Turning a company around requires change! The previous paradigms have been paralyzed by a myriad of conditions that can include environment, competition, technology, personnel, training, and most importantly, the corporate culture. These all need to be audited and addressed as necessary.
The most important factor involved in a company turnaround is priorities. In the highly regulated aviation industry, compliance with Federal Aviation Regulations (FARs) is paramount. Everything else stems from compliance, which includes the recognition of, and training in the applicable regulations. This is the foundation for any aviation-oriented enterprise. Without the clear understanding of the regulatory foundation, there can be no stability.
Federal Aviation Regulations
Every person in the organization must have a working knowledge of FARs. This knowledge establishes the parameters within which the organization operates. There is a hierarchical pyramid of responsibility and authority that must be maintained to ensure stability, consistency, and predictability in the system.
Repair Station Manual (RSM)
The RSM must be written so that each person required to follow procedures can use it. Procedures within the manual must apply to each function performed in the repair station so that personnel performing the functions can be held accountable. (If you don’t train people and provide them with complete procedures, you can’t ethically hold them accountable!) Foremost, the RSM must be user-friendly and not contain anything not required to be in it!
Each person, especially senior management, must be trained to understand the RSM and FARs. Only in this way will management recognize the restraints and limitations imposed upon the personnel required to perform the work. Management can’t ask personnel to perform outside the RSM because it reduces management credibility, reduces morale, and makes the RSM impotent. It is a prescription for failure!
A company requiring turnaround must recognize and admit that there is a culture problem. Employee morale is obviously low, respect between classes of personnel is low, personnel have no ambition to excel, and most are at a point where they are merely collecting a paycheck, dusting off their resume, and just waiting for the ship to sink hoping they can get off before they drown with it! For a company to turn around, the culture must be changed.
There is no other way.
The magic in dealing with personnel is to always try to catch them doing things right, and then reward them for it as positive reinforcement (Psychology 101). Before long, employees want to do the right thing. When you do the right thing people are proud of their work, they are recognized for it, they are more productive, and profits go up!
Here comes the “80-20 Rule”! Management (the 20 percent) generates 80 percent of all problems in any company! It is a historical and statistical fact. Further, management makes rules that really are only directed at less than 5 percent of the employees, those who are screwing up all the time! This is an easy problem to remedy! Management knows who the screw-ups are . . . get rid of them! Further, the personnel also know who they are and will very much appreciate seeing management take the reins and do what’s necessary. It adds credibility to management, always important, but especially so in a turnaround situation. Employees must see “sacred cows” dealt with in a manner that reinforces that there are no “protected classes.”
All is not well in the corporate world. Contrary to some opinions, people do not just job-hop for the fun of it or because they are irresponsible. Stress is up and morale is down.
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