Lead like LAX

Qantas International flights to Los Angeles (LAX), USA now arrive at a new terminal – the Tom Bradley terminal. It’s new, clean, well-run and fabulous with all the latest ‘gizmos’.

Visiting the restroom is a delight.  There are, of course, the self-flushing toilets.  You can wave your hand across the hand-towel thingy and the right amount of paper towelling reveals itself for you to tear off.  You have the OPTION of the paper towel or the super, duper fast air-drying machine.  And of course there is the wave your hand soap dispenser, ensuring mess-free economical distribution, and the wave your hand and turn on the tap function…BUT…even that is new and improved!

In the past, that functionality was slightly flawed in that it was timed – it was either too long for what you needed and unnecessarily wasted water, or it was too short (think trying to clean teeth after the killer Brisbane to LAX flight and wash your toothbrush out and water keeps stopping – very annoying (note to self: first world problem)).

The new and improved version begins when your hands approach, and stops when they move away.  Brilliant, why didn’t THEY think of that before!

So why is this relevant.  All these on-going, seemingly insignificant improvements do two things for me..

  • they make things easier for me
  • and they create a pleasurable customer experience.

Neither are particularly necessary in terms of getting on the plane and flying to another country, but I love it.

And from now on, I will compare this experience with other airport terminal experiences and I will talk about it and I will sing it’s praises and I will look forward to visiting LAX again.

And this experience for many people will be the same, but perhaps in a less conscious way than me.  They will enjoy the experience and perhaps not even pay attention to why, but they will just know it was great and they will want to experience it again.

How do you, as a leader, make things easier for your people? And how do you create a pleasurable and engaging employee experience? 

Airlines and airport developers spend countless hours and dollars on these two things so you will not just come back, but LOVE coming back.

You don’t just want your employees to come to work, you want them to LOVE coming to work.

And it is no coincidence that the human brain doesn’t like to do stuff that it doesn’t consider critical to survival, and it gets reward (dopamine) hits via novelty and pleasure.

Paving the way for engaging and motivating your people is not that hard….just make it easy, and take the time to remove anything that slows things down or causes frustration, however seemingly insignificant.

Think long, pointless meetings that don’t achieve relevant outcomes.

Think 25 page strategy documents that nobody wants to read – and don’t.

Think cheap coffee and crap biscuits in the tea-room that prompt the mass exit from the building of staff in search of a luscious latte.

And think a boss who changes their mind too often, or micro-manages, or is a perfectionist when perfectionism doesn’t add value.

What is one thing seemingly insignificant thing you can change today that you know would make life for your team easier, or more enjoyable, or both.  And if you can’t think of one, then start asking some questions!

Have a great day!

Michelle  🙂





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