HBO's Westworld: a Story of Cowboys, Robots, and the Importance of Recognizing a Good Employee

HBO's Westworld: a Story of Cowboys, Robots, and the Importance of Recognizing a Good Employee

Photo Courtesy: Wikipedia

Despite being a fictitious series based in a  futuristic utopia, HBO’s Westworld provides an important narrative on the delicate balance between supply and demand. The plotline centers around a very John-Wayne-esque theme park where the main attraction is eerily lifelike robots called “hosts.” With dozens, if not hundreds of storylines occurring simultaneously, the park's scriptwriters must continuously concoct new and innovative ways to entertain their customers - from nomadic cowboys leading a bounty hunt to booze-filled saloon's that are home to brawling and frivolity. 

With satisfied customers frequenting the western wonderland, the park experiences an uptick in revenue growth and a corresponding influx of shareholders. What keeps patrons coming back for more? The staff who run it, Westword shows us that employing the right individuals can have a transformational impact on the success of the company. converting a mere concept on paper to a full-fledged, prosperous establishment.

The Westworld community is replete with examples of the type of employee you'd want on your team. Having a robust understanding of your company’s culture, values, and overarching goals will help your team adequately formulate a profile around your ideal candidate. Bear in mind that there are many different types of individuals that can fit this profile in unexpected ways.

Here's how the inhabitants of HBO's Westworld brought success to the fictional theme park and the attributes that would classify them as valuable employees in real world. 

Bernard Lowe

Bernard Lowe, played by Jeffrey Wright, is a loyal worker and head of the park’s Programming Division. As the right-hand man to the park's creator, Bernard's meticulous and tenacious work ethic is instrumental in keeping the company operational. As someone who takes their work seriously, Bernard’s strategic input, attention to detail, and ability to gratify a wide variety of customer preferences, makes him an indispensable asset to the company. For Dr. Ford, the park's creator, it’s vital to have a trustworthy associate who can facilitate operations without needing micromanagement. Finding an employee like Bernard can mean the difference between simply maintaining revenue versus shattering quarterly and yearly expectations.

Elsie Hughes

A rising star within Westworld, Elsie, played by Shannon Woodward, is the newest addition to the Programming Division. However, that doesn’t stop her from pushing beyond her normal obligations to investigate a peculiar string of abnormal incidents that suddenly cause some of the hosts to malfunction. As someone who is young and driven, Elsie's character parallels many of the traits used to describe the Millennial workforce. More than one in three American workers are Millennials, which means your company probably has a bulk of this generation in your staff. Energetic and hungry, 90% of this group of individuals stated they would remain within a company if it provided professional development and the opportunity for career advancement. While Millennials wear the stereotype of underachievers, they are actually a company’s best asset. Like Elsie, they are willing to go above and beyond for their employer if provided the resources for success. 


Originally, William, played by Jimmi Simpson, is a reluctant visitor of Westworld. This may strike any reader as a poor example of what you'd want in a worker, but William exhibits many traits that would align perfectly with the right employer. Once he forged a bond with a host named Dolores, whose contagious demeanor inspired him to become invested in the park, William went on to become a majority shareholder of Westworld.

From an employer perspective, William is the type of candidate that is heavily purpose-driven and selling your corporate culture is fundamental for attracting and retaining employees like William. A culture that engages employees boosts organizational efficiency, encourages productivity, and fosters loyalty among staff. Establishing a clear vision and strategy around your company’s cultural offering is critical for maintaining a competitive advantage, attracting quality talent, and inspiring employees to continuously reach new heights. 

Learn more about how promoting company culture can help recruit top talent


William’s soon-to-be brother-in-law, Logan, played by Ben Barnes, is an energetic, outside-of-the-box kind of thinker. Not much seems to thwart his ambition. After some hosts realized they had been double-crossed and held Logan accountable, the situation seemed grim for this carefree entrepreneur. Still, he saw his temporary captivity as an opportunity for growth and crediting the experience for his ability to rise through the ranks of the staged army. Logan is not the kind of person who always stays on course - as long as the reward is bigger, he will tweak his strategy to adjust the outcome. As an employer, you want a candidate who can meet any problem with confidence and exercise creativity when it comes to devising a solution to the issue at hand.

Pick Your Team

Your company may not be Westworld or Delos, but businesses succeed on the coattails of an employee’s hard work.  Whether it’s someone by the numbers like Bernard or an unconventional person like Logan, employing individuals with an extensive breadth of skills and character traits will help shepherd your organization to new, prosperous heights.



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