You are on page 1of 3

STRATEGIC HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT

1. Discuss the key factors that contributed to the success of Southwest Airlines.

Southwest Airlines started operations in 1971 with just 3 aircrafts with the motive to save
customers’ time and money. The Southwest Airlines also known as SWA become the one of
the most successful airline companies in 1990 and it was the only major domestic airlines to
turn a profit. The SWA consistently outperformed its competitors throughout the decade.
Factors that contributed to the success of SWA –
a. Good HR Practices for Employees:
SWA’s success centers around a “value” cycle; Southwest first creates value through
its HR practices for employees; this value is then converted in to customer value via
the design of specific operating process, then captured though the provision of low
costs and superior service relative to the competitors. SWA has a culture that stresses
“LUV” and “FUN”. LUV refers to one of the company’s core values, involving respect
for individuality, and genuine concern for others. FUN refers to the company’s
philosophy of employs enjoying themselves at work and creating an atmosphere that
allow customer to have fun as well. LUV and FUN are embedded in the hiring process,
which prospective employees being asked to describe their most embarrassing
moment. FUN and LUV are also a components of compensation system. Though the
salary of the employees are average compared to others in the market but employees
love the environment. Employees benefits are ensured with various nonmonetary
awards, employee treat one another well. SWA focuses on ongoing training &
development for its new and existing employees, they listen to them and consider
their suggestion thoughtfully. The nurturing, ongoing development of the
organizational culture is critical to Southwest’s competitive advantages.

b. Highly Motivate and Proactive Employees:


Employees love to introduce them as the employee of Southwest airlines. What driven
them to be loyal to the company; it is definitely due to an employee friendly HR
practices, environment and company policies. Employees are highly motivated and
proactive thus resulting lowest turnaround time which is only 17 min whereas
standard turnaround time is about 45min. Most of the employees are directly
involved in moving passengers from departure to destinations as gate agents, ramp
agents, baggage handlers, flight attendants or pilots. All the employees work in SWA
with joy in mind that allow customer to have fun as well.

c. Low Cost and Superior Customer Service:

PROSANTA KUMAR DATTA, ID NO. 17-90318-3 1


STRATEGIC HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT

SWA always offers low cost and superior service to the travelers by maintaining its
operational cost low. Most of their aircrafts are Boeing 737 and always choose low
less busy airports to operate. Reason being keeping only one type of aircraft is - it
reduces cost of training because, crew and attendants are already trained on Boeing
737. Adding a new different type of aircraft at the fleet will require additional training
cost for the staff. SWA does not provide food for the traveler as they operate most
direct filths and flying time is average less than 90min. SWA operates mostly short-
houl direct flight and less congested airports. SWA increase it passenger’s willingness
to pay by providing a higher level of customer service than it’s competitors, offering
more frequent departures, and amusing it passengers, which makes the end of long
workday more entertaining that inspires a customer to come again.

2. What is the secret of SWA competitive (indeed much lower than average
turnaround time)?

The nurturing, ongoing development of the organizational culture is essential to


Southwest’s competitive advantages.

SWA uses a variety of HR practices to create its unique labor force. Starting with a
rigorous selection process, employees are paid an average compensation, combined with
significant nonmonetary awards. Employees love to introduce them as the employee of
Southwest airlines. What driven them to be loyal to the company; it is definitely due to
an employee friendly HR practices, environment and company policies. Employees are
highly motivated and proactive thus resulting lowest turnaround time which is only 17
min whereas standard turnaround time is about 45min. Most of the employees are
directly involved in moving passengers from departure to destinations as gate agents,
ramp agents, baggage handlers, flight attendants or pilots. All the employees work in
SWA with joy in mind that allow customer to have fun as well.

3. Discuss SWA’s unique culture?

SWA’s unique corporate culture is the key factor of the success over the last decade.
This unique culture is developed under founding CEO Her Kelliher and maintained as
part of SWAs competitive strategies of delivering both low costs and superior service.

PROSANTA KUMAR DATTA, ID NO. 17-90318-3 2


STRATEGIC HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT

SWA has a unique culture that stresses “LUV” and “FUN”. LUV refers to one of the
company’s core values, involving respect for individuality, and genuine concern for
others. FUN refers to the company’s philosophy of employs enjoying themselves at
work and creating an atmosphere that allow customer to have fun as well. LUV and
FUN are embedded in the hiring process, which prospective employees being asked
to describe their most embarrassing moment. FUN and LUV are also a components of
compensation system. Though the salary of the employees are average compared to
others in the market but employees love the environment. Employees benefits are
ensured with various nonmonetary awards, employee treat one another well. SWA
focuses on ongoing training & development for its new and existing employees, they
listen to them and consider their suggestion thoughtfully. The nurturing, ongoing
development of the organizational culture is critical to Southwest’s competitive
advantages.

PROSANTA KUMAR DATTA, ID NO. 17-90318-3 3