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One Report -- Culture is the Name of the Game

ghardage
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This is the fourth in a series of posts about our just-released integrated annual report, the 2010 Southwest Airlines One Report™, where we have illustrated our commitment to a triple bottom line and how our passion and focus on Performance, People, and Planet continues to propel us forward. 

It’s fair to say that Southwest’s Culture is kind of a big deal around here. We believe we each own a piece of it, and we protect it fiercely. In fact, when it came to our 2010 Southwest Airlines One Report, we recognized a direct link from the health of our Culture to the financial health of our Company. We believe this link has been the key to our success for the last 40 years. One might wonder why a company’s Culture is relevant in an annual report.  Aren’t annual reports supposed to be documents for shareholders to read facts and figures pertaining to a Company’s bottom line? To some companies, the answer is “yes”.   At Southwest Airlines, however, we report to a Triple Bottom Line of Performance, People, and Planet.  The 2010 Southwest Airlines One Report is for those who love this Company, those who invest in this Company, and those who are affected directly and indirectly by how Southwest operates in their community.

You may have encountered one of our Fun-LUVing Southwest Airlines Flight Attendants who instead of reciting a rehearsed speech, chose to sing the pre-flight safety instructions. Or maybe you came across a Gate Agent who had the entire gate area sing happy birthday to an unsuspecting Customer.  It’s apparent at Southwest that we love to have fun. We love to make Customers feel special. But our Culture goes beyond having Fun. It’s about taking care of each other, whether it is a Coworker, a Customer, or a community.

We have an entire department dedicated to sustaining our Culture and taking care of our Employees. Southwest also has a Corporate Culture Committee comprised of dozens of Employees from across the country who go beyond their job description to dedicate themselves to sustaining our Culture. It’s not all fun and games when it comes to Culture (though, that’s an important part). It’s celebrating each other’s victories and mourning each other’s losses. It is creating a working environment where someone can bring their whole self to work, both their talent and their heart.

For those of us at Southwest Airlines, the link from Culture to financial health is apparent. When our Employees are happy, our Customers are happy. When our Customers are happy, our Shareholders are happy. It’s a philosophy we are dedicated to.

We are proud of our commitment to being a good citizen of the world.  We look forward to sharing the journey with you in our blog posts on Performance, People, and Planet, and we hope it will inspire you to read our 2010 Southwest Airlines One Report™, which, in an effort to conserve our natural resources, can only be found online at www.southwest.com/citizenship

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