Zappos Insights http://www.zapposinsights.com/ Zappos Insights Wed, 03 Sep 2014 06:55:21 GMT How a Life Coach Can Help Your Employees http://www.zapposinsights.com/blog/item/how-a-life-coach-can-help-your-employees <p class="date"> 08/29/2014 &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </p> <script type="text/javascript">var switchTo5x=true;</script> <script type="text/javascript" src="http://w.sharethis.com/button/buttons.js"></script> <script type="text/javascript">stLight.options({publisher: "cec80d9a-458b-434f-a39f-c0b9f446c13e", doNotHash: false, doNotCopy: false, hashAddressBar: false});</script> <div class="socialBar"> <span class='st_facebook_hcount' displayText='Facebook'></span> <span class='st_twitter_hcount' displayText='Tweet'></span> <span class='st_linkedin_hcount' displayText='LinkedIn'></span> <span class='st_googleplus_hcount' displayText='Google +'></span> </div> <div class="summary"> <p> As companies explore new options in the ever-challenging and changing world of work benefits, providing a life coach is becoming increasingly popular. So how can having one help your employees &ndash; as well as your business?</p> </div> <div class="html clearfix clear"> <p> While at first glance the benefits may seem solely for employees, studies show that employees who take advantage of company coaching programs not only see improvements in their personal lives, but in their professional ones, as well. Company coaching programs have been shown to increase employee retention and engagement, boost productivity, and overcome performance issues. Employees find opportunities to strengthen their skillsets, gain confidence, and assume more responsibility in the workplace. According to the International Coaching Federation, 86% of companies who implement a coaching program feel the ROI was valuable.</p> <p> <img alt="" class="img-responsive img-thumbnail" src="http://www.zapposinsights.com/files/accounts/zappos/assets/images/coaching/FunnyGroupShot-scaled.JPG" style="width: 500px; height: 333px; float: right; margin: 0px 20px 20px;" />In 2004, Zappos created its Goals Department as a resource for employees to set and achieve realistic 30-day goals, whether professional or personal. Closely tied to Zappos <a href="http://www.zapposinsights.com/about/core-values">Core Value</a> #5, Pursue Growth and Learning, the Zappos Goals program provides motivation and encouragement to members of the Zappos Family as well as a sense of pride and accomplishment upon achieving their goals. &ldquo;The benefit of having a coaching program in a company is the fact that it is just that - a benefit,&rdquo; says Augusta Scott, CPCC and in-house life coach at Zappos. &ldquo;This is something for the team members to benefit from by pursuing their goals and dreams, and it is because we believe when people are able to do that, it will unlock amazing potential, drive, happiness, and discovery.This will impact them in a positive way both professionally as well as personally, because we know that those two areas in your life will intersect at some point.&rdquo;</p> <p> <img alt="" class="img-responsive img-thumbnail" src="http://www.zapposinsights.com/files/accounts/zappos/assets/images/coaching/Coaching.Poses-scaled.JPG" style="width: 500px; height: 333px; float: right; margin: 0px 20px 20px;" />Augusta Scott (or lovingly known simply as &ldquo;Coach&rdquo; around the Zappos campus) meets weekly with participants to discuss their progress. &ldquo;I love being of service to others,&rdquo; says Coach. &ldquo;It is my purpose and one of my passions in life!&nbsp; As I see the team members in the beginning of the journey, and then watch them discover everything they are capable of achieving, it is the greatest reward.&nbsp; It&rsquo;s amazing to watch them on their journey of life as they make choices, change habits, and start realizing the results they want, which in turn, can - and does - change their lives.&rdquo;</p> <p> While the reasons to consult a life coach are varied, the top 3 that Coach sees at Zappos are: 1) weight release (Coach uses the word &lsquo;release&rsquo; over &lsquo;loss&rsquo; because losing something implies we want to find it again), 2) progression within the company, and 3) self-confidence. Because there is so much crossover between personal lives and professional ones, it&rsquo;s no surprise that both coaching participants and their employers also see added benefits such as better teamwork, increased job satisfaction, improved communication skills, and improved relationships.