Beginning with the April issue, Ground Support Worldwide will be announcing the 2017 Leaders of the Year.
We have received many excellent nominations (and, don’t forget, there is still a little time remaining to nominate someone for the Lifetime Achievement Award). The vast number of nominations that we received makes our job to select a winner more challenging. But what is abundantly clear is there are a ton of experienced people devoted to this industry.
While we do our best to recognize the people who deserve praise for their contributions to ground support, it is important that companies are taking steps to prepare the next wave of industry leaders, too.
What better way for ground support industry fledglings to learn than by working with established experts?
Successful companies bridge the gap between age. Veteran managers advise young professionals; and those new to the field seek advice and shape their methods based on the experiences of industry lifers.
Companies should invest in leadership training and develop mentorship opportunities for the next crop of GSE and ground handling decision-makers.
Provide opportunities for young employees to make a difference. Hands-on experience is invaluable. Guide younger workers from a distance. Allow them to experience some trial and error, and coach them through challenges.
And make sure information is shared in both directions. Listen to ideas proposed by the next generation. A different perspective can do wonders for problem solving.
Some companies are moving away from a seniority-based system to promote employees and are instead using a merit-based process in order to encourage young employees to strive for supervisory positions. Is this something your company could find useful? Have you already implemented this type of process?
On the other hand, it is important that established employees do not feel like they are being pushed aside or left out of organizational transition. They are leading authorities for a reason. Communicate clearly, and make sure everyone understands their role in furthering innovation and progress within a company.
In short, the ground support industry will thrive if everyone works together. Much like the people and equipment on the ramp, every role is unique but critical to a positive end result.