How did the specific HR programs (recruit, select, train, performance management, etc.) fit with, and support the Southwest corporate strategy at the time of the case? Southwest had an edge over its competitors because of its people and their people management. The culture practiced at Southwest ensured progress towards their primary goal of customer service and low cost. The HR programs at Southwest were based on the preserving the values and special culture of Southwest Airlines (SWA).
All of these elements helped build a strong corporate culture for Southwest. Now that Herb Kelleher has departed, it can be easy to foresee some difficulties in maintaining that family atmosphere. One difficulty being whether the company has the ability to maintain such close relationships with its customers as the market changes and the company grows. We also foresee some problems in maintaining competitive benefits as other companies are modifying their employee policies to become more competitive.
Southwest’s philosophy is that a fun attitude provides a balance in the workplace and it encourages employees not to take themselves too seriously. Additionally, Southwest Airlines’ inculcation of servant leadership into their business philosophy has also been attributed to their success as a company. The Robert E. Greenleaf Center for Servant Leadership describes a servant leader as one who “focuses primarily on the growth and well-being of people and the communities to which they belong”. Colleen Barrett, president emeritus of Southwest Airlines, explained that the difference between the Southwest pyramid structure and that of other companies is that most companies have their shareholders at the top of the pyramid but for Southwest, their employee satisfaction and the needs of their customers are the first priorities. Barrett also stated that Southwest’s philosophy is to follow their golden rule which is to “treat people the way you want to be treated”.
Creativity and innovation are encouraged for improving the effectiveness of Southwest Airlines. 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.” This statement reinforces the opinion that as a consumer, one would be treated very well by a Southwest Airlines employee, the logic is simple; if the employee is happy then the customer will be happy. Southwest Airlines also has a few “slogans” that, especially as a marketing campaign, emphasize the company’s mission statements. “Stop Searching. Start Traveling.” Is one of the slogans that is plastered all over the companies website.
Other airlines approached the economic crisis by limiting their service or letting go of employees, whereas Southwest tackled the problem by offering workers secured positions for lower wages. Though the circumstances were not ideal, overall employees responded positively to the option of keeping their jobs. They also promote internal marketing strategies within the workplace. Southwest has a clear vision which employees strive to be a part of. In fact, part of their vision is in the best interest of their employees, as a common mantra within the company is, “customers come second… and still get great service.” They offer a casual work environment.
Leadership, without doubt, is a significantly important function of management. It helps to aggrandize efficiency and to fulfil an organization’s goals. Leadership is the ability of a manager to induce the subordinates to work with confidence, determination, courage and zeal. It is also defined as ability to influence a group towards the realization of a goal. Leaders should have the capability of developing future visions, and to drive the organizational members to want to attain the visions.
Focus on the Leader Power and Influence The Home Depot learned the hard way that you must hire a leader that will stay true to the core values. The leader’s ethics and values will play a huge role in determining if the company will succeed or fail. The founders of The Home Depot built a culture on the foundation of respect, integrity, and compassion. The culture and customer service under the influence of the admired founders prospered. The founders hired a CEO to continue guiding the company on the path towards success but realized too late that they overlooked an important component.
According to the textbook, he believed the company should, “hire for attitude and train for skills.” Kelleher recognized that the key to satisfied customers was satisfied employees and put many policies in place in attempt to improve employee satisfaction. Some policies include employee recognition programs and “Hokey Days,” and star of the month program featuring outstanding employees in Southwest Airlines magazine Spirit. The company has other programs that continues to try to make Southwest Airlines an enjoyable place to work. Another key tenet of Southwest Airlines success involves positive labor relations. From the aforementioned esprit de corps and fostering an atmosphere of fun to the no lay off policy, even during times of recession, Southwest Airlines enjoyed above industry average cooperation from labor unions.
Describing this cycle requires theories of incentives, organizational capab... ... middle of paper ... ...uthwest Passengers Let off Some Steam, 2007). Every company must remember that customer satisfaction is the number one element to ensure the company’s now and future success, And when consumers feel that they are no longer valued as an asset they will run to the company’s competitors even if it means spending a little more money to feel that wonderful feeling of “valued customer” (Welch, 2005). Southwest Airlines should have their SVP of Customer Relations to make sure that every negative complaint receives a response and to explain the reason why this procedure was implemented, they should also reiterate the company’s customer commitment and assure them that they are very important. Southwest can also offer some of these customer free boarding passes just to show their appreciation for being a customer of Southwest Airlines (Welch, 2005).
A well defined & distinctive set of people management practises has led to shared goals, knowledge & respect for each other which are useful as the work is highly interdependent, uncertain & time constrained. Some of the strategies which are incorporated so that the business model of south west airlines is sustainable are : They maintain & promote people friendly company culture. They provide leadership to the constantly changing workforce. They hire people who are culturally fit for the job. They have incorporated the techniques to eliminate the waste generation through source reduction, recycling & reuse.