</p> <p> By providing an outlet for growth and learning like a coaching program, organizations can send a powerful message to their employees that their individual progress is valued and encouraged.</p> <p> For more information on how to start a coaching program or give yours a tune up, check out <a href="http://www.zapposinsights.com/training/coaching">Zappos Insights&rsquo; two-day coaching event</a>.&nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;<strong>We want to hear from you!</strong></p> <p> Post your response below, or respond to us on <a href="http://www.facebook.com/zapposinsights" target="_blank">Facebook</a>or <a href="http://www.twitter.com/zapposinsights" target="_blank">Twitter</a>&nbsp;using hashtag #ZapposInsights</p> <p> Can&rsquo;t get enough insights from our blog?&nbsp; Check out our <a href="http://www.zapposinsights.com/training?utm_source=Wishez%20Blog&amp;utm_medium=Blog&amp;utm_campaign=Wishez%20Blog">Training Events</a>.</p> </div> <p class="date"> 08/29/2014 &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </p> <script type="text/javascript">var switchTo5x=true;</script> <script type="text/javascript" src="http://w.sharethis.com/button/buttons.js"></script> <script type="text/javascript">stLight.options({publisher: "cec80d9a-458b-434f-a39f-c0b9f446c13e", doNotHash: false, doNotCopy: false, hashAddressBar: false});</script> <div class="socialBar"> <span class='st_facebook_hcount' displayText='Facebook'></span> <span class='st_twitter_hcount' displayText='Tweet'></span> <span class='st_linkedin_hcount' displayText='LinkedIn'></span> <span class='st_googleplus_hcount' displayText='Google +'></span> </div> <div class="summary"> <p> As companies explore new options in the ever-challenging and changing world of work benefits, providing a life coach is becoming increasingly popular. So how can having one help your employees &ndash; as well as your business?</p> </div> <div class="html clearfix clear"> <p> While at first glance the benefits may seem solely for employees, studies show that employees who take advantage of company coaching programs not only see improvements in their personal lives, but in their professional ones, as well. Company coaching programs have been shown to increase employee retention and engagement, boost productivity, and overcome performance issues. Employees find opportunities to strengthen their skillsets, gain confidence, and assume more responsibility in the workplace. According to the International Coaching Federation, 86% of companies who implement a coaching program feel the ROI was valuable.</p> <p> <img alt="" class="img-responsive img-thumbnail" src="http://www.zapposinsights.com/files/accounts/zappos/assets/images/coaching/FunnyGroupShot-scaled.JPG" style="width: 500px; height: 333px; float: right; margin: 0px 20px 20px;" />In 2004, Zappos created its Goals Department as a resource for employees to set and achieve realistic 30-day goals, whether professional or personal. Closely tied to Zappos <a href="http://www.zapposinsights.com/about/core-values">Core Value</a> #5, Pursue Growth and Learning, the Zappos Goals program provides motivation and encouragement to members of the Zappos Family as well as a sense of pride and accomplishment upon achieving their goals. &ldquo;The benefit of having a coaching program in a company is the fact that it is just that - a benefit,&rdquo; says Augusta Scott, CPCC and in-house life coach at Zappos. &ldquo;This is something for the team members to benefit from by pursuing their goals and dreams, and it is because we believe when people are able to do that, it will unlock amazing potential, drive, happiness, and discovery.This will impact them in a positive way both professionally as well as personally, because we know that those two areas in your life will intersect at some point.&rdquo;</p> <p> <img alt="" class="img-responsive img-thumbnail" src="http://www.zapposinsights.com/files/accounts/zappos/assets/images/coaching/Coaching.Poses-scaled.JPG" style="width: 500px; height: 333px; float: right; margin: 0px 20px 20px;" />Augusta Scott (or lovingly known simply as &ldquo;Coach&rdquo; around the Zappos campus) meets weekly with participants to discuss their progress. &ldquo;I love being of service to others,&rdquo; says Coach. &ldquo;It is my purpose and one of my passions in life!&nbsp; As I see the team members in the beginning of the journey, and then watch them discover everything they are capable of achieving, it is the greatest reward.&nbsp; It&rsquo;s amazing to watch them on their journey of life as they make choices, change habits, and start realizing the results they want, which in turn, can - and does - change their lives.