Absurdly Driven looks at the world of business with a skeptical eye and a firmly rooted tongue in cheek.
As you waft about America’s skies, have you noticed that employees of one airline smile a little more than that of others?
Do the brightly-colored teeth on, say, Virgin America feel a little larger and more sincerely sparkly than those on, say, United?
I only ask because my eyes drooped down the list of Fortune’s 100 Best Places To Work For.
This is one of America’s most important lists that ends in a preposition.
It includes Google at its top. It enjoys virtually important companies such as Nvidia and Salesforce.
At number 23, you’ll find the company that can’t even hand out the correct Oscars envelope, PwC.
But as I dropped down to the lower regions, what did I see? An airline.
Please, therefore, consider the smiles you see up in the sky. Some really are brighter than others.
Alaska Airlines might be regularly voted the best U.S. airline, but it is, apparently, not the best to work for.
That honor goes to Delta.
Yes, its pilots and cabin crew enjoy apparently sincere happy thoughts because they just love their jobs.
This is the first time, stunningly, any airline has made the list in the last 12 years.
Fortune says this is because Delta’s management actually thought about what might make its employees happy. Which is money.
I jest, of course. But not very much.
The main feature of Delta’s employee satisfaction is apparently its “shrewd compensation scheme.” And there I was hoping for words like generous. Or even thoughtful.
Apparently, though, more than $ 1 billion in bonuses was handed out to employees, so that they could buy themselves decent food and, perhaps, a nice hotel in the Caymans.
Delta dedicated 10 percent of its pre-tax earnings to this perk, which seems like a fine incentive for staff to ensure the airline makes a lot of money.
Ah, but then your computers break down and what can you do, but let customers down just like any other airline? (Although the airline says customers were pleased how staff handled it.)
Still, Delta pays its staff (relatively) well, too. This has apparently discouraged many of its employees from joining unions.
And then there’s the culture thing. Delta’s wasn’t overly infected by bad thoughts after its merger with Northwest — where they were known for a touch of strife.
Delta has a cultural manual called Rules Of The Road. Rules Of The Runway must have been deemed too racy.
One of these rules is Embrace Diverse Thinking, People And Styles.
Sadly, the airline might have some learning still to do there, as last year it was accused, among other incidents, of not believing that a black woman could be a doctor.
The rest of the rules are fairly standard corporate copywriting that embraces teamwork, honesty, integrity, leading by example and ensuring that scruffy people never get an upgrade.
Ah, I might have invented that last one.
Still, it’s a delight that an airline has made the list at all.
Let’s not get too carried away, though. Delta is only at number 63. It’s still behind deliriously happy places like Goldman Sachs, Marriott and the Cheesecake Factory.