When you have a staff of 2,600 made up of 40 nationalities working to serve every nationality under the sun, the importance of recognising and respecting cultural differences could not be higher.
This is an average day for London Gatwick’s staff. The challenges faced by them are many and unpredictable, but the airport is going all out to ensure its team is well equipped to cope.
Since leaving the BAA stable in 2009 after its purchase by Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP), London Gatwick has upped the ante on staff training and HR issues as it competes head-to-head with London Heathrow to become ‘London’s airport of choice’.
GIP’s results-driven approach has seen London Gatwick develop a stronger corporate culture and adopt a new, more customer-focused philosophy.
Leading the change in terms of staff approach is Tina Oakley, appointed as HR director of London Gatwick in September 2010. She joined the airport from P&O Ferries where she was HR director, but is no stranger to the unique nuances of the aviation sector, having clocked up 26 years working for British Airways in a variety of operational, customer service, commercial and HR roles.
I caught up with her to find out more.