&rdquo;</p> <p> While the reasons to consult a life coach are varied, the top 3 that Coach sees at Zappos are: 1) weight release (Coach uses the word &lsquo;release&rsquo; over &lsquo;loss&rsquo; because losing something implies we want to find it again), 2) progression within the company, and 3) self-confidence. Because there is so much crossover between personal lives and professional ones, it&rsquo;s no surprise that both coaching participants and their employers also see added benefits such as better teamwork, increased job satisfaction, improved communication skills, and improved relationships.</p> <p> By providing an outlet for growth and learning like a coaching program, organizations can send a powerful message to their employees that their individual progress is valued and encouraged.</p> <p> For more information on how to start a coaching program or give yours a tune up, check out <a href="http://www.zapposinsights.com/training/coaching">Zappos Insights&rsquo; two-day coaching event</a>.&nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;<strong>We want to hear from you!</strong></p> <p> Post your response below, or respond to us on <a href="http://www.facebook.com/zapposinsights" target="_blank">Facebook</a>or <a href="http://www.twitter.com/zapposinsights" target="_blank">Twitter</a>&nbsp;using hashtag #ZapposInsights</p> <p> Can&rsquo;t get enough insights from our blog?&nbsp; Check out our <a href="http://www.zapposinsights.com/training?utm_source=Wishez%20Blog&amp;utm_medium=Blog&amp;utm_campaign=Wishez%20Blog">Training Events</a>.</p> </div> Fri, 29 Aug 2014 23:00:26 GMT http://www.zapposinsights.com/blog/item/how-a-life-coach-can-help-your-employees Entitlement in the Workplace http://www.zapposinsights.com/blog/item/entitlement-in-the-workplace <p class="date"> 08/20/2014 &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </p> <script type="text/javascript">var switchTo5x=true;</script> <script type="text/javascript" src="http://w.sharethis.com/button/buttons.js"></script> <script type="text/javascript">stLight.options({publisher: "cec80d9a-458b-434f-a39f-c0b9f446c13e", doNotHash: false, doNotCopy: false, hashAddressBar: false});</script> <div class="socialBar"> <span class='st_facebook_hcount' displayText='Facebook'></span> <span class='st_twitter_hcount' displayText='Tweet'></span> <span class='st_linkedin_hcount' displayText='LinkedIn'></span> <span class='st_googleplus_hcount' displayText='Google +'></span> </div> <div class="summary"> <p> Picture this: You&rsquo;re at your company&rsquo;s quarterly All Hands meeting. It&rsquo;s Q&amp;A time with top leaders where anyone can ask&nbsp;<em>anything</em>&nbsp;. . . and every time, people continually ask about getting more free perks around the office. True story. &nbsp;</p> </div> <div class="html clearfix clear"> <style type="text/css"> .symptoms li{ font-family: 'Rokkitt', serif !important; font-size: 1.5em !important; } }</style> <p> The truth is no organization - not even Zappos - is immune to the virus of entitlement.</p> <p> There&rsquo;s a phrase around Zappos that stems from &lsquo;first world problems&rsquo; called &lsquo;Zappos work problems&rsquo;, because we&rsquo;ve all caught ourselves complaining about the office temperature, free food options, or &#39;having&#39; to go to a free happy hour.&nbsp;The best part about it is that it brings up the conversation in a funny, non-threatening way. Now we catch ourselves by prefacing, &ldquo;Zappos work problems, I know . . . &rdquo; It&rsquo;s a start, right?(; It&rsquo;s typical for normalization to happen after we get something amazing. It&rsquo;s like when you&rsquo;re a kid and you get that coveted toy you wanted - two weeks later it&rsquo;s sitting around unused. We start shifting our gaze to the next big thing or we start wanting what everyone else has.</p> <p> <img alt="" class="img-responsive img-thumbnail" src="http://www.zapposinsights.com/files/accounts/zappos/assets/images/photos/Cafe.jpg" style="width: 500px; height: 333px; float: right; margin: 0px 20px 20px;" />Every company wants to attract top talent. Beyond what may be considered routine benefits, organizations try to set themselves apart with rare and coveted perks, and it&rsquo;s only natural for sought-after applicants to weigh all the pros and cons among job offers. Multiple factors go into deciding where to work, and the tipping point is different for everyone. But in all the comparing and wanting, is something getting lost? Just a few short years ago, the prevailing collective mindset was, &ldquo;I&rsquo;m grateful to have a job/keep a job/get a job.