Adelaide Airport Limited


The People and Culture Department at AAL is responsible for the development and implementation of innovative people management strategies that maximise individual and team performances. They have a strong focus on people management, training and development as well as work health and safety.

AAL's focus on training is considerable and in 2013 the company reported that they had 546 Training Events and 78 different Training Courses with a combined total of 3024 training hours across the company.

AAL's focus on creating competent business people is achieved by actively undertaking three key training initiatives - their Cross Training Initiatives, their Leadership Program, as well as maintaining an Innovative Development team.

Cross Training Initiative AAL is an 'employer of choice' and due to low staff turnover the ability of staff to be promoted into higher positions is limited. Selected key staff members are given the opportunity to train in tangent job functions across the business, which in addition to giving employees further opportunity to be promoted in the business, also increases trainees understanding of the whole business.

To date 18 staff have engaged in the initiative with 11 having moved into the role after training. This is a significant positive outcome for AAL but the result is one that is not easily quantifiable.

AAL's Leadership Program

AAL select their key employees considered potential future leaders of the company to undertake their Leadership Program. Once selected, the trainees fill in AAL's '180 degree' questionnaire/assessment, answering questions on their skill levels, their ability to drive strategy and their ability to contribute to AAL's mission and goals. They then review this with their manager who provides feedback to the employee.

A review is then undertaken to plan future individual training. This is not a short term process, and can last several years with training options ranging from short courses to degrees. In 5 years of implementation the program has resulted in 3 Diplomas of Management, 6 Certificate IVs in Frontline Management, and 3 Certificate IVs in Training and Assessment. One of the key benefits claimed by AAL is that the program "drives a culture of great leadership".

While it is difficult to measure the benefits in terms of ROI, AAL reports that they have noticed an increase in motivation and productivity. Out of the Leadership Program trainees have developed an "Innovative Development Team", with the trainees meeting monthly to discuss business strategies and now more actively contribute to strategy development and the future direction of the business. This increased participation and contribution from middle management is not easily quantifiable but anecdotal evidence suggests that AAL enjoys considerable returns on investment through their programs.

Whilst no information is available to relate ANZDL's Managerial Training ROI of 323% to AAL's experience, it is safe to assume training has been key to AAL managing to keep staff turnover at a low 10%, in reducing absenteeism to 2.1% and building engagement levels to 65% ("employer of choice levels").