the blog of dan pontefract | Kudos Jacques Godin, an Engaged Air Canada Employee
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Kudos Jacques Godin, an Engaged Air Canada Employee

Note: I sent the following letter into Air Canada’s ‘customer relations’ group today and in the spirit of being open, I thought I’d share it here as well.

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20130930-145457.jpgHello there,

I fly a lot. Mostly with Air Canada/Star Alliance … and occasionally with others.

I am an author (Flat Army: Creating a Connected and Engaged Organization, 2013 and It’s Work Not Jail: The Difference Between a Job and a Career with Purpose, 2014) as well as being the Head of Learning and Collaboration at TELUS. I study, write, speak and teach about organizational behaviour, leadership, learning, technology and culture.

I had the privelege of flying AC190 in seat 2D today en route to Washington. Jacques Godin was the Service Director.

I must say, Jacque’s demeanour and professional conduct is something Air Canada might want to clone right across the organization. Helpfulness, humour, harmony and happiness are but four of the ways to describe Jacques. He was engaged from the moment I sat down to the time I left. He had everyone throughout the cabin feeling good about a five hour flight regardless of where you were sitting.

When he failed to make an announcement about a passenger’s nut allergy at the beginning of the flight, he calmly got on the PA system and fessed up to his mistake, hoping we’d accept his apology. (We did)

He played trivia games with those of us in the Executive Cabin testing our knowledge on the safety demonstration and videos. I didn’t win. I didn’t have a clue what the correct answer might be on question number two either and I swear I could sense his disappointment in me.

To whomever reads this, I have a challenge for you.

Talk to Jacques and find out a) how he conducts himself on flights, b) find out why he does it and c) find a way to employ him as your Chief Engagement Officer. Having Jacques at the helm of employee engagement may help turn Air Canada into being a good organization to work for in favour of a great one.

Sincerely,

Happy Passenger 2D

4Comments

  • Dan Pontefract / 4 October 2013 10:59

    For those following this post, I received a response from Air Canada. Pasted below:

    Dear Mr. Pontefract,

    Thank you so much for taking time to contact Air Canada concerning your flight from Victoria to Toronto on September 30th.

    It is people like Jacques Godin who put a human face to our airline. While it is true that we expect all of our staff members to offer friendly and courteous service at all times, it is very gratifying when a customer takes the time from their busy schedule to express their appreciation for the service they received. You can be assured that your comments have been forwarded to our in-flight management for review and so that they can be shared with Jacques. I know he will appreciate your comments, and I am certain that his managers will be very interested in his insights and suggestions.

    Mr. Pontefract, we thank you for your loyalty to Air Canada, and hope that your future travels will be as pleasant as your travel on September 30. We look forward to welcoming you on board again.

    Best regards,
    (name redacted)
    Customer Relations
    Executive Centre

  • Ali / 10 October 2013 7:42

    Wow!
    I had the great pleasure of meeting Jacques when I moved to Calgary and he offered my boyfriend and I a place to live (even giving up his bedroom suite to us for our comfort) so this doesn’t surprise me at all! I saw his enthusiasm about his job and now work for Air Canada myself…hoping I’m giving as much as he does for our passengers.

    I have nothing but good words to say and I’m glad his personality is being recognized! He is a great person and loves to make you smile on a bad day. He gives a lot more than he receives, yet never complains.

    Good job Jack-O! We miss you here in Calgary 🙁

  • Fares Boulos / 16 October 2013 7:00

    I had a similar experience with another Air Canada Service Director on a recent flight AC880 from YYZ-CDG that departed from Toronto on Saturday 12 October. Unfortunately I failed to catch the SD’s name, but can say that she’s a Lebanese-Canadian as she spoke to me in Arabic (I’m an Egyptian-Canadian). Like Jacques Godin, she presented a model ‘how to’ in customer service made up of a perfect blend of information, helpfulness, and friendly chats all delivered with the utmost of professionalism, at the right time. If anyone knows the name of the SD in charge of that flight, please pass along my note of appreciation to her. I was seated in 2A.
    I’m a professor teaching management strategy in business schools, and this experience is something that I can draw on in my classes when we get to discuss how companies can develop meaningful compettitive advantage partly through outstanding customer service. I hope that Air Canada can find a way to clone more SDs like Jacques and the one who led my recent flight.

  • Dan Pontefract / 18 October 2013 10:42

    Hey @Ali – so nice of you to drop by. You’ll be glad to know that Jacques has kindly agreed to be profiled in my next book. What a moment of serendipity for me. So cool to meet him and know about his real purpose.

    @Fares – thanks for sharing. Love that there is another example within Air Canada. Yes, I would argue the culture is in need of an injection of engagement but folks like Jacques are the true beacons of hope for AC.

Want to leave a comment? I'd love to hear from you. Cheers, dp.