Meet SueAnn and Roberta. They are a dynamic duo delivering extraordinary service for Continental Airlines at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. When you get Shock & Awe quality service in an airport terminal you notice. My experience with these two was so exceptional, I needed to know more.
They’ve been on the job for 25 and 26 years respectively. They acknowledge the work isn’t always easy. Minnesota winter means delays, cancellations and irritated and irrational customers with travel plans interrupted. For SueAnn and Robtera those problems represent an opportunity…to deal, deliver and delight customers in spite of undesirable circumstances. Consistent, confident and clear in their communication they make the magic happen in an environment where the customer experience is often less than desirable.
Their secret? Each other. They are best friends at work. In each other they find support, understanding, camaraderie and companionship that make the hard parts tolerable. They came through the ranks together…they will go out together. A package deal. One simply would not last without the other. Good thing for Continental they get the benefit of both.
There is a valuable leadership lesson around nurturing the socialization that allow professional relationships to personalize and flourish. Workplace socialization can minimize stress, elevate engagement and productivity and improve the customer experience. People who have a best friend at work are 7 times more likely to be engaged in that work. Increasingly, the progressive leader will carefully consider how to facilitate more connections, collaboration and communication that increase socialization and friendship in the workplace. According to Gallup, workplace friendships boost profit.
Thanks SueAnn and Roberta for taking such good care of me and sharing some insights specific to how you take care of each other at work. We all can do more than merely just get by with a little help from our friends! Here is to hoping Keanu Reeves passes through your terminal real soon!
Ryan Estis is a Keynote Speaker & Management Consultant blogging about business performance.