Southwest Case Study

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Category: Business and Industry

Date Submitted: 09/04/2011 07:51 PM

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Southwest is a company known for what is described as their “unique culture”. Fun happens to be a part of this culture. Unlike most companies, attitude is just as important as skills needed for a position. It is highly employee-orientated and they are very open-minded. Who wouldn’t want to be a part of a company dedicated to having a great sense of humor, high employee morale, a positive attitude, etc.?

Southwest’s CEO, Herb Kelleher, has a warm personality and brings new meaning to the work environment. He has taken a different approach to making his employees feel good about their jobs and coming to work. Communication is very effective and the executives and staff respect one another. Not to mention that employees are given the opportunities to continuously learn and flourish within the company. The employees have a strong relationship with one another and they believe in and are a part of something that is bigger than them.

Great organizations contain happy employees that truly care about one another. Happy employees work harder, smarter, more effectively and more efficiently than unhappy employees. (Dubose, 2008). Higher salaries, great fringe benefits and other benefits do not completely make/keep employees happy. There are other measures that need to be taken such as creating a balanced work environment, showing appreciation to your employees, developing an execution environment (do away with unneeded rules), allowing employees to blossom, encouraging professional development and making an effort to understand one another to name a few. Southwest has managed to accomplish all of the above.

Of course employees want to work in a job where they are able to have fun. Employees work long hours (most between eight and twelve per shift) and at least four to five days per week. Some of these same employees have homes and families to take care of and not to mention studying if they are attending school. Some may even be single parents juggling all of these...