Be More Like Southwest Airlines

If you've flown Southwest Airlines you know they're tops in airline customer service, driven by a leadership style that creates a company-wide culture where all employees own that culture.

According to SWA Chairman, President and CEO Gary Kelly, as reported in the company's in-flight magazine, "every company has a culture, whether that culture is supportive or stifling, active or passive, fun or discouraging."

"One way we do culture differently is by making Southwest's culture everyone's responsibility. In fact, we ask everyone to 'own it,'" says Kelly.

Here are some of the ways that SWA keeps its winning culture in the forefront that you can also do to keep employees motivated and to drive great customer service:

1. Form a corporate culture committee and a local culture committee that organizes low-cost employee events throughout the year.

2. Include a section related to culture on each employee's annual performance appraisal. This goes for every employee in your company, including the entire management team.

3. Explain your company's culture on the first day of each new hire's orientation and training.

4. Foster a culture that encourages celebration.


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