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Southwest Airline Polices

Southwest Airline Polices

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Published by saket_adhikari
Southwest Airline, the largest low cost, low - frill airline in USA.
Southwest Airline, the largest low cost, low - frill airline in USA.

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Published by: saket_adhikari on May 29, 2011
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05/29/2011

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Southwest Airline polices that will yield positiverelationship to achieve high performance.
 
Southwest's polices will makes it so distinctive ability to build and sustained highperformance relationships among managers, employees, unions, and suppliers. Theserelationships are characterized by shared goals, shared knowledge, and mutual respect.
 
It will developed 10 policies to facilitate coordination among 12 distinct functions: pilots,flights attendants, gate agents, ticketing agents, operations agents, ramp agents,baggage transfer agents, cargo agents, mechanics, fuelers, aircraft cleaners, and catersby building relationships of shared goals, shared knowledge, and mutual respect.
Ten Southwest polices to yield positive relationship to achieve high performance
 
1
.
 
Lead with Credibility and Caring
 
SW top management team will build trust over time by being up front and consistentin their message. They have also made themselves available to frontlineemployees, demonstrating a level of caring that is beyond the norm in largecompanies
2
.
 
Invest in Frontline Leadership
 
Southwest shall supervisors more per frontline employee than any other airline inthe country. They are "player coaches" having managerial authority but alsoperforming the work of frontline workers. The supervisors spend more time thantheir counterparts engaged in coaching in the form of problem solving and advisingthe frontline employees.
3
.
 
Hire and Train for Relational Competence
 
Southwest places a great deal of importance on hiring people with the right attitude--people with relational competence--you can't be an elitist. Through training and"job exchange or "Walk a Mile" employees become familiar with other aspects of 
 
the work process or jobs they aspire to move into.
4
.
 
Use Conflict to Build Relationships
 
 A
t Southwest, managers are expected to take an active role in resolving cross-functional conflicts. When conflicts arise and are not resolved by the partiesthemselves, a conflict resolutions process is used: informational-gathering, or "Come to Jesus" meetings, suggesting that conflicting parties were expected tobare their souls to achieve reconciliation.
5
.
 
Bridge the Work/Family Divide
 
E
mployees are encouraged to be themselves at work and to openly recognizemajor events in the lives of employees and their families.
E
ach individual stationhas a Culture Committee to maintain and strengthen Southwest's culture and toplan social and charitable events. The Ronald McDonald House, a residenceprovided to families while their children are undergoing treatment for cancer, issupported by each of the local Culture Committees.
6
.
 
Create Boundary Spanners
 
O
perations
 A
gents are the boundary spanners, moving in the opposite direction of the rest of the industry Southwest has increased the staffing levels nor relied oncomputer interfaces to gather the information required to dispatch a flight.
7
.
 
Avoid Finger Pointing--Measure Performance Broadly
 
Southwest uses cross-functional, not functional, performance measures toencourages participants to focus on learning rather than blaming when things gowrong. e.g., "Team delay" which allowed less precise reporting of the cause of delays, with the goal of diffusing blame and encouraging learning.
8
.
 
Keep Jobs Flexible at the Boundaries
 
Southwest has successfully negotiated flexible job descriptions in all of its union
 
contracts.
E
very job description ends with this statement: Whatever it takes to getthe plane out.
9
.
 
Make Unions Your Partners, Not Adversaries
 
Southwest is the most highly unionized airline the the U.S. airline industry and incontrast to other airlines has emphasized the importance of labor/managementpartnerships. Respectful relationships between company management and theunions chosen by frontline employees appear to set the tone for respectfulrelationships throughout the company.
10
.
 
Build Relationships with Your Suppliers
 
E
xternal parties are treated to the same kind of relationship building efforts thatexist throughout Southwest
 A
irlines. Southwest stands apart from the rest of theairline industry in the emphasis it places on building partnerships with the airports itserves, air traffic controllers, and aircraft manufacturers. Southwest effectivelyextends its sphere of influence beyond its employees to encompass its entire valuechain.
 
Southwest's success is not due to one particular organization practice or another, butrather to the overwhelming consistency among them, a configuration of mutuallyconsistent practices rather than a single key practice, while imitating organizations tendto adopt only some of these practices.
 
Perhaps the most impressive characteristic of Southwest is the sheer sustainability of itssuccess, year after year. The response to the 9-11 is illustrative crisis, the other major airlines cut their flights by 20 percent and laid off 16 percent of their workforces. Southwest had its own unique approach for responding to thiscrisis. Southwest demonstrated caring by avoiding layoffs altogether, and by couchingits decision in terms of "taking care of our people." Southwest saw these difficult timesas an opportunity to increase its presence and expand the availability of its product tothe flying public. This was based on Southwest's long standing policy of maintaining lowdebt levels and relatively high levels of cash on hand.
 

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