&rdquo; Now it seems to have shifted to, &ldquo;my organization should be grateful to have <em>me</em>.&rdquo; So what changed? A scarcity of job openings evolved into a scarcity of talent. Is entitlement less like a virus and more like a self-inflicted wound?</p> <p> Well, yes and no. Top talent will always be a hot commodity and entitlement is not a new challenge. Any company who values its culture is susceptible to entitlement flare-ups. &ldquo;Entitlement can be an issue from day one, especially if you focus on culture and taking care of your employees,&rdquo; says Christa Foley, Senior Manager of HR and Zappos Insights. No business is exempt - large or small, brand new or well established. But at its root, entitlement starts with the individual, and it&rsquo;s when the sense of urgency of the job search fades and complacency sets in that employees are the most primed for it.</p> <p> So what are some of the symptoms, and what is the treatment?</p> <p> <strong>Symptoms include, but may not be limited to:</strong></p> <ul class="symptoms"> <li> Complaining without offering solutions</li> <li> Negative attitude</li> <li> Doesn&#39;t take feedback well</li> <li> Lack of humility/feels superior to others</li> <li> Conflicts with coworkers</li> <li> Not taking responsibility</li> <li> Resistance to change/ inflexibility</li> </ul> <p> <strong>Solutions:</strong></p> <p> <strong>Transparency:</strong> When companies and their leaders are open and honest about where the company is, what its challenges are, and what it is working toward, it helps current tensions be voiced and addressed.</p> <p> <strong>Resetting Expectations:</strong> &nbsp;&ldquo;You need to shake things up and realize where you are,&rdquo; says Rachael Brown, lead link of zProject. Sometimes all we need is a small shift in perspective to be reminded of how good we have it. Whether it&rsquo;s by reminiscing about past places of employment or talking with friends who think your job is awesome by comparison, looking at where you are through fresh eyes can be invaluable.</p> <p> <strong>Recruiting:&nbsp;</strong>Asking the right questions and vetting for behaviors that show humility and a willingness to help and contribute to company growth and evolution.</p> <p> <strong>Higher Purpose:&nbsp;</strong>Having a shared vision and common goal as an organization encourages a collective drive and motivation. &ldquo;We&rsquo;re looking for purpose. Purpose for us means everything,&rdquo; says Brown.</p> <p> <strong>Company History:&nbsp;</strong>Newer employees may not know the sacrifices that their company was built on. Reviewing a company&rsquo;s history can help renew that common goal and understanding of where we started and how we got to where we are. Zappos does this through its internal history class so that newer employees know the milestones and struggles, as well as the mistakes. Regularly sharing an organization&rsquo;s history gives all employees a chance to reconnect with where they work.</p> <p> <strong>Recommitting to Core Values:&nbsp;</strong>What sets a company&rsquo;s core values apart from others are those that are actionable and committable. We&rsquo;ve all been to places where we see a plaque on the wall and then receive the opposite service. One way that Zappos offers employees to recommit is at the end of New Hire Training. After the four-week training period, everyone is offered one month&rsquo;s pay to quit. The pay-to-quit offer makes new employees really think about if they feel Zappos is the right place for them, and if they are right for Zappos. Less than 1% take the offer annually.</p> <p> Entitlement, like any illness, slows an organization down. And, like any illness, it&rsquo;s painful. But it&rsquo;s also sending a useful message that something is wrong and that things need to change. No one wants to get sick, but when we do, it&rsquo;s a wake-up call for which we&rsquo;re sometimes grateful. Entitlement can be a wake-up call to any company and offers an opportunity to revisit the company&rsquo;s history, reset expectations, and recommit to the overall goals your organization wants to achieve.</p> <p> <strong>We want to hear from you!</strong></p> <p> Post your response below, or respond to us on <a href="http://www.facebook.com/zapposinsights" target="_blank">Facebook</a> or <a href="http://www.twitter.com/zapposinsights" target="_blank">Twitter</a>&nbsp;using hashtag #ZapposInsights</p> <p> Can&rsquo;t get enough insights from our blog?