Guest blogger – Mike McCann, CEO GKN Aerospace Engine Systems
Preparing for the Future of GKN Aerospace Engine Systems (AES)
As part of my role at GKN, I am frequently in a position to discuss with investors, analysts, customers and our GKN teammates what I find to be exciting about our company, both today and in the future. I often speak of the great products that we make, the complex technologies that we employ and the interesting markets that we service in Aviation, Space & Defense. As many who have spent time with me know, I am somewhat passionate about our business and the impact that we make around the world; whether it is supporting the launching of satellites, enabling commercial aircraft to transport the world’s population or providing solutions to the military services for the protection of our citizens. In the end of these discussions, I always find myself coming back to most important thing that makes us successful – our people.
As we at Engine Systems look to the future, we put a great deal of effort in creating a long term investment strategy that will enable us to sustain and grow our market leadership position by providing:
- future technologies like advanced metallic & composite materials, fabrication and additive manufacturing techniques, high deposition rate composite material delivery, alternative composite structure forming techniques;
- product solutions that are aligned with our customers market strategies and that leverage our unique capabilities;
- modern facilities, globally distributed, to meet the needs of our customers and the challenging competitive environment in which we work;
- partnership investments on key aircraft platforms and engine solutions.
What may not be so apparent is the work that we are doing to identify initiatives and investments focused on making our company a business that will be an exciting place to work for future generations.
Although GKN is entering our 257th year in business, most people around the world are not familiar with us and what we do. Over the last several years, GKN, in particular, our Aerospace Division, has focused on our branding to make our company more visible in the regions and markets where we operate. We have become more active in the press, social media, trade publications, Aerospace business organizations and at many educational institutions. It is important that the current and next generation of future employees know of our company and the exciting things that we do so that we can continue to attract the best people.
In addition to improving our ability to find new talent, we must also have a safe, positive work environment fostering personal and professional growth such that our employees want to continue to stay in our business for their careers. Key initiatives and investments in this area are focused on:
- protecting the safety of our people and driving toward an even more proactive safety awareness culture;
- introducing the Gallup 12 tool and process to improve employee engagement across all of our facilities;
- more effectively leveraging ethnic and gender diversity throughout all levels of the organization and ensuring that we provide a work environment where all of our employees feel valued and included;
- clearly communicating and ensuring understanding of our company values such that we all “do the right thing” in all of our business endeavors;
- sustaining and expanding our apprenticeship, internship and young graduate programs;
- engaging in new ways with our next generation employees such as the “Future Thinking” initiative.
More so than ever, I see a very bright future for Engine Systems and GKN Aerospace. Together we are making it happen, each and every day.