger and crew safety will always be your most prominent duty. Teamwork plays a vital role towards not just passenger safety but also towards effective customer service.
We all know that attitude can’t be trained but we can most certainly create a working environment that will inspire your colleagues to do their best, thus ensuring a safe and harmonious flight. Effective teamwork will assist all crew members to maximize their job performance and have passengers leaving the aircraft opting to continue to support your airline.
Have you ever heard that saying there is no "I" in the word team?
The Lesson to Be Taken From Geese
Every year, just before winter, the geese in the northern hemisphere fly south for the winter. They always fly in a V-formation and scientists have discovered the reason why they fly this way. As each bird flaps its wings, it creates uplift for the bird immediately following. By flying in a V-formation, the flock adds at least 71% more flying range than if each bird flew on its own.
When we apply this to teamwork, we can say that people who share a common direction and sense of community can get where they are going quicker and easier because they are travelling on the thrust of one another.
Whenever a goose falls out of formation, it suddenly feels the drag and resistance of trying to fly alone and it quickly gets back into formation to take advantage of the lifting power of the bird immediately in front.
There is strength, power and safety in numbers when travelling in the same direction as others with whom we share a common goal.
When the goose in the lead gets tired, it rotates back in the formation and another goose flies in front.
It is worthwhile taking turns doing the hard jobs.
The geese in the rear honk to encourage those in the front to keep their speed.
We all need to be encouraged with active support and praise.
When a goose gets sick or is wounded and falls out, two geese fall out of the formation and follow it down to help and protect. They stay with the goose until the problem is resolved and then they fly out on their own or with another formation to catch up with their group.
We must stand by each other and help each other in times of need.
(Source: Lussier, RN. 1997, Management: concepts, Applications, Skill Development. Cincinnati, OH: South Western,pp418-419)
To summarise, when you are working in a team, each team member has to commit to the following to ensure the team functions effectively and that all objectives are not just met but in doing so as a team exceeded:
Commit to work together in a team, commit to the goals and purposes of a team, discover your place in the team so that you can also feel that you belong in that team.
- Ensure that all team members are travelling in the same direction – working towards the same goals and purposes.
- Take turns doing the hard jobs; it will benefit the team in the long run and therefore also benefit individual team members.
- Encourage, support and praise each other.
- Stand by each other and help each other in times of need.
A team must be able to communicate, share ideas and have respect for fellow team members’ contributions and suggestions. One of the powers of teamwork is the ability to bring together differing points of view in an attempt to create a solution for any problem which may arise. Effective solutions are normally best handled when many different views are offered. It will assist in seeing the situation from several different angles and will normally lead to a solution that no one individual could create on their own.
Each crew member is allocated specific tasks on an aircraft. If you do not fully understand your role, ask for clarity from the senior cabin crew member, as understanding your roles and responsibilities will assist you in executing them effectively.
Basics of Teamwork
A sense of belonging: knowing that your team exists to share the workload and, knowing that someone in the team will help where necessary, makes everyone’s life a little easier.
Control and ownership of your work: you are personally responsible for your work and you can take pride in work well done. The structure of the team, where roles are rotated, usually leads to less formality and a more relaxed atmosphere in which to work.
Self-worth:teamwork gives workers many opportunities for personal enhancement and opportunities to take pride in your work, which leads to a growth in your personal self-worth. The work environment when you work in a team also leads to more opportunities for learning and this always enhances your self-esteem.
Tangible rewards: when your team functions successfully, it will ensure greater productivity and therefore more income for the organisation. Many organisations reward excellent teamwork that leads to tangible results, with tangible rewards. Your benefits within the airline will grow as the airline grows. Teamwork leads to an all-round win-win situation.