August 24, 2013
Introduction The intent of this paper it to define critical concepts of strategic planning with Southwest Airlines (SWA) top management and how their organization pursued choices and different strategies to run the business by using superior performance employees that gave them a competitive advantage over their competitors. I will concentrate on the thirteen strategic staffing decisions that are critical for any organization to be successful. I will also emphasis the knowledge, skills, abilities, and others (KSAOs) relative to the staffing process and how the company teaches these skills to the employees. This paper will focus on the success of the employees of the organization through the eyes of its past CEO Herb Kelleher. “We want to show them they’re important to us as who they are, as people. And by the way, one ramp agent - I have not disclosed this - sent me a note one day which I’ve never publicized, and I think you’ll understand why.” He said, “Herb, I finally got it. Your making work fun, and home is work.” (Herb Kelleher 2013) SWA was formed in 1971, to serve the inner cities within Texas but by 1998, it had 24,000 employees and 2,500 flights per day. The business was growing fast and the company worked hard at developing and maintaining a culture that it still emphasizes and instills today; flexibility, family orientation, and fun. Southwest airlines philosophy is about the people. It has been consistently successful with great employees and less than strenuous union relations. The company’s success lies in the success of its employee culture and flexibility. Over 80 percent of its employees are unionized but by industry standards have been successful at working together. Although management does not have a formal structure with the union, the top managers who normally react to employees soliciting issues, freely
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