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The main theme of this project is to examine the way Southwest airlines has achieved to be one of the most ,if not the most, successful and largest airline in the world with a fleet of 548 Boeing 737 jet, a net income of 459 million dollars and many awards. Effective managing of its workforce and human recourses has greatly contributed on that success. I will also examine additional ways that organizations can use in order to efficiently manage the performance of their workforce in order to meet their objectives. More precisely I will examine the role of leadership, organization culture and the workforce performance.
Performance management of the workforce is the way an organization uses its employees in order to effectively meet its goals. Leadership has a great role on planning the work that the employees have to do and setting the desirable results. Moreover a good leader should constantly monitor its employee's performance. Also an effective leadership is responsible to further train the employees in order to develop their skills ,to provide them all the means they need in order to complete their task sand increase their responsibility by offering to them more challenging assignments; furthermore a leader should encourage creativity and experimentation. Another important aspect of leadership is to rate the performance of the workforce, by this mean a leader will be able to give more challenging tasks to the best performance workers and low performance workers will know that they will have to work harder in order to keep up. Finally a Good leader should reward the best performance employees with a combination of appraisals rewards and maybe financial bonuses and letting them know that their contribution to the organization has been greatly appreciated. Also the leader should be able to further motivate low performance employees and investigate the reasons that are holding them back. Another factor that can help to effective manage an organization's workforce is the organization culture, which is need to be set by a capable leadership. The set of beliefs and values that employees has to adopt in order to adapt on the organization's environment .First of all an organizational culture should set the foundations for a good cooperation and trust between a diverse workforce with different background ,experiences and race; achieving that will greatly increase the performance of the employees. It is also crucial that the organization culture sets a clear mission, be easy to understand and learn, not too complex and make the employees feel compatible with the organization. Workforce must be able to draw inspiration and moral from those set of values and beliefs and get motivated to contribute to the organization vision. Furthermore an effective organizational culture should allow the workforce to strive towards innovation by giving them the freedom to make mistakes and even fail. An effective Organizational culture has also an impact on how employees will act towards a threat, the greater impact it has the greater the chances are to overcome the threat. Applying all those aspect of organizational culture can prove challenging but it will be a determinant factor for the employees performance. Workforce performance can also be enhanced through human resources practices. For example it's the human resources department responsibility to create problem solving teams that have the sole role of finding effective solutions that may help the productivity of the workforce. Furthermore it is essential to promote communication between coworkers not only through person but through emails, intranet, instant messages and social networks. It is also very important to keep the entire workforce updated with the news of the organization through newsletters or the organization web site. Another important factor that Human resources department has to take care of is in order to augment the performance of the workforce is the security. Employees in order to perform they need to feel secure and comfortable.HR department has to make sure that the organization environment is employee friendly with no unnecessary dangers. Another asset that will increase the security of the workforce is to provide healthcare benefits. Finally a very crucial practice of Human resources in order to increase the performance of the workforce is to train it for a variety of different tasks and not only one and also to promote flexibility.
Southwest airlines, a company with over 35,000 employees and where the CEO Gary Kelly clearly states that "Our people are our single greatest strength and most enduring long term competitive advantage." could not omit to take in account and adopt many of the ways mentioned already in order to effectively manage their vast workforce in a way where both the company and the employees will be greatly benefited. First of all the leadership of the company has created a very well defined culture, an essential component of the culture is to keep the employees happy in order to increase their performance and thus enable them to keep the customers happy. That's why the managers of southwest airlines organize fun events like Halloween parties and many more where the employees will have fun and get to know better their coworkers and supervisors. Hence the employees will get to love the place they work and they will get motivated to work harder. But that is not the only actions they use to keep their employees happy and increase their performance. South west airlines are also known for the many benefits that offer to their employees. The company offers of course flight privileges, the employees and their families can travel completely free when they use southwest airlines. Moreover they can get discounts for friend and not only for flight but also for hotels and other companies that cooperate with southwest airlines. A very important and well known benefit is the medical care they offer to the employees for only 15 dollars a month which includes life insurance, vision, medical and dental healthcare. As I have already mentioned creativity and freedom to experiment and innovate is very important for an organization, something that southwest airline knows very well. Many of the ideas that made the company so successful were made by the employees, like the ten minute turnaround that helps southwest reduce airport parking costs by not letting their airplanes more than ten minutes on the ground. Southwest airlines are not only interesting in hiring skilled employees but also to further increase their skills, knowledge and fully meet their potentials and by achieving so to ameliorate their performance and productivity. To accomplish this, southwest airlines have created a facility called university of people which offers leadership, personal and professional development courses to the employees and also guarantees that every employee is thoroughly trained to do once job.