Leaders need to work hard to connect employees and reinforce cultural values. Celebration is important for creating a sense of team and accomplishment. When celebrations are attached to an artifact the meaning and excitement can last forever. In this Leadership Conversation, Don Bell shares why celebration is important and just how memorable an artifact can be.
Brad: How can leaders use celebration to create great workplaces?
Don: Well, celebration in and of itself is usually just an excuse to build community through getting people together. Celebrate often, for any reason. Just come up with any excuse you can for a celebration.
What celebration does for people is take them out of the mundane parts of their job and put them in an environment where they can connect and celebrate with others.
“Celebration helps scale the whole concept of having fun in an organization.”
Brad: Can that help your overall brand?
Don: When people are looking from the outside in, they see a whole bunch of people celebrating and having fun. That's infectious. It just rubs off. That's why people want to come and work there and join in the celebratory environment.
Brad: What are artifacts and how do they relate?
Don: Well, artifacts are just another way of telling stories. They allow you to tie workplace events and stories to objects or actions that people remember.
“Artifacts keep your workplace events alive.”
They become salient components of the culture of the organization, making key events and lessons learned part of your history and culture.
Brad: Cool. What’s the best artifact you ever created?
Don: WestJet grew rapidly and it soon became time to retire our first plane. We did that in style!
Brad: With you at the helm?
Don: You bet!
Check out this low-pass, high-G corporate artifact!
In the next episode of Leadership Conversations we will look at the challenges of sustaining a healthy workplace culture as a company grows rapidly.
About Leadership Conversations:
Our day job at Jostle is creating a platform that helps leaders engage employees, drive culture and catalyze collaboration. Through this Leadership Conversations series we seek out top people-oriented leaders to explore these topics with us. If you know someone we should include in this series, please contact us at email@example.com
Don Bell co-founded WestJet Airlines in 1996 and played a key role in quickly growing it to become Canada’s second largest airline. Don’s vision, ideas and leadership were instrumental in creating a powerful company culture based on employee engagement and empowerment. By focusing on its people, Westjet was named Canada’s Most Respected Corporation, won an International Entrepreneurship Award for Outstanding Teamwork in 2001, received the Waterstone Human Capital Award for Canada’s Most Admired Corporate Culture in 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008, and led the industry in terms of both growth and profitability. Don served many roles in WestJet including Co-Chief Operating Officer, EVP of Customer Service and as a Boeing 737 Captain. Prior to WestJet, Don spent 18 years as President and owner of a Calgary-based company that developed, installed and supported specialized software systems for enterprises. Don is a much sought after speaker on how employee engagement, commitment and teamwork delivers tremendous market advantages and business results. He is also the Chairman of Jostle Corporation.