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May 13, 2019

Boarding Group 3, Now Boarding

Adam Cuppy



Advisor / Founding Partner
Medford, OR

I met a person in the airport today who’s never flown before.

The agent calls for “boarding groups,” but they don’t have one written on their boarding pass (they had to see an agent, which they didn’t realize.)

The plane is boarding, and they ask me for help. They’re clearly confused and appear embarrassed to ask at all as a hundred other people seem to fall into place without issue.

The gate agent has their boarding pass with seat assignment at the counter, but there’s no indication that would have been the case. Needless to say, I helped get them on the plane — Success!

They weren’t stupid or uneducated; they didn’t have context, and the world was moving quickly around them. You see…

From the boarding pass to announcements to seat labels, they’re all hieroglyphs without context. A sense for the flow or sequence of events would have helped them as they were, literally, on-boarded.

Question for you:

What, within your company’s on-boarding process, do you assume a person will know? What’s evident to you, but may not be for someone without context?

Answering this question is best done by new and less-experienced people. They see what experienced folks take for granted.

For people like my friend, they could identify every gap in the process better than people who live in the middle of things. They see holes that we naturally jump over or move around without thinking.

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