People Are The Main Focus Of Southwest's Business Strategy Essay

Length: 3 pages Sources: 3 Subject: Transportation Type: Essay Paper: #13134325 Related Topics: People, Southwest Airlines, Dental, Airline
Excerpt from Essay :

Investing in Each Other: Southwest's People-Management Strategy

Southwest Airlines' overall people-management strategy is focused primarily on achieving good customer relations (Gallo, 2013). The basis of good customer relations, however, is good employee relations. When employees feel valued by employers, that value is passed on from employees to customers, so goes the theory according to Southwest founder Herb Kelleher (Gallo, 2013). It is, in effect, a top-down strategy of appreciation and "spirit of mission." The spirit of mission at Southwest Airlines is defined as a "warrior spirit" -- a cumulative effort by the entire workforce designed to facilitate a family-like atmosphere all the way around, from management to subordinates to customers: all are treated like members of one big family -- such is the basic environment in which the airline's people-management strategy is situated (Gallo, 2013). However, as researchers reveal, there is even more to the Southwest story. At the heart of the company is a "secret sauce" that allows it to thrive (Gittel, 2003). This paper will discuss the people-management strategy that Southwest uses to make that "sauce" or "spirit" or whatever one chooses to call it.

Southwest's approach to employee rewards and motivation is generous to say the least. The company offers terrific benefits, such as 401(k) savings plan, a profit-sharing plan,...


Southwest believes that its "greatest asset" is its employees (Southwest Report, 2010, p. 45). So there is a reason that Southwest trades on the NYSE under the ticker symbol LUV. It truly aims to be have a loving environment in which employees are valued more than anything else.

Southwest's company culture is familial and is founded upon hiring individuals who possess the right attitude. It creates an environment that is essential communal. There are shared goals, there is shared knowledge, and there is mutual respect among managers and employees (Gittell, 2003). One of the most appealing aspects of Southwest's culture is its mission to treat employees the same way that it expects employees to treat customers. Indeed, its mission statement reads: "Above all, Employees will be provided the same concern, respect, and caring attitude within the organization that they are expected to share externally with every Southwest Customer" (Srinivasan, 2014). In other words, Southwest cultivates a "pay it forward" type of mentality. If there can be any one aspect of the airline's culture that concerns me, it would be the quickness with which Southwest expects its employees to move. The rapid speed and focus needed to get planes out of the gate requires a great deal of energy and precision: so keeping everyone's stamina at optimum levels might become taxing after a while. The company might do…

Sources Used in Documents:


Gallo, C. (2013). How Southwest and Virgin America Win by Putting People Before

Profit. Forbes. Retrieved from

Gittell, J. (2003). The Southwest Airlines Way. TheCLCI. Retrieved from

Southwest Report. (2010). Southwest One. Retrieved from
Srinivasan, M. (2014). Southwest Airlines Operations -- A Strategic Perspective. Airline Industry Articles. Retrieved from

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