Welcome to The Life of an Adult Educator

As an adult educator, I try to deliver the best instruction to my students that I can offer. My agency provides basic remedial instruction and high school equivalency instruction for 17-24 wishing to go into the workforce. It excites me every day to contribute my small part in educating the youth population.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Planning for a Needs Assessment

In preparing a needs assessment for a company, I chose Southwest Airlines.  Within recent months, the airline industry has been under enormous criticism because of employee actions towards passengers. At one time, airlines took great pride in servicing their passengers and the standard should continue to preserve the quality of flying. Southwest Airlines started in 1971 servicing three Texas cities. Currently, they are servicing 101 cities within 48 states and abroad. How would I prepare a needs assessment for Southwest Airlines make improvements to adhere to the needs of all their stakeholders?  The first task is to get feedback from flyers. The passengers are the key stakeholders in this industry. If passenger sales decrease, the airline would not be able to stand.  Feedback on flight service is important. Qualitative and qualitative results should be examined to see what areas of the airline need the most improvement. It can be ticket prices, baggage, flight delays, or anything that passengers feel need improvement.

The next step, if possible, would be to interview employees from these areas from different areas. Services from smaller, less populated areas may be better than those flights from major cities, like Chicago, Dallas or Atlanta. An employee focus group consisting of flight crews and ticket agents can be a critical component because they have direct interaction with the passengers and they have more insight of passenger needs.  There are numerous questions that can be asked, but it will depend on what feedback is pulled from the passengers.  One area that every airline can improve on is flight delays and how can they improve in this area to avoid passengers missing scheduled deadlines.   Once those areas are identified, and employees and passengers have expressed their views on what policies should be reviewed;  a professional development session should be designed and required for all employees to attend.  The sessions should be an update on daily operating procedures and changes that will improve the quality of flights for their passengers.

Techniques used are focus groups, questionnaires, and interviews. These techniques would provide credible feedback on issues that would directly affect the passengers and their experiences.  These types of assessments are needed to make sure that consumers (passengers) are getting quality service. The airline industry is making billions of dollars each year and the airline will suffer if the overall flying experience is not good for the customer.

Not only in the airline industry, but in any area that goods or services are rendered, the primary stakeholder is the consumer.  Assessments are needed to often visit if the services and goods rendered are aligned with the overall mission of the company. 


Noe, R. A. (2013). Employee training and development (6th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw Hill.

Southwest Airlines (n.d.) Retrieved from: https://www.southwest.com/


  1. Aneatra,

    You make a great point of getting feedback from the customers and the employees that interact with them on a regular basis. I think the feedback from those two groups can work hand-in-hand to identify the need that will improve business.
    When I fly Delta, they send me an email with a survey. I probably fill them out 50% of the time and when I do, I rarely leave any specific comments about my flight experience. My point is, customer feedback is very useful but when only 50% of the passengers provide feedback, how can they get a complete view of the good and the bad. What could they do to get a higher percentage of responses?


  2. I'm pretty shocked, because I swear by, and do like traveling on SouthWest Airlines. I love their seating system, and their staff members are very accommodating during delays and cancellations. (I'm sure they used surveys and questionnaires to research how to satisfy their clients accordingly; Noe, 2013). That's what makes the difference in the flight to me. Okay, so the lunch box is not so great. But, I seem to get that same box lunch on every other airline as well. So, it's not the food; it's the specialized service that you get from the flight attendants, in which trainers could have used focused groups to gain a better perspective of performance issues (Noe, 2013).

    Nevertheless, I love how the flight attendants tried to make everyone laugh and get involved in emergency landing procedures and protocols. Believe me when I tell you that that must take a lot of practice during training sessions to get their presentation just right (Noe, 2013), because most attendants are informal and "down to earth." Since, most of the passengers are business men and women, the light humor and down-to-earth atmosphere, is greatly appreciated (i.e., by my bias observation, of course).

    A little witty humor by flight attendants carried many passengers happily throughout their trip. And, I've come to expect that service every time I fly with Southwest Airlines. (I expect to be entertained). If not for those factors mentioned, it would be like flying on any other airline. Thanks for the great post. Sorry for the personal flashback though.

    Best wishes,


    Noe, R. A. (2013). Employee training and development (6th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw Hill.

  3. I agree, it is important to get feedback from the passengers. Much of the training that is put into place should address the needs and concerns of the passengers. Also, it is a good idea to get feed back from employees. Thinking of getting feedback from airline attendants, do you think it would be challenging to get an interview from them since they are constantly flying in and out of cities? Are there other ways to get credible information from them without interviewing them? Do you think questionaries are the best way to obtain this info from them? Thoughts?