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President’s Perspective

Meeting Business Aviation’s Workforce Challenges

The pandemic has only offered a respite from business aviation’s workforce challenges, so managers need to prepare for the future, being mindful not only of current market conditions, but long-term employment trends.

Despite the tendency of most workers to stay put during the pandemic, the turnover rate of employees is expected to return to high levels as COVID-19 fades. The reasons for workers switching jobs varies, but they’re rarely based on salary alone. As managers who have spent thousands of dollars to train newly hired pilots know well, it’s cheaper to retain talented, experienced workers than finding and hiring new ones.

One of the lessons learned from the pandemic is that many people who previously went to an office can work remotely, at least part of the time. Also, the number of contract and part-time employees is expected to increase going forward.

Meanwhile, the management ranks are undergoing a dramatic transition. As legions of Baby Boomers retire, they are handing the reins over to Generation X and Millennials. Many Millennials, who now constitute about 40% of the workforce, value company culture more than direct compensation. And many of the youngest workers (Generation Z) are tech savvy and entrepreneurial and want more flexibility and autonomy than often has been available in traditional workplaces.

Perhaps the most pervasive change is in workforce demographics. The employment pool is becoming increasingly diverse, which is good news, because studies have shown that organizations with more diverse workforces are usually more successful.

NBAA has been out front in adapting to the changing workforce, and we are providing members with the support necessary to help you develop a diverse, innovative, forward-thinking team. The association offers several resources to help meet current and future workforce challenges:

NBAA’s Mentoring Network matches qualified industry veterans with rising stars in business aviation to foster a collaborative environment for professional growth.

The NBAA Internship and Career Guide provides guidance on how companies, collegiate aviation programs and other entities can work together to build programs that support the next generation of business aviation leaders.

NBAA’s Young Professionals in Business Aviation (YoPro) group is dedicated to building relationships among emerging industry leaders through networking opportunities.

NextTech for Nextgen is designed to help ensure that maintenance technicians are prepared to service aircraft with new-technology systems.

As we emerge from the COVID-19 crisis, competition for qualified aviation professionals will escalate, so it will be vital for managers to determine how best to optimize the skills of existing employees, welcome new team members and create ways for all of them to make contributions that fulfill them, which, in turn, will strengthen organizations, making them more efficient and productive.

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