Southwest Airlines People Management

2525 Words11 Pages
Southwest Airlines People Management JWMI People Management 520 Martin Greenlee 6-1-14 Southwest Airlines History Southwest Airlines began in 1971 as an idea that was captured on a bar napkin by its original Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Herb Kelleher. The airline focused on the niche of short-haul airline travel. Their aim was initially to win people over to air travel that would typically drive. The beginnings proved to be very challenging as the young company struggled to make ends meet. Employees were repeatedly relied upon to make sacrifices and go above and beyond to allow the company to survive another day. These early experiences with employees greatly influenced Mr. Kelleher as he clearly cherished his employees. The company recently acquired AirTran Airways and now has 46,000 employees. The company has enjoyed 41 straight years of profitability (USA Today, 2014). In 2014 the integration of Air-Tran will be completed. Southwest’s People Management Strategy The basic strategy Southwest Airlines employs regarding people management is employees first, customers second. "We offer Employees the same concern, respect, and caring attitude within the organization that they are expected to share externally with every customer." (Hoffer, 2005) At first glance, this strategy sounds absurd. On the contrary, this outside of the box strategy has worked since the company began serving customers. The company stresses several core values that identify the company as an industry leader. The core values stem from concepts developed over several years by Southwest's acknowledged "corporate mom" Colleen Barrett whose professional title Executive Vice President of Customers (McGee, 2007). She started out as Mr. Kelleher's assistant when the company began and has held several managerial positions over the years. Armed only with a two-year associates degree, and a

More about Southwest Airlines People Management

Open Document