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Assessing Delta Airline Culture

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Assessing Delta Air Lines Corporate Culture

This paper will discuss the corporate culture of Delta Air Lines, Inc. The team agreed that assessing Delta's corporate culture would definitely be a learning experience. Delta Air Lines, Inc. provides air transportation for passengers and freight throughout the United States and around the world. As of February 1, 2006, Delta (including its wholly owned subsidiaries, Atlantic Southeast Airlines, Inc. and Comair, Inc.) serves 244 domestic cities in 46 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands as well as 70 international cities in 40 countries. Delta mainline, domestic, and international service, Song, Delta Shuttle, Delta Connection, Delta Sky Team, and Worldwide Partners operate 7,113 flights each day to over 506 cities in 93 countries (Delta Air Lines, Inc., 2005). The ongoing financial strain of the airline industry has diminished the stability of the work environment. Delta employs over 55,000 employees where salaries are over 42% of the organizations operating expense, (Dikolli & Sedatole, 2004). Due to the strained industry, Delta is struggling to survive. The organization has undergone tremendous changes and cutbacks causing uncertainty for employees and customers alike. Delta has long been noted for the "family" culture with its employees and excellent service for its customers. This assessment will attempt to exhibit the company's leadership philosophy, the motivation of employees, and the direction the organization is going in relation to corporate culture within airport environment.

Formal Prevalent Statements

Delta's vision is to be the world's greatest airline. Along with this vision Delta has instituted the following ethical principles:

* Act with integrity - pursue no business opportunity that would violate the law or

Delta's standards of conduct. This begins with the foremost commitment to safety

and extends to all other legal and ethical responsibilities, as well.

* Earn the trust of our stakeholders - Deal honestly and in good faith with customers, suppliers, employees, shareowners and everyone else who may be affected by the company actions.

* Respect and support each other - Respect the dignity of fellow employees, recognizing that strength is gained from diversity and inclusiveness.

* Be loyal - Avoid and disclose any activities that might conflict with the responsibilities to Delta and their customers, and protect Delta's assets.

* Act in a way we can be proud of - Only engage in business activities that would be comfortable with if others knew about them.

* Listen - Provide an environment where individuals can question a Delta practice in good faith without suffering any negative consequences.

Delta has always followed a policy of conducting business ethically and in compliance with the letter and spirit of the law. This policy is critical to Delta's domestic as well as its international reputation for excellence and integrity (Delta Air Lines, Inc., 2005).

Workspace and Work Environment

The corporate culture is being heavily impacted with the new technology Delta is using. This can be seen with the reduction in customer service agents and the increase of kiosks, Delta direct phones (customers use phones that directly dial a representative for assistance), and virtual check-in capabilities (customers can check-in at home on the web). However, Delta is very much aware of the need for personal service. Although customer service agents have been reduced, Delta still provides specialized services at the airport for check-in. The self-service resources also allow the employees to focus on customers needing additional assistance. In addition, the new technology allows the customer more options for a seamless travel experience. The ever-changing technology is not only providing options for customers, it is also enhancing service in the areas of baggage and cargo while saving the company money. Delta will soon use disposable radio tags to track its passengers' luggage at domestic airports. This will greatly reduce the number of bags that fail to get on the right flight as well as allow agents to tell passengers where their luggage went and when it will be delivered (Industrial Engineer, 2004, p. 22)

Delta ensures that their employees have adequate space to recharge and relax when needed. A break room is provided for all employees. In the break rooms there are televisions, snack and coke machines, and appliances. The company also provides an area for personnel to store their belongings. Delta ensures plenty workspace is provided for employees to complete all transactions and to properly close out their cash drawers. Along with the new technology, employees have a better streamlined process to provide better customer service.

It is evident that Delta is redesigning the workplace to align with a new culture. With the new self service avenues, it is clear that the traveling public has changed and is creating a new culture. Delta is very much aware of this new revolution and is taking drastic steps to ensure it quickly embraces the fast-changing traditions. The organization is also incorporating its employees through the new culture change with its leadership and technology.

Prevalent Slogans and Languages

Delta has established many programs to sustain the type of corporate culture it feels is necessary. Service excellence is very prevalent within the Delta workforce. Employees are coached consistently on the need to deliver service excellence. Manager and team leaders have been given training and the tools needed to ensure frontline employees understand and fully embrace service excellence. Corporately, the company believes this mindset and culture will win back the customer and strengthen the Delta "family".

The strongest language within the organization is the slogan "Better, Faster, Friendlier". According to Rich Cordell, Senior Vice-President of Airport Customer Service, the goal for Delta is to get passengers through the airport experience better, faster, and friendlier than any other airline (Delta Air Lines, Inc., 2003). The newest slogan is "Good Goes Around". This slogan is in conjunction with the launch of SimpliFares, marking the debut of Delta's new brand campaign. Delta is taking the opportunity with this new ad to communicate its transformation

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