Aligned incentives

I once read a story about an airliner that internally timed when takeoff started according to when all passengers were on board, and not when the plane actually started flying. I think the idea was that from the point in time that all passengers were inside of the airplane, it was no longer the employees fault if the plane become late. Then they paid bonus to their employees according to how “punctually” the plane was, and how fast the employees could fill up the plane. So basically, all employees had financial incentives towards making sure the plane would fill up as fast as possible.

The guy who wrote the story down spent 8 hours sitting inside of one of these planes before the plane took of from the runway, because the plane wasn’t allow to take of from flight control. Him and several of the other customers asked several times if they could be let of the plane, to grab some fresh air, and move around a little bit – Since they had been told it would be several hours before the actual flight would start. The cabin personal said “no”, because they didn’t want to loose their own bonus, which was due, simply because all passengers was physically sitting inside of the plane. Needless to say, but I doubt many of those passengers ever flew with that airliner again.

If your company’s incentives, or your employees incentives, are in direct opposition to your client’s needs and desires, you will probably wake up hard one of these days, realizing your clients have simply gone to the competition …

Just my 2 cents here … 😉

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