I’m in Austin for the SXSW Interactive Festival and I’ll be blogging here live when I finish an interesting panel. Don’t know what SXSW is? Don’t worry. I’m pretty new to the festival too. Last year was actually my first conference.
SXSW Interactive is a technology conference in Austin that features some of the brightest minds in the industry. The keynote speakers include Jack Dorsey, the founder of twitter, and Valerie Casey, the Executive Director of the Designers Accord.
I just finished a session called “Beyond Barbecue: The Future of Corporate Culture” with Mallory Messina, one of the culture reps from Southwest Airlines and it was awesome. The fact she opened by singing a song about the power of love definitely helped.
So what is corporate culture, according to Southwest Air? Your corporate culture is what you sell to the people inside of your organization while your product is what you sell to your public. Your company culture is about how you and your employees live everyday and how you run your business.
At Southwest, the culture was designed with the number one customer in mind–the employee.
Yes. You read that right. At Southwest they consider their employees number one. The customer is always right and that customer is their team. All 35,000 employees are responsible for the company culture. Southwest believes if their employees are happy, they will treat customers well and by extension, their customers will be happy.
Southwest has some really great tenants for maintaining their corporate culture.
Hire on attitude, not on skill. The three most important attributes Southwest looks for are a servants heart, a warrior spirit and a fun-loving attitude.
They communicate openly and transparently. Every single employee knows what is going on with the company.
Everyone wants to be recognized. Southwest has several recognition programs in place and they think saying THANK YOU to their team is number one.
At MMI we think company culture is really important too, so we love what Southwest is doing!