What special treatment do you receive at your job for working a holiday? A few extra bucks? No doubt, that’s always nice. Maybe some glazed donuts and coffee in your break room? Wonderful…that contributed well to my workout regimen. It’s pretty much business as usual, right?
Being in the operational and Customer Service industry, Southwest Employees, like many other Companies, have to spend part of their cherished holidays away from their families, and instead on the clock. But what makes Southwest different is as they leave their family “at home,” many are at ease, as they’re joining their Southwest Family at work—a type of Culture that’s perplexed and been attempted by other companies time and time again.
An appreciation of the Southwest and AirTran Moms this past Sunday at Ft. Lauderdale (FLL) gives a glimpse into the Culture that drove 193,363 resumes into Southwest in 2011 alone. As the dedicated Moms arrived to work on Mother’s Day, they were treated as superstars—literally! The hallway that led them to the time clock was transformed into a red carpet event, complete with balloons, marquee, confetti, and SWA paparazzi. Each mom received a card, roses, a cupcake, tiara, and big Mother’s Day hug!
It’s simple, yet meaningful appreciations like this that help our Employees fall in LUV with Southwest all over again. Yes, we do, in fact have a “Own the Holidays Committee” at our Southwest Headquarters, but our Former President and the “heart” of Southwest Airlines, Colleen Barrett, has always emphasized it’s not the Southwest Way to live in a world of “corporate initiatives and programs." Instead, our Culture comes from within the people we hire. Colleen states, “You have the opportunity to think with your heart and your head, and to use that gray area; everything is not black and white, we use that as an excuse to make decisions that aren’t from the heart.”