Virgin keeps staff sweet despite an uncertain economy

Virgin Atlantic is continuing to offer staff incentives and pay rises
despite difficult trading conditions, in a bid to keep service levels up.

Kate Newman, head of resourcing and development at the airline, said the
industry has faced the toughest 18 months any sector has had to deal with.

September 11, the war in Iraq and SARS have all influenced flight sales and
were out of the airline’s control, she said.

But Newman stressed it was important to still offer staff pay rises in
difficult times and keep communication lines open.

Staff are often given incentives to "keep the fairy dust there",
said Newman.

On Valentines Day 2002, every staff member was given an airline ticket, and
this year the company hosted a party for workers.

Newman said leadership is the key to sustaining service, so much of Virgin’s
training will focus on leadership skills, she said.

Newman will be speaking at The Best Employers Summit in London on 19 June.

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