At Southwest Airlines, we believe People are our greatest asset. We lovingly call our HR Department the “People Department” to remind us all of that focus. If Employees are our greatest asset, then how do we protect that asset? The Talent Management Team, along with other partners across the Company, provides opportunities that engage, develop, and retain our Employees.
Our Team has one major advantage—we do all of this in an environment that promotes Servant Leadership with a corporate Culture that encourages a fun and collaborative atmosphere. Traditional talent management focuses on setting clear expectations and goals, making sure employees have a clear understanding of their strengths and opportunities through performance check-ins, and providing insight into career paths and areas of growth for their career. Even though we have the same focus as traditional talent management, I think what makes Talent Management at Southwest Airlines so unique is that our expectations are not just about “what” you do, but also about “how” you do it. One of our Company Values, Humility, literally references “don’t be a jerk.” Having clear behavioral Values ensures Employees and Leaders know how to conduct themselves in order to uphold the Southwest Culture. This Culture enables Employees and Leaders to develop trusting relationships. These relationships support authentic dialogues so Leaders can help their Employees succeed.
One of the main purposes for Talent Management at Southwest Airlines is to build tools and processes (Check-ins, Competencies, and Performance Calibration) that allow our Leaders to coach Employees to meet their performance and career goals. Talent Management also supports the Employee in their unique performance and career goals, creating career growth opportunities within Southwest Airlines. I myself am a product of this career mobility. I started my Southwest career as a Talent Acquisition Coordinator and now have the privilege of leading the Talent Management function for our Company. I am super passionate about how we can continue to engage, develop, and retain our greatest asset—our People!
Cheers to 2022 and finding additional ways to engage, develop, and retain your teams!