Pauline Prow, chief people officer, Monarch Airlines
Sian Harrington, September 13, 2016
Pauline Prow joined Monarch in June 2009 as HR director of Monarch Airlines and Monarch Aircraft Engineering. She was promoted to group HR director in March 2010, taking on additional responsibility for the Holidays division. One of her first tasks was to create a group function across the three parts of the business, establishing a shared services team, a learning and development function and an HR team focused on developing organisational effectiveness through capability and skills development.
Prow has guided the business through numerous restructuring initiatives, including the closure of the defined benefit pension scheme in 2010, culminating in the significant restructuring of the group in 2014 in preparation for the sale of the business to GreyBull Capital in October 2014. The size of the task was huge. Prow was required to completely re-negotiate terms and conditions across the whole group and take 700 roles out of the business.
During this time, Prow also took responsibility for the communications function, which needed to be very carefully managed internally to ensure employees were kept informed throughout the process, as well as ensuring external media was kept aligned to the efforts. Following the sale to Greybull, Prow was appointed to the group executive committee as chief people officer, with responsibility for HR and retaining the responsibility for the communications function. In February 2016, the legal function within the group was included in Prow's remit.
Since the sale and restructure, Prow has led the process to develop a cohesive vision and purpose for Monarch and has worked with all employees to re-establish core values and the way the business wants to work together. Engagement following the transaction in 2014 was low, at 67%. The latest Employee Engagement Survey, in 2017, has revealed an increase in engagement to 88% - despite continued turbulent times for the company in a hugely challenging and competitive marketplace.
Prow is also chair of The Monarch Foundation, established in 2013. It brings together the incredible generosity of Monarch’s customers and employees to make a strong and positive commitment to a range of charity partners including Macmillan Cancer Support, Great Ormond Hospital Children’s Charity, Just a Drop and Blind Veterans UK. In addition, the Monarch Foundation partners Pennies, the digital charity box and supports the National Autistic Society. The Foundation is on course to raise over £500,000 for its charity partners in 2017 and was a national finalist at this year’s Third Sector Business Charity Awards.
Since 2014, Pauline has been chair of the Aviation Industry Skills Board (AISB), in partnership with People 1st. People 1st’s aviation accreditation recognises colleges and providers that deliver excellent full-time or classroom-based hospitality training and qualifications. The AISB is made up of representatives from airlines, UK airports and aviation operations companies. In the role, Prow has brought key players in the sector together to drive careers in the aviation industry through trailblazers and more recently, approval to develop standards to both Cabin Crew and Pilot apprenticeship programmes.
Prior to joining Monarch, Prow spent 30 years in the automotive sector with General Motors (GM) where she held a range of senior HR management positions within the warehousing, manufacturing and corporate divisions, both in the UK and Europe.