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Ask Ginger Hardage, former senior vice president of culture and communications at Southwest Airlines, what the single most important element to an organization’s brand is, and she’ll tell you: employee engagement.
Ginger’s belief in this key element began long before her job at Southwest. When she was 6 years old, Ginger and her family went on a sightseeing trip to Neiman Marcus dressed in their Sunday best. As they rode up the escalator, her dad’s jacket got caught and ripped, but personnel was quick to the scene. After failed attempts to repair the jacket, the staff provided her father with a replacement and he walked away that day with a brand-new Neiman Marcus suit.
Though she didn’t know it at the time, this was Ginger’s first encounter with employee engagement and the idea that customer satisfaction begins with the employees who serve them. This experience followed and informed Ginger throughout her professional career.
Now retired from Southwest Airlines, Ginger speaks to audiences about building purposeful organizational cultures made up of engaged employees. This year, she launched Unstoppable Cultures, an organization designed to help other brands create cultures of enduring greatness.
Are you leading your organization in a way that supports a purposeful culture?
“Brands are built from the inside out. The way a company behaves on the inside is going to find its way to the outside.” — Ginger Hardage