Interview: Air Astana’s VP of HR on mobility & simplicity approach to HR strategies

Phu Nguyen Event, Event News Leave a Comment

“Our strategy is not in “mobility”, it’s in “simplicity.” We are here to solve the problems of our employees.”

– Yevgeniya Ni, Vice President of HR, Air Astana –

Following the successful Aviation Festival Asia 2018, we’re launching an eBook featuring some of the industry’s most forward-thinking digital innovators to talk about their digital innovation journey and where they think we are headed. Download our ebook here for full interviews. Below is an excerpt of our chat with Yevgeniya. 

–o0o–

Tell us more about yourself.

Yevgeniya: I have worked for Air Astana for over 15 years, that’s pretty much my entire career. I’ve been Head of HR for 12.5 years and the company is currently only 16 years old. I was growing with the company. I started as a HR Manager when the company was still small and growing very fast. Now Air Astana is a mid-sized company with 5,000 employees. I’m in-charge of all aspects of human resources, from recruitment to retaining to training and development.

What are some of the significant changes in your role over the last few years?

Yevgeniya: The core purpose of HR will always be about recruitment, retaining, and managing the attrition rate such that we stay productive as an organisation. What has changed is how we attract and retain people. Before, we would organise big open house days and people will come. Nowadays, with technology developing, people’s expectations are no longer the same. We have to provide a smoother and easier job application experience, which is why we are currently working on developing our career website to help improve the user experience of our applicants.

The purpose remains but the tools of engagement and of creating a great employee experience are varied and constantly evolving. In Air Astana, we are working towards engaging a mobile workforce that’s always on the move. We want to connect everyone together, in a way that’s easy, in a way that they will want to be involved. 1.5 years ago, we made the decision to go fully mobile, pulling information from existing systems and software to make it easy for employees to access any information on one single platform. Everything from checking your roster, tracking the shuttle bus arrival, leave balance, utilising staff benefits… all are accessible on this mobile app.

So is “mobility” your current HR strategy?

Yevgeniya: Not mobility. We want to make lives easier, we want to simplify processes, while at the same time, thinking about our employees’ experience at various touch-points. This industry does not provide the easiest jobs, we have to aim to make the lives of our employees as easy as possible so that they remain productive and functional at work. So, our strategy is not in “mobility”, it’s in “simplicity.” We are here to solve the problems of our employees, to be at their service. There is this saying, take care of your employees and they will take care of your customers. We create easy and fun experiences for our employees, and they can then create the same enjoyable experiences for our customers.

Besides the mobile app, what other initiatives have been pushed out to simplify processes for your employees?

Yevgeniya: Last year, we launched electronic signatures for our employees as part of our move to digitalise many of our processes, and to go legally paperless. A lot of work from all departments was invested for this move but having gone ahead with electronic signatures for a year, it has saved us a lot of time, resources and storage space. The next step would be…


Join us at Aviation Festival Asia 2019
Now entering its 15th year, Aviation Festival Asia 2019 (27 – 28 February, Singapore) is Asia’s largest airline leadership conference, gathering leaders from FSCs, LCCs and airports with a size of 150+ speakers, 1000+ delegates and total 2,000+ attendees. Want to join us? For sponsorship & exhibition enquiries, contact adam.ball@terrapinn.com or to explore speaking opportunities at the event, contact paul.clark@terrapinn.com.

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