How Vueling is achieving remarkable business transformation by tapping into employee ideas
After the global pandemic permanently changed the travel industry, Vueling faced two choices: transform or fall behind.
Not ready to step aside, Vueling needed a new way to gather ideas, identify inefficiencies, and sharpen its competitive edge. It was time to evolve, and Vueling’s leadership team knew just who to ask: its people! Vueling turned to employees from across the workforce, to identify blind spots and spark effective innovation, from the bottom-up.
For Vueling, the goal was clear: tap into employees’ wealth of knowledge, expertise, and creativity to improve efficiency, maximize resources, and make transformative decisions.
Maria Jesus Ymbernon Salva, Head of Vendor Management & Make it Better Shaker Vueling
We have a lot of ideas as a business. But delivering ideas to impact the whole company has been difficult. We are a company of over 4,000 people and making everyone feel part of the project can be a challenge.
Across Vueling, many leaders had devised clever ways to increase the efficiency of their roles or departments. To tap into these insights on a company-wide scale, Vueling launched a new initiative with a straightforward purpose: find ideas to improve the business.
Driven by the transformation team and supported by a cross-company working group of experts, Vueling got straight to brainstorming an ideas program that could pull efficient insights from every area of the business and give every contributor an empowered voice.
The result? The #MakeItBetter ideas program—a whole new way to tackle problems, find ideas and streamline processes.
Veronica Hull, Head of Transformation Vueling
We knew we had a number of curious people who had the energy and desire to drive change. We just needed to make a place for them to do it, where they could #MakeItBetter.
Vueling’s size and fast-paced timeline meant building a custom solution in-house wasn’t an option. So, when the team needed a user-friendly, fully managed idea management platform that could integrate seamlessly with their collaboration tool (MS Teams) and following in the footsteps of other members of the IAG group, they turned to Sideways 6.
Not only was Sideways 6’s Teams-native app easy to tailor to their needs, the solution was also scalable and able to develop as the ideas program grew. By partnering with a trusted platform provider, Vueling could focus their energy on continuing to provide great value travel services and let Sideways 6 handle the rest.
Through the new program natively integrated into Teams, and supportive partnership with Sideways 6, Vueling successfully made it simple for every employee to #MakeItBetter.
Veronica Hull, Head of Transformation Vueling
Sideways 6 allowed us to grow at our own pace. We didn't need a huge team up front to launch the program and were able to scale up when we were ready to.
The team conducted workshops with leaders at all levels, highlighting the program's value, generating enthusiastic support and creating a buzz.
Then, the airline launched its first #MakeItBetter challenge, amplified by its booster community and centered around a simple question: How might we use technology and digitalization to reduce waste and increase efficiency?
Vueling promoted #MakeItBetter through the Teams integration (meeting employees where they operate every day) along with other internal communications methods, such as emails, team briefings, posters, and a landing page on their intranet where participants could watch ideas and feedback flow through in real time.
In just 12-weeks, Vueling gathered 107 ideas and implemented 8 quick-wins, immediately demonstrating the value of the program.
Jasone Echanojauregui Garriga, Aircraft Systems Supervisor and Make it Better Booster Vueling
In this business, there’s a lot of competition. #MakeItBetter puts the company one step forward and ahead.
The first #MakeItBetter 12-week challenge was designed to promote the ideas program, source efficiency-boosting ideas, and create a culture of bottom up innovation.
It was a resounding success. This challenge alone generated over 1,700 engagements, and the ideas identified achieved 20% of the company’s cost savings target. Plus, it engaged over 50% of Vueling’s workforce and led to a 14% idea implementation rate (exceeding the company's goals of at least 50% engagement and 10% implementation).
So, what’s next for Vueling and the #MakeItBetter initiative? Even more challenges, more opportunities for employees to contribute, engage at least 50% of its workforce in the program, and see even more employee-generated ideas brought to life.
Heather Figallo, Chief Transformation Officer Vueling
Every single person at Vueling should see this program. We want people to fall in love with Vueling and the best way to engage people is to let them know that they are part of the future. If they know they are a part of the future, they will want to make it brilliant.
How Vueling is achieving remarkable business transformation by tapping into employee ideas.