&nbsp; Check out our <a href="http://www.zapposinsights.com/training?utm_source=Wishez%20Blog&amp;utm_medium=Blog&amp;utm_campaign=Wishez%20Blog">Training Events</a>.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> </div> <p class="date"> 08/20/2014 &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </p> <script type="text/javascript">var switchTo5x=true;</script> <script type="text/javascript" src="http://w.sharethis.com/button/buttons.js"></script> <script type="text/javascript">stLight.options({publisher: "cec80d9a-458b-434f-a39f-c0b9f446c13e", doNotHash: false, doNotCopy: false, hashAddressBar: false});</script> <div class="socialBar"> <span class='st_facebook_hcount' displayText='Facebook'></span> <span class='st_twitter_hcount' displayText='Tweet'></span> <span class='st_linkedin_hcount' displayText='LinkedIn'></span> <span class='st_googleplus_hcount' displayText='Google +'></span> </div> <div class="summary"> <p> Picture this: You&rsquo;re at your company&rsquo;s quarterly All Hands meeting. It&rsquo;s Q&amp;A time with top leaders where anyone can ask&nbsp;<em>anything</em>&nbsp;. . . and every time, people continually ask about getting more free perks around the office. True story. &nbsp;</p> </div> <div class="html clearfix clear"> <style type="text/css"> .symptoms li{ font-family: 'Rokkitt', serif !important; font-size: 1.5em !important; } }</style> <p> The truth is no organization - not even Zappos - is immune to the virus of entitlement.</p> <p> There&rsquo;s a phrase around Zappos that stems from &lsquo;first world problems&rsquo; called &lsquo;Zappos work problems&rsquo;, because we&rsquo;ve all caught ourselves complaining about the office temperature, free food options, or &#39;having&#39; to go to a free happy hour.&nbsp;The best part about it is that it brings up the conversation in a funny, non-threatening way. Now we catch ourselves by prefacing, &ldquo;Zappos work problems, I know . . . &rdquo; It&rsquo;s a start, right?(; It&rsquo;s typical for normalization to happen after we get something amazing. It&rsquo;s like when you&rsquo;re a kid and you get that coveted toy you wanted - two weeks later it&rsquo;s sitting around unused. We start shifting our gaze to the next big thing or we start wanting what everyone else has.</p> <p> <img alt="" class="img-responsive img-thumbnail" src="http://www.zapposinsights.com/files/accounts/zappos/assets/images/photos/Cafe.jpg" style="width: 500px; height: 333px; float: right; margin: 0px 20px 20px;" />Every company wants to attract top talent. Beyond what may be considered routine benefits, organizations try to set themselves apart with rare and coveted perks, and it&rsquo;s only natural for sought-after applicants to weigh all the pros and cons among job offers. Multiple factors go into deciding where to work, and the tipping point is different for everyone. But in all the comparing and wanting, is something getting lost? Just a few short years ago, the prevailing collective mindset was, &ldquo;I&rsquo;m grateful to have a job/keep a job/get a job.&rdquo; Now it seems to have shifted to, &ldquo;my organization should be grateful to have <em>me</em>.&rdquo; So what changed? A scarcity of job openings evolved into a scarcity of talent. Is entitlement less like a virus and more like a self-inflicted wound?</p> <p> Well, yes and no. Top talent will always be a hot commodity and entitlement is not a new challenge. Any company who values its culture is susceptible to entitlement flare-ups. &ldquo;Entitlement can be an issue from day one, especially if you focus on culture and taking care of your employees,&rdquo; says Christa Foley, Senior Manager of HR and Zappos Insights. No business is exempt - large or small, brand new or well established. But at its root, entitlement starts with the individual, and it&rsquo;s when the sense of urgency of the job search fades and complacency sets in that employees are the most primed for it.</p> <p> So what are some of the symptoms, and what is the treatment?</p> <p> <strong>Symptoms include, but may not be limited to:</strong></p> <ul class="symptoms"> <li> Complaining without offering solutions</li> <li> Negative attitude</li> <li> Doesn&#39;t take feedback well</li> <li> Lack of humility/feels superior to others</li> <li> Conflicts with coworkers</li> <li> Not taking responsibility</li> <li> Resistance to change/ inflexibility</li> </ul> <p> <strong>Solutions:</strong></p> <p> <strong>Transparency:</strong> When companies and their leaders are open and honest about where the company is, what its challenges are, and what it is working toward, it helps current tensions be voiced and addressed.