Friday, March 2, 2007

Mission Possible

Southwest Airlines has been in service since 1971 and now operates over 468 planes. The company strives to get their customers to their destination on time while having low fares. Southwest's Mission Statement is made up of two parts, one part directed towards their customers which states, "The mission of Southwest Airlines is dedication to the highest quality of Customer Service delivered with a sense of warmth, friendliness, individual pride, and Company Spirit," and one part dedicated to their employees which states, "We are committed to provide our Employees a stable work environment with equal opportunity for learning and personal growth. Creativity and innovation are encouraged for improving the effectiveness of Southwest Airlines. Above all, Employees will be provided the same concern, respect, and caring attitude within the organization that they are expected to share externally with every Southwest Customer."

The well written Mission Statement of Southwest Airlines may be the reason why they are the least complained about airline. Customer service is crucial, the job of the employees is to satisfy the customers and Southwest treats their employees the same way they want their employees to treat their customers.

CEO Herb Kelleher said it perfectly, "When I started out, business school professors liked to pose a conundrum: Which do you put first, your employees, your customers, or your shareholders? As if that were an unanswerable question. My answer was very easy: You put your employees first. If you truly treat your employees that way, they will treat your customers well, your customers will come back, and that’s what makes your shareholders happy. So there is no constituency at war with any other constituency. Ultimately, it’s shareholder value that you’re producing."

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