SouthWest Airlines Case Study | Airlines | Southwest Airlines

By: Amita Sinha Ankur Kr Agarwal Ayushi Sharma Garima Rathore Neeraj Garg

Southwest Airlines that has built business and corporate culture around the tenets of total quality management and customer service. This case deals with corporate philosophy, culture and HRM practices. “Focus on Customer”. Treat their employee as their customer. Case also talks about the manager Herb Kelleher’s innovative way of dealing with the employees. Believe in Fun at work philosophy with safety.

  

 From

1992 through 1996, they won DOT’s triple crown for best on-time performance, best baggage handling & fewest customer complaints. 1996 to 1998, they won Airline Quality Rating for three consecutive years. to make profit even in industry downturns.

 From

 Managed

To show the level of satisfaction & pride felt by customers of SouthWest Airlines . . .

 Challenges

faced by the U.S. aviation industry: “Industry faced two major economic downturns since 1973(which had led to heavy losses and conflict with the labor union)”.


resorted to low cost carriers and wide range of aircraft.  Offered affordable prices to consumers  Followed a work culture that helped them in retaining talent.  Continuously improved their service for customers.  Involving Customer in various activities  Best Employee – Management relation in the industry

 Fun

at Work Philosophy  Focus on the employee involvement and empowerment.  Acknowledging employees Births, deaths, marriages and promotions.  They hire people with attitude and then build upon that foundation.  Employees are asked to use their own judgment and to go beyond job description.  SWA’s belief in continuous improvement of strategic focus.

 Involving

Employees in decision making  Healthy relationship between employees and management as there is no labor strike.  Fun at work culture.  Highly motivating employees and feeling of belongingness in employees. They get attention from CEO.  Even passengers were given due weightage from company perspective.

 Most

enjoyable work life:
with fun

 Work

 Least

enjoyable work life:
peanuts as meals.

 Servicing

 Yes,

we think that Kelleher’s “fun at work” philosophy could work equally well in any other company:
 will

help to reduce employee absenteeism  will increase employee’s satisfaction.  will lead to lower stress and higher productivity.  Will give the feeling of belongingness among the employees.

 SouthWest’s

success is due to balance between good business practices and good HR practices.  No, good business strategy can’t survive in long term without an equally good HR strategy.  Both essential for a company’s success.

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