Surviving tough times: What company runs on LUV?

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Firing workers is a first resort for many companies facing recession. It’s so common that yesterday I asked: Do American companies disdain their workers? The answer seems to be yes for many—but not all.

Some companies love their employees. Southwest Airlines is an example. While airlines are notorious for cutting their workforce at the first sign of economic difficulties, Southwest has never had a layoff or a furlough in its almost 40 years of existence. It didn’t cut a single person after 9/11 despite losing $1 million a day after the attacks. And it didn’t cut a single person in the latest recession.

The company’s unwavering commitment to its people produces fiercely loyal employees. The airline is such a great place to work that it receives almost 200,000 job resumes per year. Loyal employees have produced an unbroken record of profitability for the company. Last year was Southwest’s 37th year of continuous profits. It’s never had a losing year.

Southwest continues to rack up the accolades. It has the highest marks for customer satisfaction and ontime performance, according to the latest figures from the U.S. Department of Transportation. It’s the 7th most admired company in the world and the most admired airline, according to Fortune.

Oh yes—one more thing. Southwest’s stock trades under the symbol LUV. So, not all companies disdain their workers. A few, like Southwest, love them—and have the results to show how love pays off. One has to wonder why more companies don’t follow the Southwest example.

Have your flown Southwest? What’s been your experience?

Do you know other companies like Southwest—those who LUV their employees?

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