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Organisational culture differentiates the characteristics and value systems of particular organisations. In the fast-paced aviation industry, where safety is a top priority, the significance of nurturing a strong company culture cannot be underestimated as well. A positive culture within an aviation company can have a profound impact on engagement, retention, and the ability to overcome workforce challenges. In this article Jainita Hogervorst, Director of Aerviva Aviation Consultancy, company based in Dubai specializing in aviation recruitment and document management shares what critical elements make up an aviation organisational culture, the advantages it offers, and the role of leadership in shaping and reinforcing it.

Company’s culture engages and motivates to perform

Aviation professionals work in highly regulated environments that demand precise attention to detail, clear communication, and teamwork. A positive company culture provides a conducive environment for people to excel by fostering commitment to safety, reducing stress, and encouraging continuous improvement, all of which are vital for success in the precision-driven industry. According to Hogervorst, there are two main aspects that a company’s culture helps to foster: engagement and retention. “A positive aviation company culture fosters a sense of belonging and purpose among team members. When individuals feel valued and connected to their workplace, they are more likely to be engaged and motivated to perform at their best. This heightened engagement translates into improved job performance and commitment to the organization’s goals,” says the Director of Aerviva Aviation Consultancy.

She adds that it helps to overcome workforce challenges as well. It is especially important right now when the aviation sector often experiences workforce shortages and demographic shifts. “The aviation industry faces a continuous challenge of finding and retaining skilled professionals. A strong culture that promotes job satisfaction, growth opportunities, and work-life balance can significantly reduce turnover rates. People are more likely to stay with an organization that values their contributions and well-being.”

According to Gallup’s State of the American Workplace report, engaged workers are more likely to stay with their employers. In high-turnover organizations, highly engaged business units achieve 24% less turnover, while in low-turnover organizations, this number is 59%. Research shows that happy team members who work in a positive environment are 12% more productive, and highly engaged workplaces see a 10% increase in customer ratings with a 20% increase in sales.

Key to success – teamwork and continuous learning

Organizational culture encompasses several critical elements that collectively shape the organization’s identity and guide its actions: teamwork and continuous improvement, professional development possibilities. These elements, when integrated into the fabric of an aviation company’s daily life, create a unique identity that resonates with workers. “First of all, the aviation industry’s success is based on the seamless collaboration of various teams and departments. A culture that promotes teamwork is essential for ensuring that all operations function smoothly. It encourages effective communication, enabling teams to share vital information, troubleshoot challenges, and coordinate their efforts. This synergy among teams improves operational efficiency and guarantees more reliable aviation service,” says Hogervorst.

Furthermore, as airlines and aviation companies operate in a dynamic and ever-evolving environment, the company should prioritize continuous improvement and encourage workers to seek better ways of doing things. It involves providing opportunities for training, skill enhancement, and career advancement. “People must be encouraged to pursue ongoing education and certifications, ensuring that they stay current with industry trends and best practices. A commitment to professional development not only enhances the skills of aviation professionals but also fosters their loyalty and dedication to the organization, resulting in a workforce that is well-prepared to tackle the challenges of the industry,” Hogervorst shares her opinion.

Company’s culture – difficult to maintain, but rewarding

According to the Director of Aerviva Aviation Consultancy, leadership holds a central position in shaping and reinforcing the culture within a company. “Leaders must lead by example, consistently demonstrating the values, behaviors, and attitudes that align with the desired culture. They should communicate the company’s vision and expectations clearly and hold themselves accountable for maintaining a positive workplace environment.”

Report by Gallup’s State of the American Workplace shows that 90% of workers within a winning company culture are confident in their company’s leadership team. Although fewer than one in three executives (28%) report they understand their organization’s culture.

“Recognize and reward people for their contributions and achievements. Incentives can boost morale and motivate people to excel. Also, establish open lines of communication where workers feel heard and valued. Encourage feedback and actively address concerns. If, as a leader, you are ready to do it, a positive, strong company culture will be established successfully,” says Hogervorst.