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Delta has been named one of the 2017 Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For, according to global research and consulting firm Great Place to Work and Fortune. Delta ranked No. 63 and is the only airline on the list.

Delta News Hub had a chance to sit down with Joanne Smith, Delta’s Executive Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer, to discuss her thoughts on what drives the Delta culture.

Delta News Hub: To identify the 100 Best Companies to Work For, Fortune partners with Great Place to Work to conduct the most extensive employee survey in America. Can you share more on how employees rate their company?

Joanne Smith, Delta’s Executive Vice President and Chief Human Resources OfficerSmith: The list is based on employee ratings of their workplace culture, including the pride they take in their jobs, the camaraderie they experience with co-workers, and level of trust they feel toward leaders.

I think it’s important for employees to be assured that their company listens to their suggestions and works to set them into action. It’s also about the authenticity of relationships. At Delta, the way our people care for each other and our customers, along with the spirit of servant leadership, defines our unique culture.

DNH: Winning a spot on the list and being the only airline honored indicates that Delta has distinguished itself by creating a great place to work for employees. How does Delta foster a great workplace?

Smith: We’re focused on listening to and engaging with our people in order to better serve our customers and make Delta great place to work. From surveys and roundtable discussions to Employee Involvement Groups and our Business Resource Groups, we’re constantly garnering feedback from our people.

Also, we talk a lot about the spirit of the Delta family, and we mean it. Whether in times of need or when celebrating our success together, Delta people are there for one another.

DNH: The results suggest that a high-trust culture fuels better business performance.
Does having a great workplace go hand-in-hand with a company’s success?

Smith: Yes, it gets back to our culture of servant leadership and living the values of the Rules of the Road. Delta people have a great respect for our company, our customers and one another. It’s an innate sense of caring that really gets us focused in the right direction. Delta people are laser-focused on meeting our goals. This is the power of continuous improvement, which is in our DNA, and driven by engaged Delta people.

DNH: In your opinion, how will Delta’s unique culture continue to shape the company’s future?

Smith: The global, multi-generational marketplace requires an innovative, inclusive workforce for business growth and success. We have an initiative in place to build out our brand for the next generation of customers as well as the next generation of employees. It focuses on offering leadership development opportunities for current employees, as well as attracting new talent. I believe our collective spirit of engagement and inclusion will continue to guide Delta’s success for many years to come.

DNH: March is Women’s History Month. Delta has many initiatives in place to celebrate the month. Can you tell us more about this?

Smith: All month long, Delta people around the world are honoring their female colleagues, customers, suppliers and their accomplishments in honor of Women's History Month. Events are occurring systemwide to build awareness and celebrate the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women.

Throughout the year, Delta people can get involved in our Women’s Employee Business Resource Group (WEN), an inclusive group committed to continuing to make Delta a great place to work, while also providing a forum for professional development, driving business results and networking. In addition, Delta leaders can get involved with the She Leads group, which fosters development for current and future female leaders.

This April, we’re offering our first-ever executive women’s summit for officers and directors. It will be hosted by Ed Bastian, with the theme of promoting the “pay it forward” approach of women supporting women.

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