The Colleen C. Barrett Institute for Cultural Excellence & Customer Service

Southwest online rgb rev

Receive updates and the latest resources from the CCB Institute!

employees airplane hearts

Being Well: Incorporating Wellness into Corporate Culture

Life can throw us all kinds of curve balls, and I’ve personally had times when I’ve needed a little extra help—whether grieving the loss of someone close to me or dealing with my pesky knees that tend to have so much trouble! Southwest has been there every step of the way as I’ve been shown tremendous care by my Cohearts and provided with incredible benefits that help with my wellbeing. At Southwest, our Culture of caring is real. Our President Emeritus Colleen Barrett (namesake of the CCB Institute!) was devoted to taking care of our People from the very beginning, and that has not changed in over 52 years. We want our People to live and work well—both at work and home!

Because we know that wellbeing involves every aspect of life, today we focus on six dimensions of wellbeing (based on Gallup research): physical, mental, financial, career, social, and community. We seek to understand through Employee feedback and data what we are doing well and what pain points we can work to improve through projects sponsored by our cross-functional Wellbeing Executive Steering Group. 

In addition to our robust “core” Total Rewards package of financial compensation, retirement programs, health and insurance benefits, travel privileges, and other perks, we offer numerous wellbeing-focused programs and resources, for example:

  • Clear Skies, our Employee Assistance Program (EAP), provides mental health services to help Employees and their family members.
  • Dedicated onsite (and via phone) resources to address EAP questions, health needs, and Retirement Plan strategies.
  • Discounts for gym memberships and wellness and nutrition programs.

And it doesn’t stop there. Constantly assessing Employee needs, we introduced several new wellbeing offerings over the last year, including support for hypertension, expanded fertility benefits, additional support for orthopedic surgical procedures and treatment, supplemental hospital plan enhancements, and enhanced medical and vision plan features.

We also recognize that our Leaders play a critical role in supporting the wellbeing of our Employees—the key word being “support.” Leaders are not expected to be therapists, financial advisors, etc., so we introduced training in 2023 to help them navigate that responsibility. Mental health is a delicate topic, and we want to equip and encourage Leaders to foster an environment of trust where Employees feel they can share when they are struggling. That kind of transparency helps Leaders connect Employees with valuable resources in a supportive and appropriate way.

The health and strength of our Company is directly related to the health and wellbeing of our Employees. It really is that simple!

Picture of Lori Winters

Lori Winters

Vice President Total Rewards (at the time of publication)

View Thought Leaders Recommended Resources

Do you have questions for our Southwest Leaders about what it means to Lead Well? For a limited time, you will have the opportunity to submit your questions for a Southwest Thought Leader to answer in our next Virtual Fireside Chat.

Submit your questions in the box below, and be sure to keep an eye out for an email announcing the opening of registration for the Virtual Fireside Chat!

05302024 colleen thought leader post hero adj
Colleen Barrett

Special Edition: Colleen on Sustaining Strong Performance

Have you ever wondered why Southwest Airlines receives such an incredible amount of media coverage? Obviously, we have a wonderful Public Relations Department making sure our accomplishments and activities don’t go unnoticed, but the mere fact that we are a “successful airline” – two words most people think don’t go together – makes us newsworthy. It also leaves us- and everything we do open to scrutiny.

Read More
april feature article
Chris Johnson

Leading Well: Connecting with People

From the times I engaged with Herb Kelleher (Founder of Southwest Airlines) and Colleen Barrett (CCB Institute namesake!) early in my career, I learned from them the true value of giving your People your time and attention and seeing them for who they are instead of just the positions they fill. To me, that means you have to remember your Teams are made up of unique individuals and never forget the “Golden Rule” when you have the opportunity to connect with someone.

Read More
march newsletter hero
Elizabeth Bryant

Being Well: The ROI of Being Well for Yourself and Others

If you’ve ever flown before—hopefully with Southwest!—you’re likely familiar with the inflight safety announcement to put your oxygen mask on first before attempting to help others in an emergency. Did you know the same guidance can apply to your daily life, whether professional or personal? It’s true. To be able to meaningfully care for others or lead effectively, you must take care of yourself.

Read More
Scroll to Top