Get the good news out there

  • Published
  • By Richard L. Snelling
  • 97th Maintenance Directorate aircraft division chief
How many of you have worked in an area where there was never good news? We in maintenance have that feeling a lot. It seems that no matter how good the news is, it gets watered down. We lose the positive message of what we do every day and it's nobody's fault but our own. I believe that our "culture" is to be critical, not only of ourselves but also of those around us, in all we do, so that we will strive to be the best. The following are some examples of how we can do a better job communicating at every level. These may seem like simple thoughts, but sometimes even I need to stop what I'm doing and get back to the basics.

1) Get out from behind your desk and spend more time with the work force. We seem to get bogged down with the everyday functions, to include e-mails, meetings, and putting out the proverbial fires. In this particular case, I'm guilty. I don't spend the time on the flight line and shops that support the flight line nearly enough. When I'm able to take the time, it's always positive and time well spent.

2) Take the time to address each question from each and every employee, whether received by e-mail, at roll call, or commander calls. Always make it personal. If anyone is willing to ask the question, it's important to them and that makes it important to you. It is important that each employee knows that you value their input. I can tell you from my own personal experience I feel more connected, like a true team member, when someone in my chain takes the time to ask for my input and explains an answer to a question I have.

3) Always be positive. We have a chance to excel every day. It's hard to expect our employees and co-workers to come to work with a good attitude when all they see from you is negativity. There is no good news unless we put it out there. We need to instill in our work force why they are important, what they do is important, and how we do it is also important. We have a professional work force exceeding the standards every day in the 97th MXD. Share the good news.

In striving to always push forward, we sometimes leave our work centers with little or no positive feedback on how well we exceed the mission. In the 97th Maintenance Directorate, we exceed it on every shift, in every section, every day.