A Barry-Wehmiller Company

Case Study: American Airlines

Ensure all 130,000 team members feel cared for

  • $44.5B in Revenue
  • 130,000 Team Members
  • 500,000 Customers Served Daily

The Opportunity

  • Ensure all 130,000 team members feel cared for
  • Align senior leadership team behind newly established Leadership Attributes
  • Redefine American’s purpose beyond being the World’s Largest Airline

Our Approach

Three years after American Airlines merged with US Airways, the airline had completed the integration of most customer-facing services. Turning their attention to internal systems and culture, the first step was drafting Leadership Attributes that would form the foundation for a fully merged One American. It was then that American Airlines engaged with Chapman & Co. to redefine the airline’s purpose and build a leadership curriculum for all leaders, and also:

  • Engaged organization to define purpose and values
  • Embedded employee focus groups as a key component of assessing current culture
  • Consulted with the senior leadership team on reaction to engagement survey results, listening skills, and development of action plans
  • Custom-designed leadership curriculum, inclusive of 360 assessments, shared in-person experience, and executive coaching of 2,500 leaders
  • Built and designed team-specific solutions throughout the business
  • Re-designed and facilitated an annual leadership conference for 6,000 people leaders

The Result

  • Senior leadership commitment to developing each positional leader, including company officers
  • Holistic integration of Leadership Attributes into custom-built curriculum
  • Increased survey scores in the following categories in 2017 vs. 2018:
    • My manager would support me if I made a mistake
    • My manager thanks or recognizes me when I do good work
    • My manager is open to hearing my thoughts or ideas

American Airlines
It's not something that's purely rooted in theory but theory translated into a practical modality that is understandable and relatable by everybody. The immediate effects of increased leadership engagement, increased understanding and increased commitment to a purpose is driven directly by our work with Chapman & Co.
Thomas Rajan
Managing Director, Talent Strategy and People Development