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Why Southwest Airlines Is the Best Place to Work Essay

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Updated: Mar 21st, 2022

Regardless of the angle, one looks at it from, it is not easy to pin down the one thing that makes Southwest Airlines, whose headquarters is in Texas, tick! In fact, there is no one thing that explains the fierce attraction that Southwest Airlines inspires to would-be employees and customers alike to make possible the 3200 daily flights across America. At inception in 1973, the airline started with three jets. It currently operates a fleet composed of five hundred and forty-four Boeing-737 series jets. It is a member of the Fortune 500 companies. The charm at Southwest Airlines includes its “strong employee and customer loyalty” (Grubbs-West 6), its focused leadership, and its compassionate involvement with the community.

Customers enjoy flying with Southwest because it is safe, has the best prices in the industry, and has very good customer service. “It is famous for its low fares which are some 30% lower than those of its major rivals” (Hill & Jones 105). Since 1987, the Department of Transport (DOT) rates Southwestern Airlines as the airline with the lowest ratio of complaints per passenger in the industry. This explains why it topped the American consumer satisfaction Index in 2010 as the best airline. The airline operates six customer support centers across America and remains a leader in the point-to-point flight category. Customer loyalty has propelled the airline to be the number one airline, handling the largest volume of domestic passenger travel. In addition, the airline “is known for its record levels of safety” (Gittel 7)

The employees at Southwest are carefully selected and taken care of because, “its culture is unique and fiercely protected” (Grubbs-West 6). The company hiring policy stresses hiring for attitude and training for skills thereafter. This has ensured that a unique blend of employees joins the Southwest family. Because of a very stimulating working environment, Gittel observes that “Southwest has by far the most productive aircraft and employees of any major U.S. airline” (6). In addition to a unique working environment, the employees own 8% of the company’s stock thanks to a profit-sharing plan. When compared to other airlines, employees at Southwest show a greater degree of knowledge of how their function fits into making the airline profitable. When its profits, they profit too.

Southwest has outstanding corporate leadership. It is also a market leader. What else explains thirty-seven years of straightforward profitability? The bottom line never lies. In a very turbulent industry, the leadership at Southwest has managed to keep the company afloat and satisfy its stakeholders through consistent profitability. Other Fortune 500 companies recognize this leadership genius at Southwest. Otherwise, 66% of them would not have subscribed to SWABIZ. Other facts demonstrate Southwest’s market leadership. It was the first airline to create a homepage on the internet. It was also the launch customer for the Boeing 737-700 in 1997.

A sense of concern for the community and compassion for people are some of the key things that Southwest looks for when hiring new employees. It takes the needs of the community seriously. Its main charity is the Ronald McDonald program. In addition, it sponsors the Southwest Airlines LUV Classic Golf Tourney that has made possible the collection of proceeds of over eleven million dollars for charity. In a further demonstration of Southwest’s commitment to community, Yerkes reports that “The Hearts & Homes Project saw Southwest’s Dallas employees rejuvenating homes in poorer neighborhoods; in Operation Cover-up, San Francisco employees painted over graffiti on public walls and bridges” (49). Whichever way you look at it, Southwest Airlines is the place to work, the airline to fly with, and the best neighbor to have.

References

Grubbs-West, Lorraine. Lessons in loyalty: How Southwest Airline does it-an insider’s View. Dallas: Cornerstone leadership Institute, 2005. Print.

Jones, Gareth, and Hill Charles. Strategic Management Theory: An integrated approach. Ohio: Cengage Learning. 2009. Print.

Gittel, Jody Hoffer. The Southwest Airlines Way: Using the power of relationships to achieve high performance. New York: McGraw-Hill Professional. 2005. Print.

Yerkes, Leslie. Fun Works: creating places where people love to work. California: Berrett-Koehler Publishers. 2007. Print.

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IvyPanda. 2022. "Why Southwest Airlines Is the Best Place to Work." March 21, 2022. https://ivypanda.com/essays/why-southwest-airlines-is-the-best-place-to-work/.

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IvyPanda. (2022) 'Why Southwest Airlines Is the Best Place to Work'. 21 March.

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