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At American, we see our global competitiveness as a function of our agility, tenacity and ingenuity as an organization. From that perspective, we think of employee development as an opportunity to invest in the kinds of qualities that will lead our company to success.
In an effort to retain top talent and a diverse, dedicated workforce, we provide our employees with a range of benefits, both tangible and intangible. Our offerings begin with competitive, direct compensation and benefits packages, profit-sharing and performance incentives, and a range of retirement options. But that's just the beginning. The true value that we bring to our workforce comes in the way of world-class training and skill development — throughout all of our operations.
Our industry is unique in that employees must be proficient in a broad range of technical and non-technical disciplines. To provide the most comprehensive, hands-on skill development environment, we consolidate much of our training near our headquarters and primary airport hub in Fort Worth, Texas. Here our employees can complete FAA-required classroom instruction at our FlagShip University and Flight Academy training centers, and experience our operations in action at nearby airports and maintenance facilities.
Beyond basic training requirements, we offer employees many opportunities to develop desired skill sets and advance their careers toward strategic objectives. Our Performance Development Process is one such mechanism, providing employees with formal career guidance, and helping to ensure that performance reviews are conducted systematically, using objective criteria. In 2011, the Performance Development Process performance reviews applied to 100 percent of active management and most support staff.
Cultivating effective leadership throughout our company is a top priority at American. We provide skills-development programs to help new and existing managers at many levels of seniority to identify, build and hone their leadership competencies. Some of these programs include:
We have seen an overwhelmingly positive response to our leadership development programs. The majority of participants in training sessions rated their learning experience as either "Very Good," or "Excellent." Additionally, American Airlines has been ranked by Leadership Excellence Magazine as one of the 20 best companies for Leadership Development Programs in large corporations — ranking #18 out of more than 1,000 companies evaluated.
At American, employees are encouraged to take ownership of their job functions and share their expertise to help improve our customer satisfaction and business success. Volunteer-led Joint Leadership Teams (JLTs) take action on a number of local issues that are important to our customers and our employees. Employees from each workgroup at an airport are invited and encouraged to attend JLT meetings and participate in efforts to solve local problems.
Employees are also encouraged to participate in company-sponsored Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) that bring together employees with common interests and affinities. These groups are formed to facilitate expressions of identity and advocacy, and to provide opportunities for professional development, community involvement and business contribution. Close to 5,000 employees are regularly involved in at least one of the 17 employee-led ERGs that exist at American, adding depth and richness to the employee experience at our company.