Another airplane flight to speak in Atlanta, another message from Southwest Airlines’ fearless leader, Gary Kelly in the in-flight magazine. This month’s topic? Reliability.
- The airline is on target to hit their 2016 on time performance target.
- The airline has one of the top customer service rankings in the industry.
- The airline has the best baggage-handling numbers in the industry.
- The airline receives the lowest ratio of complaints per passenger boarded.
- The airline has refused to succumb to pressure to charge baggage fees or flight change fees.
How does Southwest do it?
Kelly credits the 50,000 Southwest employees who have the vision to become the world’s most-loved, most-flown, and most-profitable airline. Kelly asks employees to have a Warrior Spirit, which drives their constant pursuit of improvement. Employees think and act like owners, finding creative solutions to challenging issues and keeping costs low, so they can pass the savings on to their customers in the form of low fares.
Compare this to your culture. Do you ask employees to have a Warrior Spirit? If not, this is a great way to drive employee engagement. Workers who are always thinking about how to make things better and who are “heard” by senior leaders, feel like their contributions matter – like they are making a difference.
The result? Trust in senior leaders and an emotional connection to the company: the definition of employee engagement. In addition, the experience Southwest employees create for their customers has an incredible ripple effect. I don’t work for the company, but am regularly singing their praises to tens of thousands of people. They’ve created a brand ambassador in me because every time I interact with the airline, my experience is extraordinary.
Compare this to your culture. Do you create a positive unforgettable experience for your customers? If not, the first step is to re-engage your employees. They must have a vision to become the world’s most-loved and most-profitable company in your industry. When they do, your company will soar.
Be Awesome. Learn the four simple steps to re-engage employees and catapult your company into the ranks of the Ritz Carlton, Zappos, Southwest, and Chick-fil-A.