2023-05-25 18:27 Last Update: 18:50
The flight attendant of Cathay Pacific mocked the mainlanders for not knowing English, and said that they “can’t understand the language (Cantonese)”, which detonated a huge bomb. In the worst case, it will be “solicited for speculation” and lose the entire mainland market. I asked a former corporate public relations officer, how should Cathay Pacific “defuse the bomb”? He said that the most important thing at the moment is to prevent further explosions. If this is the case, it will be useless for the management to go to Beijing to kneel down again. But in this incident, the labor union and the company not only did not stand on the same front, but even made it clear that if the management fails to control internal troubles, the crisis will be difficult to eliminate.
The corporate public relations expert pointed out that the Cathay Pacific labor union did not stand on the same front as the company to deal with the crisis, but diverted attention, asking the company to protect its employees, which would only cause a bigger blow to the company.
This friend has served several large companies and has handled many public relations crises. He is a well-known expert in the industry. He said that Cathay Pacific issued three statements on the same day, the first one was obviously “licensed”, it seemed that it underestimated the ripple effect of online information, and did not realize that the incident might ignite strong sentiments against Cathay Pacific in the mainland. Afterwards, the management obviously knew the seriousness of the situation, and immediately fired a heavy hand. The employees involved were quickly fired, because the fire burned them to the ground, and this matter had to be done.
He said that crisis management is not about dealing with the immediate turmoil. The most important thing is to prevent similar incidents from happening in the future. The company must use this case, together with past misconduct incidents, as an example of employee training, and step up efforts to change the mentality of employees, which is more important than teaching them skills.
However, after reading the statement issued by the Cathay Pacific trade union on the incident, he felt that it was extremely difficult for the company to improve the mentality of its employees. He said that the union simply ignored the crisis faced by the company, and instead shifted its focus, asking the company to protect its employees from being secretly recorded by passengers, but did not say a word about the inappropriate behavior of the employees involved.
He pointed out that the company is at a critical juncture, and the labor union still only cares about protecting employees, which not only does nothing to resolve the crisis, but also adds fuel to the fire, attracting greater attacks on the company from the outside world. It can be seen that the trade unions are not on the same side as the company at all. If this situation does not change, it will be difficult for the company to prevent future crises.
He gave a metaphor that Xu Zhian was photographed having an affair in a taxi, and the footage was released in the media, which caused him to fall into an image crisis. If he only condemned the taxi driver for the sneaky filming, but he did not “admit his failure”, the public would certainly not. I will let it go, and the pressure will be even greater. This time the Cathay Pacific trade union is doing just that.
I asked another friend who was the “first brother” of a large company. His immediate reaction to the Cathay Pacific trade union statement was “Is there a mistake?” , it can be seen that in their hearts, those behaviors are not inappropriate. If Cathay Pacific employees maintain this mentality, it will be useless for the company to strengthen training.
I asked him, are unions uncontrollable? He said that as long as the company has the will and courage, it can be controlled. I remember that more than 20 years ago, Cathay Pacific pilots launched a strike. The management responded with iron fist and fired more than 50 pilots. Nowadays, the attitude of management should be the same when dealing with labor unions that disregard the overall interests of the company.
After listening to the opinions of the above two friends, I fully agree that the problem stems from the “mentality” of some employees, and the mentality has not changed over the years. Resistance is a trade union with a very strong ideology.
Lin Shaobo, CEO of Cathay Pacific, is facing internal and external difficulties. If the “internal troubles” are not eliminated, it will be difficult to resolve the crisis.
How to remove resistance is exactly the question that the management must ponder when dealing with this crisis.