The aerospace and defence industries like tradition. Many companies have had similar office setups and organisational hierarchies for decades, resisting wave after wave of HR and broader workforce trends.
There are good reasons for this; scheduling and security concerns make sweeping change difficult. Yet when the pandemic hit, organisations across the sector quickly adjusted to radical reshuffling, introducing remote offices, downsizing and adapting project schedules.
Although not easy or straightforward, it was proven possible – now leaders are saying we should take that as a sign that it’s also possible to make these changes permanent.
Make that possible and promising. Remote work, for example, is already proving its worth; reducing costs; allowing teams to connect nationally and utilise the top experts for every project. It’s also making things easier for those who have to balance work with responsibilities at home, making the talent pool wider, more diverse, and fostering creativity by improving work-life balance.
While the potential pitfalls are clear (security teams have had and will have their work cut out for them, for instance) the industry should see this situation as an opportunity. Leaders who see the value in the changes should be building their cases now to keep them in place for the future. Gather feedback from your team to determine what’s working and what’s not. Implement training and check up regularly to help everyone get used to the new normal. Identify the specific challenges (have the changes slowed collaboration? Frustrated team access to secure systems? Separated design and manufacture?) and address them with the same mindset you used to address the switch to WFH: speed above all.
With these lessons, aerospace and defence organisations can hope to meet the current challenges and set themselves up for smoother sailing in the future.