The Red Chair Blog
Santa Surprise - Lessons from West Jet
What is the most viral video on YouTube this week? A Canadian airline ad! -‘Santa Surprise’ by WestJet. The ad shows Santa from a WestJet kiosk asking passengers what they want for Christmas before they boarded their flight. When they arrived in Calgary, the gifts they asked for start pouring down the baggage claim ramp, all wrapped with their name on them signed from Santa! (Check out the video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zIEIvi2MuEk) OR
My wife upon seeing this ad wondered, ‘how can I work for a company like that?’ Wow, how do you inspire your current employees and potential applicants to have that kind of reaction to your company brand?
Live the Culture
How do you define a culture? WestJet defines it as "Fun, Friendly and Caring," and this event certainly reinforces that culture. 150 WestJet volunteers were involved in planning and creating this "Santa Surprise" and many other inflight and ground crew employees were involved as well.
They took the company culture off of the framed poster on the wall and put it into practice. This is the kind of ‘story’ that all employees, especially the ones in the commercial, will talk about for a long time. We all want meaning and purpose in the work we do. When we can link our roles to a greater good, above just EBITDA results, then we can connect with a company. That is what inspires us to provide the incremental efforts in our roles, knowing we make a difference to someone. A famous quote from a NASA custodian when asked by a touring President Kennedy on what is his role is at NASA, replied ‘I help put people on the moon’.
What stories are you telling your employees on their purpose? What stories are they