</p> <p> <strong>Resetting Expectations:</strong> &nbsp;&ldquo;You need to shake things up and realize where you are,&rdquo; says Rachael Brown, lead link of zProject. Sometimes all we need is a small shift in perspective to be reminded of how good we have it. Whether it&rsquo;s by reminiscing about past places of employment or talking with friends who think your job is awesome by comparison, looking at where you are through fresh eyes can be invaluable.</p> <p> <strong>Recruiting:&nbsp;</strong>Asking the right questions and vetting for behaviors that show humility and a willingness to help and contribute to company growth and evolution.</p> <p> <strong>Higher Purpose:&nbsp;</strong>Having a shared vision and common goal as an organization encourages a collective drive and motivation. &ldquo;We&rsquo;re looking for purpose. Purpose for us means everything,&rdquo; says Brown.</p> <p> <strong>Company History:&nbsp;</strong>Newer employees may not know the sacrifices that their company was built on. Reviewing a company&rsquo;s history can help renew that common goal and understanding of where we started and how we got to where we are. Zappos does this through its internal history class so that newer employees know the milestones and struggles, as well as the mistakes. Regularly sharing an organization&rsquo;s history gives all employees a chance to reconnect with where they work.</p> <p> <strong>Recommitting to Core Values:&nbsp;</strong>What sets a company&rsquo;s core values apart from others are those that are actionable and committable. We&rsquo;ve all been to places where we see a plaque on the wall and then receive the opposite service. One way that Zappos offers employees to recommit is at the end of New Hire Training. After the four-week training period, everyone is offered one month&rsquo;s pay to quit. The pay-to-quit offer makes new employees really think about if they feel Zappos is the right place for them, and if they are right for Zappos. Less than 1% take the offer annually.</p> <p> Entitlement, like any illness, slows an organization down. And, like any illness, it&rsquo;s painful. But it&rsquo;s also sending a useful message that something is wrong and that things need to change. No one wants to get sick, but when we do, it&rsquo;s a wake-up call for which we&rsquo;re sometimes grateful. Entitlement can be a wake-up call to any company and offers an opportunity to revisit the company&rsquo;s history, reset expectations, and recommit to the overall goals your organization wants to achieve.</p> <p> <strong>We want to hear from you!</strong></p> <p> Post your response below, or respond to us on <a href="http://www.facebook.com/zapposinsights" target="_blank">Facebook</a> or <a href="http://www.twitter.com/zapposinsights" target="_blank">Twitter</a>&nbsp;using hashtag #ZapposInsights</p> <p> Can&rsquo;t get enough insights from our blog?&nbsp; Check out our <a href="http://www.zapposinsights.com/training?utm_source=Wishez%20Blog&amp;utm_medium=Blog&amp;utm_campaign=Wishez%20Blog">Training Events</a>.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> </div> Wed, 20 Aug 2014 22:19:16 GMT http://www.zapposinsights.com/blog/item/entitlement-in-the-workplace Zappos Welcomes the “Do More with Less” Frog to the Box http://www.zapposinsights.com/blog/item/zappos-welcomes-the-do-more-with-less-frog-to-the-box <p class="date"> 08/14/2014 &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </p> <script type="text/javascript">var switchTo5x=true;</script> <script type="text/javascript" src="http://w.sharethis.com/button/buttons.js"></script> <script type="text/javascript">stLight.options({publisher: "cec80d9a-458b-434f-a39f-c0b9f446c13e", doNotHash: false, doNotCopy: false, hashAddressBar: false});</script> <div class="socialBar"> <span class='st_facebook_hcount' displayText='Facebook'></span> <span class='st_twitter_hcount' displayText='Tweet'></span> <span class='st_linkedin_hcount' displayText='LinkedIn'></span> <span class='st_googleplus_hcount' displayText='Google +'></span> </div> <div class="summary"> <p> In August 2014 a cute new friend made its first appearance on the iconic Zappos box. He&rsquo;s the &ldquo;Do More with Less&rdquo; Frog, and his presence and message is to promote green thinking and sustainable behavior. He&rsquo;s named after Zappos Core Value #5 - Do More with Less. You might even be reading this blog for the first time thanks to Frog! Woo hoo!