Zappos works to ensure its employees feel a strong bond with and within the company.
- With more than 1700 employees operating from the corporate office in Las Vegas and its fulfillment center in Kentucky, Zappos considers itself “One company – two locations.” To “build a positive team and family spirit” (one of Zappos’ core values), employees travel in teams to visit the other location and experience the work done there.
- Team-related activities reinforce cohesiveness, such as periodic department parades through the office. One of my favorite examples is the Finance Department and its weekly “Random Acts of Kindness” award given to fellow employees.
- Zappos encourages employee celebration with major employee gatherings that include an annual summer picnic for employees and their families. It also hosts a special Vendor Appreciation event and even closes the office for a few hours so that ALL employees have the chance to attend.
Zappos invests in developing its people.
- All new employees working in the corporate office, regardless of their assigned jobs, go through extensive training in the Customer Loyalty Center (i.e., the call center) to learn about the heart of the operation. It not only gives employees an appreciation for core customer service and interaction, but enables them to pitch in during peak times.
- Zappos hires for both proficiency and culture fit. You may already be familiar with their unique practice of offering to pay prospective employees to quit.
- As part of its training & development, Zappos maintains a library of management and motivational books for its employees. Book cases line the lobby of the Las Vegas office with these books that are free to Zappos employees, vendors, and visitors.
Zappos engages its employees and customers with open communications.
- Is there anyone familiar with social media who doesn’t know about Zappos’ use of blogs and Twitter? All levels of employees, from the front lines to senior management, communicate this way – think of it as “employee-generated media.” These conversations can be followed by customers and anyone with access to social media, including competitors!
- The company also communicates in more traditional ways, such as an “All Hands” meeting, a annual company-wide forum (held in the Las Vegas and Kentucky locations) in which management shares how the company is doing.
- Combining traditional and social media enables communication to flow openly at Zappos: top-down, bottom-up, and laterally.
Coming up next
Effectively engaging employees, investing in them, and communicating with them openly & honestly – these are just a few of the many things that contribute to Zappos.com’s success. In my next post I’ll share what the Zappos brand means from the employees’ perspective.