Professional Standards – Ready to Mediate
Offering Assisted Resolution to Crew Issues
We are part of the EAP, Employee Assistance Program. And while all of the AFA EAP committee members for Compass Airlines are thoroughly trained in EAP matters; some of us, like myself, specialize in helping our members address Professional Standards, or Pro Stans issues. When AFA came to Compass, there was no doubt in my mind that offering guidance and coaching to resolve conflicts was the area that interested me most. Building confidence in our services is critical to that process. Towards that effort, let me explain the AFA EAP Professional Standard’s process when members use our services.
Two flight attendants have a disagreement. Their names (remember this is hypothetical) are Eunice and Kay. Eunice calls me to talk about the issue.
One thing I will explain to Eunice is that she’s doing the right thing by coming to us. Management does not need to know about this incident. Management will not keep Eunice’s complaint confidential. A complaint to management most likely would also result in an investigation of not just Kay but also Eunice. I explain to Eunice that confidentiality is part of Pro Standards. Based on the way the program is set up, everything is confidential. Pro Stan is not investigating. We are assessing and determining what resolution looks like to Eunice and how that might be translated to Kay.
We would encourage Eunice to refrain from posting her story on ANY social media. Sharing one’s concerns with the public rather than with the person who has offended you is not resolution…… its stirring the pot. The other flight attendant, Kay, deserves to have the concern brought directly to her either by Eunice or the AFA EAP/PS committee rep and to have an opportunity to respond and resolve the concern.
Let’s go back to Eunice and Kay. I would talk to Eunice first. I would hear her side of the story; get all the facts, dates, times, persons involved, etc. I would ask Eunice what her solution would be. In this case, I could contact Kay or do a group conference call, with me as the mediator. Either way is very effective. Eunice might just decide to put the matter on hold and see how it works out. Sometimes, it helps to talk it out to someone who is unbiased.
In this situation, Eunice wants me to talk to Kay. Eunice has also decided that she does not want me to disclose her name. I let Eunice know that I won’t use her name during my approach but Kay may put two and two together. Eunice is still fine with me making the approach. Eunice has also committed to not gossip about this situation either on line or with other crew members. Eunice wants the incident to be worked out and is not interested in “flaming” the situation.
Eunice is using professional standards because she is interested in resolution. It is not her goal to get Kay in “trouble.” The situation needs discussion not discipline. We are so fortunate that we don’t work under daily supervision, That is a unique feature of this job. When we all get along and we all do our jobs, this is great. But at times, situations between us do need to be addressed. This is where professional standards can help.
When we focus on setting each other up for success, many of our interpersonal conflicts disappear. There are many small but considerate ways we can support one another. Clean up your galleys. Wipe up spills. Empty the coffee pots.
Empty and recycle the cans, papers, and bottles. Don’t leave open cans in the carts. Don’t leave empty liquor bottles in the liquor bin. Straighten and clean up, and make the galley just the way you would expect it to be when you get on board.
When you meet the outbound crew in the jet bridge, don’t just say hello, talk. Tell them if they need to order ice, if they’re going to be short of water, out of paper supplies and anything else you can think of. Don’t be in such a hurry to get to the hotel van. You are probably going to have to wait for the pilots anyway. The pilots have excellent communication for the next incoming crew. Let’s start doing the same. If you have ideas about how we can improve our working conditions, please call Professional Standards. We are here to listen.
Hey, we all need some coaching now and then. And we can’t always get along with each other. Just like our passengers, we all have different personalities.
I am excited for everyone to learn about pro standards procedures and what happens when you call. Remember, You are not going to get in trouble. You are not going to be judged. You can be assured your conversations will be held in the strictest confidence. We understand. We’re here to listen. And we’re here to make your job better, successful, and happy.
AFA Compass EAP/Professional Standards