</p> </div> <div class="html clearfix clear"> <p> The new images of the &ldquo;Do More with Less&rdquo; Frog and the message of sustainability revolve around the &ldquo;Three Rs&rdquo; - Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. At Zappos we understand that as our business grows so does our environmental footprint. We also know that our biggest environmental impacts are associated with our logistics - our boxes and our shipping practices.</p> <p> <strong style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px;">Reduce</strong>&nbsp;- We realize that this is our job. We try hard to reduce the number of packages we send back and forth by offering features on Zappos.com to make sure you order right the first time. We also try to ship your footwear and apparel order in the right sized box. Sometimes when we&rsquo;re operating at &ldquo;ludicrous speed&rdquo; (<em style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px;">Spaceballs, 1987</em>) we get it wrong and you receive a small item in a big box - we&rsquo;re working on that.</p> <p> <strong style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px;">Reuse</strong>&nbsp;- This is a chance for our customers to be creative and have fun with reusing our boxes. Have you ever used the box as a luxury lily pad like the &ldquo;Do More with Less&rdquo; Frog? Let us know the craziest way you&rsquo;ve reused our box and send us a pic on Twitter (@ZapposLEAF)! We&rsquo;ve also had discussions about whether or not returned boxes are fit to be sent out again. These discussions are healthy and lead to innovative ideas.</p> <p> <strong style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px;">Recycle</strong>&nbsp;- We hope you&rsquo;ll recycle your Zappos box once you&rsquo;re finished with it. Cardboard is one of the most recyclable materials in the country and there is a flourishing market for it. If you&rsquo;re currently an avid recycler - HIGH FIVE! If you&rsquo;re not currently recycling, give it a try. If your neighborhood or apartments do not offer recycling, start that conversation with your neighbors.</p> <p> As Zappos&rsquo; customer base grows, so does our potential to talk with many new friends about the impacts we all have on the world. We&rsquo;re excited to&nbsp;<em style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px;">Build Open and Honest Relationships With Communication</em>&nbsp;(Zappos Core Value #6) with you about your thoughts on the environment.</p> <p style="margin: 10px 0px; padding: 0px; color: rgb(85, 85, 85); font-family: Verdana, Arial, sans;"> <strong style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px;"><img alt="Zappos Core Values, Do More With Less, Zappos box, Zappos Sustainability efforts, Zappos Family, Three Rs, Reduce Reuse Recycle, Zappos LEAF, " border="0" height="254" src="http://blogs.zappos.com/sites/default/files/blogs/zapposfrog.jpg" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px;" title="Zappos Welcomes the “Do More with Less” Frog to the Box | blogs.zappos.com" width="471" /></strong></p> <p> Check out more awesome news from&nbsp;<a href="http://blogs.zappos.com/blogs/zappos-family/2012/03/08/formally-introducing-zappos-l-e-f" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; text-decoration: none; color: rgb(115, 153, 198);">LEAF</a>&nbsp;at&nbsp;<a href="http://www.zappos.com/leed" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; text-decoration: none; color: rgb(115, 153, 198);">Zappos.com/LEED</a>, Twitter:&nbsp;<a href="https://twitter.com/ZapposLEAF" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; text-decoration: none; color: rgb(115, 153, 198);">@ZapposLEAF</a>and on Instagram: Zappos_leaf</p> <p> PS: Is the Frog a he or a she? LOL It is up to you to decide; all we know is that the Frog is pretty darn cute and has great eyelashes. Shoot, I have long eyelashes myself&hellip; and I&rsquo;m a dude.</p> </div> <p class="date"> 08/14/2014 &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </p> <script type="text/javascript">var switchTo5x=true;</script> <script type="text/javascript" src="http://w.sharethis.com/button/buttons.js"></script> <script type="text/javascript">stLight.options({publisher: "cec80d9a-458b-434f-a39f-c0b9f446c13e", doNotHash: false, doNotCopy: false, hashAddressBar: false});</script> <div class="socialBar"> <span class='st_facebook_hcount' displayText='Facebook'></span> <span class='st_twitter_hcount' displayText='Tweet'></span> <span class='st_linkedin_hcount' displayText='LinkedIn'></span> <span class='st_googleplus_hcount' displayText='Google +'></span> </div> <div class="summary"> <p> In August 2014 a cute new friend made its first appearance on the iconic Zappos box. He&rsquo;s the &ldquo;Do More with Less&rdquo; Frog, and his presence and message is to promote green thinking and sustainable behavior. He&rsquo;s named after Zappos Core Value #5 - Do More with Less. You might even be reading this blog for the first time thanks to Frog! Woo hoo!