Earning Your Wings

October 17, 2014

I would like to share with you something that we do that I believe makes us different from many companies.

Like most companies, we have a 90-day probationary period for all new employees. What makes ours different is the way we review and measure their performance. One must demonstrate their commitment to the KING AEROSPACE Cornerstone Principles and technical or job performance to earn the right to wear the gold KING AEROSPACE wings. Earning your wings means that you are ready to fully represent KING AEROSPACE as an employee. Three peers meet with the probationary employee to determine if they have earned their KING AEROSPACE gold wings.

KING AEROSPACE Cornerstone Principles

  • Mutual Respect
  • Honesty and Trust
  • Non-Political Environment
  • Team Oriented
  • Demonstrated Performance
  • Proactive/Problem-Solving Attitudes
  • Quality in Everything (No Excuses)
  • Earn a Fair Profit

At the performance review, the committee, who already has their gold KING AEROSPACE wings, will share with the probationary candidate their observations. They cite examples of when the candidate either fully lived up to each of the Cornerstone Principles or when they fell short. They give specific examples that they have observed or experienced for each principle. Anyone on the review team can approve or reject the probationary employee moving out of probation. They can also require that the probationary employee be given more time to demonstrate their commitment to the stated principles or terminate the candidate’s employment. The reviews are formal, serious, and meaningful to all who participate.

Once the candidate has been approved by their peers, a Wings Ceremony is scheduled. At the Wings Ceremony, the candidates recite a pledge of their commitment to the values, principles, and dedication to customer satisfaction of KING AEROSPACE. This is done in front of the entire team, often with customers present. After signing a pledge card, the most senior KING AEROSPACE person there presents the candidate with their first uniform shirt embroidered with the gold wings. Their peers applaud as a handshake seals their commitment and they accept their wings. More than one person has actually shed tears at the Wings Ceremony.

The wings serve as a constant reminder to uphold the Cornerstone Principles. The KA team is regularly reminded that “we must not let anyone tarnish our Gold Wings.” That means that everyone must do their part to keep their pledge from their Wings Ceremony.

Earning your wings is just one way that differentiates KING AEROSPACE from other companies. It helps us to foster a true team and family environment. It is part of our relentless focus on serving others and making a positive difference.