Course: Strategic Human Resource Management 530
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Propose how you would ensure the HR strategy is in alignment with the business strategy. Since its very first round of commercial flights in the summer of June 1971; Southwest was initially founded on the basis as a “low-cost” provider without compromising quality of service.. Its popular low-fares made air travel more affordable that captured an underserved demographic proportion, especially during the economic “melt-down” of 2008 (Gamble & Thompson, 2008).
Besides low-cost fares; Southwest’s second core business strategy was their approach to providing exceptional customer service as well as creating a good customer satisfaction and overall experience.
Southwest’s has predicated their success upon making sure passengers had a positive flying experience, so from an HRM strategy that’s why it is important for the company to hire gate personnel who enjoyed interacting with customers; having good interpersonal & outgoing personalities. For example, a number of Southwest’s gate personnel would entertain passengers with trivia questions or contests, while staying actively engaged with passengers during departures and arrivals.
Southwest HRM strategy has certainly aligned with the current CEO’s (Gary Kelly’s) expectations in terms of receiving thousands of letters from customers complimenting particular employees that want “far and beyond” the call of duty (www.southwest.com). So based on all of this, what would be my approach upon making sure the HR strategy stays currently aligned with Southwest’s business strategy? 1. Placing a high strategic importance upon hiring & retaining employees that reflects the company’s goals and values of delivering exceptional customer service, while being passionate about their jobs. 2. Strategically focusing hiring
References: Stewart, G. L., & Brown, K. G. (2012). Human resource management (2nd ed.). Danvers, MA: John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Gamble, J., & Thompson, A. (2008). Southwest Airlines: Culture, Values, and Operating Practices (custom edition). McGraw-Hill Learning Solutions. www.southwest.com