Going the Extra Mile

Ohana Editor Blog

Guest Post by Priya Wood, Marketing Associate 

Engagement- the ability to be present, focused, and energized. An engaged person goes above and beyond what is expected of them because they feel as though they are part of a purpose larger than themselves. Low engagement stems from a lack of recognition by managers, poor company communication, and not being aligned with the mission of the company. 

In Seth’s Blog, he shares the story of The $50,000 an hour gate agent. Seth’s Blog explains how a gate agent goes above and beyond his normal duties. 

“The microphone was out of order, but instead of screaming at the passengers, he walked over and spoke directly to the people who needed to hear him.

On his own, he started inquiring about the connection status of a family of four. He could have cleared the standby list, closed the flight and told the four that they’d have to find another way home. Or, he could have saved them their four seats, which would have flown empty if they hadn’t been filled. Instead of either path, he picked up the phone, organized other staff to find and expedite the family and get them on board.

And then, in an unrelated bit of valor, he tracked down a lost wallet and sent his #2 to fetch it from where it had been left–getting it to the plane before it left.

Most of all, in an era when loyalty is scarce, he probably increased the lifetime value of a dozen wavering customers by at least a few thousand dollars each.” 

What do you think motivated this gate agent to do what he did? No one said he had to go above and beyond. He could have easily screamed what he needed to say and hoped everyone heard him. That family of four could have been left to deal with figuring out their connections on their own. For the person who left their wallet, the gate agent could have let the person deal with it themselves. So why did he choose to go above and beyond, giving those customers an exceptional experience? 

Seth’s Blog continues on, discussing the importance of having trust in the workplace. 

Krulak’s Law states that the future of an organization is in the hands of the privates in the field, not the generals back home.

Unfortunately, management and a lack of trust get in the way of the work environment you’ll need to build to earn the human, dedicated work of the next Wade. Hopefully, the airline will put him in charge of their horrible website next. But I’m not optimistic.

Where is your [gate agent]? What are you doing to make it more likely that he or she will bring magic to work tomorrow?”

Expanding more on what Seth says about lack of trust- people underestimate the power of good management and having a foundation of trust. Employees that don’t feel that they can be honest with their managers or feel that their managers are not doing what is best for their employees tend to be less engaged. According to The Muse, on average, companies with engaged employees earn 2.5x more in revenue than their competitors with low engagement levels. If the gate agent left the customers to figure their situations out on their own instead as a result of disengagement, bad company reviews and a loss in customers would have been the result. 

Engaging your employees is so much more than having an in-office spa day or bringing dogs to work. MSW Research and Dale Carnegie Training found that factors such as employee trust in company’s leadership, employee relationships with management teams, and employee pride in being part of the company all play into employee engagement. To Seth’s point in his blog title, engaging the employee may cost you a little, but in crisis situations, may be worth $50,000 an hour. 

I encourage you to seriously think about your current engagement strategies. Take a minute to reflect- do your “privets” go above and beyond? What strategies have you implemented to encourage the type of engagement that will have your employees tracking down families and find wallets? 

Thank you for reading, 

Priya Wood 

P.S. If you want to take the next step to encourage employee engagement within your company, schedule a demo with us!