Southwest Airlines Business Strategy

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Southwest Airline’s strategy is a benchmark throughout the airline industry, being the largest discount career and the second largest domestic career. It all started in the beginning with Herb Kelleher and the then crazy idea to put employees above everything. Southwest employees work together, feel more job security, and feel like the company actually cares about them. By taking care of their employees, their employees feel like they are a part of something bigger. This has lead to higher customer satisfaction, profitability, and employee retention. The employees are emotionally and financially vested in the success of the company. Most others in the airline industry lack this loyalty and US Airways, United, and Continental have all copied …show more content…
It was then that they noticed they must innovate to survive. An employee came up with the idea of the 10-minute turn around. They thought of this idea because “planes make money in the air not on the ground” and they would rather cut back on time they are on the ground than cut on service. They board in a different way. The idea starts with no assigned seating, just a seat group, and it is possible due to the great employees that work together. The idea must work well because in 2013, Southwest was beating out all industry leaders in on time arrivals. This is in part due to the fact that Southwest employees work together as a team, and they do it well. It is not unusual to see a pilot helping the stewardesses clean up the plane to ensure that the planes arrive and take off on time. One passenger, in 2007, even noticed Herb Kelleher and a Southwest Executive Colleen Barrett helping load luggage in the plane with the baggage guys. The next day the same customer, a Ph.D in organizational behavior, noticed a pilot helping passengers in wheelchairs onto the plane. Southwest not only has employees pitch in from other sectors, they even have a team of people who surprise crews by taking over their cleaning job after flights. There is also a team called the Hockey team. The hokey is the vacuum used to clean up the aircraft between flights. The Hokey Team shows up and offers the crew a break and a snack while they clean up the airplane. This crew travels around and is part of the Companywide Culture Committee. Status doesn’t not matter as much at Southwest, as it does in other companies. Companywide Culture Committees are “Employee-led groups volunteer time to celebrate life events, plan FUN events, and make Southwest a FUN place to work” (Benefits). Crews want to pitch in and help as much as possible. Therefore Southwest Airlines employees seem to work together better than any other airline

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