Many of us saw several viral videosin YouTube in which stewards that work for Southwest Airlines company in the USA perform the service, and ‘perform’ is a correct word here. But really few of us understand why this is happening.
Southwest Airlines (SA) is famous for its unique corporate culture, there even exists a book written by the company’s Head of Marketing, that reveals all the secrets of company’s corporate culture, HR policies and Marketing based on CRM. The main principle of SA CRM is the following: if company’s employees are really happy working in the company, they will broadcast it to clients naturally and sincerely, without any external stimulus. At first sight, the ‘secret’ does not seem unobvious: companies should provide their employees with exceptional working conditions and they will succeed as SA does. So, if we’ll read the whole mentioned book (not only the foreword), we’ll understand that the answer is not on the surface.
Many Americans dream about working for SA but the company has large and long recruitment system. Newcomers have to pass several steps that check not only their intellectual skills but also personal traits and life approaches and values. Thus, very small percentage of applicants manage to get SA job offers. Definitely many big companies have complicated recruitment system too, but when we talk about SA, we should make it clear that an applicant may be accepted if he or she suits an exact profile.
There described many examples of various situations that illustrate people of such profile. The one that comes to my mind is about spontaneous celebrations or breakfasts when there is a newcomer in the department. This really sounds like a good idea but the will to make this celebrations is very deep and natural – they want to make this party and do not feel any doubts or laziness or anything else.
The case of SA does not show us that great CRM is possible to be built only if an employer recruits people ‘sorting’ them by define employee portrait. Many other companies and other business spheres have their own peculiarities that may not be covered by strict employee profile. But definitely the quality of CRM depends on companies’ employers satisfaction with work and this factor can be influenced by an employer.
Grubbs-West, L. (2005). Lessons in Loyalty: How Southwest Airlines Does it: an Insider’s View. CornerStone Leadership Inst.