DALLAS, May 20, 2014 – When the founder of KING AEROSPACE Inc. felt he needed to learn what was in the hearts and minds of his employees on a global army support program – including those in Columbia and Afghanistan – he put aside any thoughts of using Skype or other convenient technologies to do so. Instead, against the advice of others who feared for his safety, he trusted his traditional instincts and embarked on a companywide tour to personally meet with every employee.
“The only way to truly understand and connect with your people is to meet with them face to face, shake hands and have meaningful conversations, including visits regardless where they might be,” said Jerry Allan King-Echevarria, chairman and founder of KING AEROSPACE Inc., an independently owned global aerospace enterprise and defense contractor founded in 1992. “Our company is founded on a strong, traditional values and principles of servant leadership that directs how we treat our customers and each other. When I learned some of our employees had concerns and that unions were threatening some of our shops, I knew that talking to each one individually was the only meaningful course of action. I was heartfelt that I had let them down.”
Talking with all of the company’s employees, particularly in some of the world’s most dangerous countries, was no small feat. After visiting with employees in San Antonio and El Paso, King-Echevarria visited Colombia, South Korea and Afghanistan.
While in Columbia, a country notorious for hostage taking of executives, King-Echevarria was escorted by armed protection. But his visit to Afghanistan was equally dangerous as he traveled via commercial airline, which required disembarking at the airport’s commercial gates outside of the secured military area where, only a week earlier, a NATO soldier was killed. After arrival, King-Echevarria waited several hours alone and nervous.
“I was flabbergasted that Mr. King had flown all the way over here to talk to us,” said Wes Taylor, a site lead in Kandahar. “Once we finally connected, I said, ‘Mr. King, you’re scaring the [expletive] out of us, but we’re glad you’re here!”
After visiting with each employee individually and privately at every company location across the globe, King-Echevarria returned and immediately studied the feedback. Then, he directed the company’s leadership team to address and follow up on all concerns in a timely manner.
“What I found was that what was in my heart was the same in the hearts of our employees – and there was a disconnect between us that is being addressed. After all of the meetings, I believe each individual felt my sincerity and passion for our employee family, our customers and our company,” said KingEchevarria. “Meeting with our team members in person was by far better than any alternative communication, and it was very enjoyable. Ultimately, we learned we needed to improve our internal communications, and we’re highly focused on that now. As for the union threat, not a single employee felt that was necessary. And, we confirmed something very important that we have long believed; our traditional values, which center on mutual respect, pro-action, and a ‘no-excuses’ level of quality are something we all truly believe in and see as the key to our success.”
ABOUT KING AEROSPACE Inc.
KING AEROSPACE INC. (KAI) is a leading AS9110 certified provider of aircraft services based in Dallas, TX. Locations include: El Paso, TX; Ardmore, OK; Cherry Point, NC; Whidbey Island, WA; and Camp Humphreys, Korea; and deployments to San Antonio, TX, Columbia and Afghanistan. KAI specializes in providing aircraft maintenance, logistics and modification services to government and military customers. Serving as a defense contractor to several of the United States Military branches and various government agencies has equipped KAI to provide our country’s military and government agencies with the most responsive and committed aviation support services available. It is the pride, loyalty, commitment to the mission and the company’s Cornerstone Principles that inspire and motivate their personnel to excel alongside their military comrades. KING AEROSPACE INC. is committed to remaining a privately owned company whose focus is on employee and customer satisfaction. For more information, visit the company’s website, www.kingaerospaceinc.com, or call 972-248-4886.Download PDF