Putting Values In Motion At Southwest Airlines
A Great Culture Builds A Great Business
And a great culture is built on people-centered values
Chapel Hill Tire chose to join the values-based company movement about five years ago, and we’re still learning from other, like-minded companies. Though we’re in very different businesses, we love the way Southwest Airlines is soaring to new heights through its commitment to its core values.
Last year, Southwest Airlines ranked third on Indeed’s Top-Rated Workplaces. Forbes magazine and the online recruitment service WayUp also consistently recognize the company for all it does to keep employees and customers happy. Not coincidentally, Southwest is also America’s largest domestic airline in terms of market share – and boasts 46 consecutive years of profitability.
Southwest’s strong, values-oriented business model and consistent success go hand-in-hand. To our team at Chapel Hill Tire, that makes perfect sense.
“The people who are doing really well aren’t talking about revenue, profits, margin, gross margins,” Chapel Hill Tire President Marc Pons said. “They are talking about their culture.”
Culture makes the company.
At Chapel Hill Tire, our culture is built around five core values. We live by the desire to strive for excellence, treat each other like family, say yes to customers and each other, be grateful and helpful, and win as a team.
“This is how we make decisions,” Pons said. “Rather than having a huge manual of standard operating procedures, we have five values.” Every day at every location starts with a conversation about these values, usually focusing on the “Value of the Week,” and employees put them into action with every customer we serve.
Though they word their values differently, Southwest encourages a culture that is very much like ours. To live the Southwest Way is to have a Warrior Spirit, Servant’s Heart and Fun-LUVing Attitude. The Warrior Spirit pushes to strive for excellence. A Servant’s Heart seeks to always say yes to the customer and to work to make sure the company and its customers win as a team. A Fun-LUVing Attitude motivates everyone to treat each other as family.
What Pons finds most important about Southwest and Chapel Hill Tire’s values is how they reflect on the company.
Choosing to care is the heart of a great culture
“When you come in every day, caring is a choice,” Pons said. “You can choose not to care about the people you work with. You can choose to care. We choose to care.”
Likewise, Southwest chooses to care about their employees. It chooses to care about the work environment and customer experience equally. It chooses to care about the quality of its service and the happiness of the people providing it. That caring for employees is reflected in Southwest’s recognition by WayUp. At Chapel Hill Tire, it is reflected in our being chosen as one of America’s best places to work by Tire Business magazine.
When you value people, you create real value
There is a world of difference between flying people around the country and helping them care for their cars. But there is one important similarity: both Southwest and Chapel Hill Tire serve people.
“I think that we both just recognize the human element,” Pons said. “Whether it’s cars or planes, there are real people behind every service. And the businesses that choose to care always stay a cut above the rest.”