That Virgin Airline Safety Announcement

Things You Notice

As I was sitting in my allocated seat in my now rather too frequent weekly Virgin flight from Melbourne to Sydney, I vaguely heard the all too familiar safety demonstration which was telling me what to do in an emergency. I, like many other frequent flyers had become rather blasé to this important message. The announcement was one that I should pay attention to, but when you have heard it so many times, the competing options of sleeping, reading a book, or examining the lipstick colour being worn by the air hostess just seems to take precedence! (By the way, yes the lipstick colour does change, the wearer apparently has the option to tailor their own lip colouring depending on what mood they are in on that day…just in case you were wondering…and yes, I did ask!)

This got me thinking. Most of us in the corporate office have a daily routine that changes quite infrequently, if at all. We tend to arrive at work at the same time, park our cars in the same allocated spot, start the day with that all too familiar long black, take a banana from the corporate fruit basket to be eaten later, and then arc up our computers as we take a big sigh in preparation as we work our way through the torrent of new emails in our inbox. Sound familiar?

So why not utilize the safety announcement protocols that are used by the airlines to deliver a message to motivate all employees at the start of the day with the right mind set? Well, with a few tailored variations of course!!

No, I’m not suggesting that the leadership team wear red lipstick, just like the Virgin air hostesses and parade around the office in an attempt to rev up the employees, but it would certainly be a unique and different spectacle that would indeed be noticed.

Instead, like on the plane, let’s focus on the office PA systems that are typically only used for practice emergency drills where that all too familiar ‘whoop, whoop’ sounds permeates through the building just when you are about to skull that freshly purchased coffee, or start that all important phone call.

So why can’t we use that corporate PA system slightly differently? Why couldn’t the CEO deliver a morning motivational message that is full of wit, anecdotes and other words of perceived cleverness? This would of course test the inspirational personality characteristics of the CEO, but this is a simple, yet creative task, that they should be able to do without even having to blink!

Other thoughts for the PA message could include; some boppy dance music (maybe The Eurythmics ‘Sweet Dreams are made of this’), a chapter read from a thought provoking book, some karaoke that all employees join in with, some voice impressions…the key is to have something different. Why not use the PA system at random times of the day to minimize employee complacency? Instead of the PA system, why not utilize the corporate spruiker concept where the CEO walks around the office corridors with a megaphone blasting out innovative words of motivation? I’m sure that you can think of many more ideas that break the boring corporate mold of minimal motivation!

So maybe next time you are sitting on the plane you might now listen to the safety announcement with a slightly different perspective? If not, well, make sure you have a good sleep instead!

The Concierge of Greet

Boutique

The weather was miserable, it was cold, wet and the strong chilly wind was blowing my bright coloured scarf in a flapping flurry around my hairless freezing head. As I pushed open the hotel’s wooden heavy door with some degree of anticipation, I was immediately met with a warm gust of the most pleasurable smelling air that caught me by surprise. I quickly stopped in my tracks and enjoyed this delightful air woft that was relished and absorbed most happily by my frozen face.

Once inside the hotel lobby, my senses were pounced upon by a multitude of the most captivating furniture, décor and sounds of guests highly chuffed to be relaxing in the numerous comfortable leather chairs whilst scoffing a warming beverage or sampling some nibbles. As I walked to the concierge, I was greeted in a sincere, genuine and hearty manner and was offered a hot tea in a simply charming and quite appealing glass.

I hadn’t even checked into the hotel yet, but I felt right at home.

So why is it that when we step inside a corporate reception area for the first time, we typically feel like an unwelcome and hostile intruder? This is particularly the case for those unmanned reception areas where your visitor has to navigate a phone directory and then engage a lonely and rather sterile phone to try and seek the attention of the person they came to visit.

This got me thinking……

The Door to Your Office:
Why not have an impressive and inspiring wooden door (forget those automatic glass ones that open when an ant meanders on to the sensor) that has a large knocker or brass bell located on it that visitors just want to use as it just builds a high degree of anticipation, and of course fun via its application?

The Greet Concierge:
Why not have a corporate concierge who gleefully greets visitors as they arrive in your office foyer? If is it cold and wet, they relieve the visitor of their coat and umbrella and offer them a scented, warm and viscous tea and seat them in a chair with an inbuilt bottom warmer, or if it is cold, they partake of a nice chilled and flavoursome ice drink whilst sitting under a strategically placed air conditioner.

The Waiting Activity:
Many a visitor can get rather bored and fed up waiting in the reception area for longer than required periods of time. This is where the use of a corporate billiard table should be used that is adorned with billiard balls branded with the corporate logo. For those less skilled in the way of sticks and balls, then why not have a corporate dartboard in which they can relieve potential waiting frustration by hurling a pointy dart rather forcefully.

Reading Material:
Forget newspapers and the corporate magazine, why not have a vast array of books, comics and some DIY manuals (eg gardening or home renovations) that provide a level of interest and engagement. Should they not finish their selected reading material prior to the commencement of their business meeting, then why not have a lending library format that allows your visitor to borrow the item?

The Bed of Leisure
Sometimes it’s rather tough waiting for a meeting when your visitor may have travelled some distance to get to your office that could have necessitated the use of an early morning flight or long car journey. So why not have a corporate bed of leisure that they can occupy (by themselves of course) to provide them with that additional level of recuperation prior to their meeting?

I’m sure that you can think of additional thoughts of corporate creativity that can make your valued visitor feel much more welcome and at home when frequenting your corporate abode. So why not incorporate some of these activities into your corporate reception area?

The goal is to provide your corporate office with that competitive advantage that yields your organization with that level of uniqueness that makes your customers, suppliers, employees and investors want to engage with you, why, because your business inspires them!