Emphasis on the work force leads to exemplary customer service, says airline exec
At Southwest Airlines the employees come first. The philosophy behind the carrier’s fun-loving corporate culture was the focus of Southwest President Colleen Barrett’s opening keynote address this week at Ragan’s Communications Roundup Conference at the airline’s headquarters in Dallas.
Barrett believes that the secret to Southwest’s success begins with the quality of the employees it hires. The company hires for attitude and trains for skills. That’s not to say that new hires are underqualified, rather that Southwest has been known to pass on applicants who may be the most qualified, but don’t necessarily fit into the company’s laid-back atmosphere.
So how does Southwest decide whether an applicant fits the corporate culture? The answer is simple—the golden rule. “We basically try to hire people who do the right thing and know what the right thing is instinctively and intuitively.”