IAMPHENOM Session Recap: Southwest Hires with Core Values

“We’re in the customer service business, we just happen to fly planes.” -Greg Muccio

Southwest’s Senior Manager of Talent Acquisition, Greg Muccio, spoke to IAMPHENOM attendees on the importance of treating employees as they are, in the words of Gary Kelly, CEO at Southwest, “...our single greatest strength and most enduring long-term competitive advantage.”

 

Greg and the Southwest team know the value of ensuring employee happiness as it bleeds through to customers, shareholders, as well as the rest of the company.

 

The airline believes there are four methods when building a team:

  1. Develop strong values

  2. Hire to those values

  3. Tie performance to expectations

  4. Get out of your employees’ way

Core Values

Hiring people starts with establishing steadfast values that every employee should embody the moment they walk through the door and until their last day.

 

Why create core values? They are the building blocks to the company’s vision and mission. When you employ people who possess and demonstrate these character traits, your vision for the company will come to fruition.

Hire to Those Values

Once the core values are established, then talent acquisition teams need to use those values as criteria when sourcing candidates. If you cannot see any of your candidates personifying the values, continue your search. You can always train an employee how to do the job, but their character is inherent. They were born with the morals and motivation behind their behavior.

“Hire character. Train skill.” -Peter Schutz

Tie Performance to Expectations

You took the time to determine the type of individuals needed to excel your company’s mission, vision, and values. Make sure the employee is adding to the team in more ways than what you see on paper. Granted, their job’s responsibilities must come first, but are they an exceptional team player? Do they motivate, collaborate with, and mentor teammates? Are they confident and embrace projects with an undying valor? Do they make the job a more enjoyable experience for everyone because of their personality? These are the questions you should ask yourself when evaluating your employees’ performance.

Clear the Way

Finally, Greg suggests that once the previous three steps are solidified, do yourself and your employee a favor and let them own their role and “fly” with it. You want your employees to succeed. When they succeed, they’re happy, engaged, and proud of their job. When they’re happy, your customers are happy. When your customers are happy, your shareholders are happy. And when your shareholders are happy, it comes full circle back to your team.

 

If you liked this, you’ll love our mini eBook, Top 10 Takeaways from IAMPHENOM, that summarizes nine other speaker sessions from the event! And if you missed our last post in this recap series, go and read it now!

Derek leads the Marketing Communications initiatives at Phenom People. He engages with Phenom customers to spotlight their stories in the media.

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