SWISS: Echte Teamwork Kultur durch unternehmensweite VernetzungOn October 20, 2019 by Raul Dinwiddie
SWISS about Questback How does SWISS airline, with over 8,000 employees, bring a culture of teamwork and openness to life? Here’s the secret: Its employees are connected across the entire organization. For this purpose, was launched the “Lunch Lottery” in February 2015. This is an internet platform for organizing lunch dates. My name is Marcel Mantel, and I’m the Senior Manager for People Development at SWISS. Throughout our employee surveys, workshops and training sessions, one topic kept reappearing: Our employees wanted to get to know their colleagues from other parts of the business, to share their experiences. Because I enjoy going to lunch with colleagues myself, the idea for the Lunch Lottery was born. It’s a very simple concept: Every employee completes a short questionnaire and every two months a lunch date is organized for them. The lunch partner selection process ensures that two people from different areas of the business and different hierarchy levels are paired together. When the idea was born, we had no idea how to make it happen. A colleague mentioned Questback EFS, the software that we use to run our global passenger surveys. Of course, the Lunch Lottery isn’t a standard survey, and a few adjustments were necessary to accommodate the lottery mechanism. But my colleagues were sure that Questback would be the right partner to meet this kind of special challenge. The hardest part was defining on which information the selection of the lunch date partners should be based. The programming and drawing of participants for the lunch dates ran smoothly. I was very relieved, as I expected there to be problems, especially in relation to IT. We launched the Lunch Lottery in February 2015. In a very short space of time we had several hundred participants. In the first year, we were able to initiate a lot of new connections, across every department and hierarchy, including the management board. But therefore, we had to adjust the format, because we wanted as many employees as possible to get the chance to meet the management board. That’s why we now raffle monthly Management Board breakfasts. These allow nine employees to have breakfast and discuss things with a board member. We work as SWISS in the service industry, and we have different characters who all proudly wear the SWISS brand. Therefore, it is extremely important that we have platforms in place where an exchange can take place. Among themselves during the Lunch Lottery, but also together with the management at the MB Breakfasts. And this is a great opportunity for me to learn a great deal every time. You hear of cargo staff, of accountants, the flying personnel, where the problems lie. I assume that the employees leave these conversations happy and motivated because they understand better why we do one thing or the other. The Lunch Lottery has been very well received. Another reason why it won us the Lufthansa Innovation Award for Corporate Culture. The main rational was that by using our own creativity, and with few resources, we made a significant contribution to togetherness and mutual understanding among the workforce. The major result is the headline number of over 900 connections that have been made, many of which have developed into friendships. For the future, we have a lot of other ideas: such as the introduction of so-called job swaps, where employees swap roles for a limited period of time. But of course I can’t say any more about that at the moment.