With Qualtrics®, Southwest aims to better understand employee experiences to drive planning for an engaged and equipped workforce
PROVO, Utah & SEATTLE–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Southwest Airlines Co., one of the world’s most admired airlines, leverages Qualtrics, the leader and creator of the experience management (XM) category, to keep a pulse on employee sentiment as it continuously evolves its roadmap to support employee needs. With Qualtrics, Southwest gets a better understanding of employee engagement and well-being, and ensures employees receive the information and support they need from leaders to feel successful in their roles.
Southwest began using Qualtrics’ XM® for People Teams in 2020, at a time when travel experienced a significant change, and it was more important than ever to stay connected to employee feedback.
“We have always put Employees first, and we are intentional about listening to our People and taking action to improve experiences,” said Southwest Senior Vice President Culture and Communications Whitney Eichinger. “We hired more than 18,000 employees last year and are on track to hire a significant number this year as well. It’s critical for us that each new hire feels welcomed into Southwest’s Culture and receives the tools and support they need. Since Southwest was founded, the Company has focused on taking care of its Employees first, knowing that will position them to best serve Customers.”
Considering how quickly the travel landscape continues to change, Southwest is focused on employees receiving the right amount of communication through the most effective channels. Ninety percent of the airline’s workforce is on the frontlines and not sitting at a computer every day, so Southwest asks employees through bi-annual surveys which channels they use most often to get information about the company. This approach is aimed to help leadership determine whether the right messages are reaching the right people at the right time.
Listening to Employees and Celebrating Wins
Southwest recognizes employees who go above and beyond and has created mechanisms for employees and customers to share feedback about great experiences. Leaders can get involved in celebrating the good work happening throughout the company to recognize behavior they want to encourage.
According to a CrossXM analysis from Qualtrics, which gives leaders insights into how their employee and customer experiences impact one another, when frontline employees feel equipped to solve issues quickly and empowered by their leaders to take on new challenges, customers are more likely to have a positive experience when interacting with employees.
“Employees want to feel heard and understood,” said Qualtrics Chief People Officer Julia Anas. “Continuously listening to how employees are feeling and understanding their needs helps inform leaders of what actions to take in order to improve employee experience, productivity and trust.”
About Southwest Airlines Co.
Southwest Airlines Co. operates one of the world’s most admired and awarded airlines, offering its one-of-a-kind value and Hospitality at 121 airports across 11 countries. Southwest took flight in 1971 to democratize the sky through friendly, reliable, and low-cost air travel and now carries more air travelers flying nonstop within the United States than any other airline1. Based in Dallas and famous for an Employee-first corporate Culture, Southwest maintains an unprecedented record of no involuntary furloughs or layoffs in its history. By empowering its more than 71,0002 People to deliver unparalleled Hospitality, the maverick airline cherishes a passionate loyalty among more than 126 million Customers carried in 2022. That formula for success brought industry-leading prosperity and 47 consecutive years3 of profitability for Southwest Shareholders (NYSE: LUV). Southwest leverages a unique legacy and mission to serve communities around the world including harnessing the power of its People and Purpose to put communities at the Heart of its success. Learn more by visiting Southwest.com/citizenship. As the airline with Heart, Southwest has set a goal to work toward achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2050. Southwest has also set near-term targets and a four-pillar strategy to achieve its environmental goals. Learn more by visiting Southwest.com/planet.
1U.S. Dept. of Transportation Q1 2023 reporting of domestic originating passengers boarded
2Fulltime-equivalent active Employees
31973-2019 annual profitability
Qualtrics, the leader and creator of the experience management category, is a cloud-native software provider that empowers organizations to deliver exceptional experiences and build deep relationships with their customers and employees – so they can understand their greatest friction points, retain and engage top talent, and deliver the right products and services. Nearly 20,000 organizations around the world use Qualtrics’ advanced AI to listen, understand, and take action. Qualtrics uses its vast universe of experience data to form the largest database of human sentiment in the world. Qualtrics is co-headquartered in Provo, Utah and Seattle. To learn more, please visit qualtrics.com.
Sarah Stoddard, Qualtrics