I’ve hired and fired, Fiji Airways boss confides

By Anish Chand

Fiji Airways CEO Andre Viljoen has said that he has fired many people and service providers who have failed to deliver on service excellence.

In  an interview with founder of US based UP! Your Service Ron Kaufmann, Viljoen has said “we will not tolerate service providers, even our own staff who do not do their best to deliver properly.”

Fiji Airways has engaged the services of UP! Your Service to train its 1300 staff in service excellence.

Viljoen has said they are emphasizing to their staff to deliver with care, passion and from the heart.

“I have fired a lot of people, I have fired a lot of service providers but today those of us that work with us understand, we are intolerable when it comes to service delivery. How did I get them aligned, after your launch, one or two didn’t quite get it and weren’t prepared to work at it, well they are no longer with us? The team I have today are completely and absolutely committed.” Andre Viljoen said in the interview.

The Fiji Airwards CEO revealed that by October 2018, every staff member at the national airline had sat through a two-day workshop on how to improve service delivery.

Each staff at Fiji Airways has to deliver now, according to Viljoen.

“We have ensured that after every workshop every participant prepares a step-up plan. What they are going to work out in their job tomorrow morning that is stepping up. It is signed off by their executive management and it is monitored. And we have put a reward scheme around it. Every quarter you have had to have delivered your step-up plan and refresh it with a new one and you get a reward of $300 in your bank account,” said the Fiji Airways CEO.

Viljoen says there isn’t a second option for those who can’t deliver.

If you don’t have it, you don’t only get the reward, but you get what we call a parenting discussion.

We have broken the meetings we hold at the company under three P’s.

Its either a partnering meeting, or it’s a prescriptive meeting where I have listened enough and I will tell you what to do and then the parenting meeting and parenting meeting can be tough discussions, so if you don’t deliver your step up plan every quarter, there is a very intense parenting meeting and after the parenting meetings, you still don’t do it, you wont be in the organisation. So, we very tough with it,” he said.