</p> </div> <div class="html clearfix clear"> <p> The new images of the &ldquo;Do More with Less&rdquo; Frog and the message of sustainability revolve around the &ldquo;Three Rs&rdquo; - Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. At Zappos we understand that as our business grows so does our environmental footprint. We also know that our biggest environmental impacts are associated with our logistics - our boxes and our shipping practices.</p> <p> <strong style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px;">Reduce</strong>&nbsp;- We realize that this is our job. We try hard to reduce the number of packages we send back and forth by offering features on Zappos.com to make sure you order right the first time. We also try to ship your footwear and apparel order in the right sized box. Sometimes when we&rsquo;re operating at &ldquo;ludicrous speed&rdquo; (<em style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px;">Spaceballs, 1987</em>) we get it wrong and you receive a small item in a big box - we&rsquo;re working on that.</p> <p> <strong style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px;">Reuse</strong>&nbsp;- This is a chance for our customers to be creative and have fun with reusing our boxes. Have you ever used the box as a luxury lily pad like the &ldquo;Do More with Less&rdquo; Frog? Let us know the craziest way you&rsquo;ve reused our box and send us a pic on Twitter (@ZapposLEAF)! We&rsquo;ve also had discussions about whether or not returned boxes are fit to be sent out again. These discussions are healthy and lead to innovative ideas.</p> <p> <strong style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px;">Recycle</strong>&nbsp;- We hope you&rsquo;ll recycle your Zappos box once you&rsquo;re finished with it. Cardboard is one of the most recyclable materials in the country and there is a flourishing market for it. If you&rsquo;re currently an avid recycler - HIGH FIVE! If you&rsquo;re not currently recycling, give it a try. If your neighborhood or apartments do not offer recycling, start that conversation with your neighbors.</p> <p> As Zappos&rsquo; customer base grows, so does our potential to talk with many new friends about the impacts we all have on the world. We&rsquo;re excited to&nbsp;<em style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px;">Build Open and Honest Relationships With Communication</em>&nbsp;(Zappos Core Value #6) with you about your thoughts on the environment.</p> <p style="margin: 10px 0px; padding: 0px; color: rgb(85, 85, 85); font-family: Verdana, Arial, sans;"> <strong style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px;"><img alt="Zappos Core Values, Do More With Less, Zappos box, Zappos Sustainability efforts, Zappos Family, Three Rs, Reduce Reuse Recycle, Zappos LEAF, " border="0" height="254" src="http://blogs.zappos.com/sites/default/files/blogs/zapposfrog.jpg" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px;" title="Zappos Welcomes the “Do More with Less” Frog to the Box | blogs.zappos.com" width="471" /></strong></p> <p> Check out more awesome news from&nbsp;<a href="http://blogs.zappos.com/blogs/zappos-family/2012/03/08/formally-introducing-zappos-l-e-f" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; text-decoration: none; color: rgb(115, 153, 198);">LEAF</a>&nbsp;at&nbsp;<a href="http://www.zappos.com/leed" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; text-decoration: none; color: rgb(115, 153, 198);">Zappos.com/LEED</a>, Twitter:&nbsp;<a href="https://twitter.com/ZapposLEAF" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; text-decoration: none; color: rgb(115, 153, 198);">@ZapposLEAF</a>and on Instagram: Zappos_leaf</p> <p> PS: Is the Frog a he or a she? LOL It is up to you to decide; all we know is that the Frog is pretty darn cute and has great eyelashes. Shoot, I have long eyelashes myself&hellip; and I&rsquo;m a dude.</p> </div> Thu, 14 Aug 2014 05:00:00 GMT http://www.zapposinsights.com/blog/item/zappos-welcomes-the-do-more-with-less-frog-to-the-box The 80/20 Rule and How It Can Help Your Business http://www.zapposinsights.com/blog/item/the-8020-rule-and-how-it-can-help-your-business <p class="date"> 08/08/2014 &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </p> <script type="text/javascript">var switchTo5x=true;</script> <script type="text/javascript" src="http://w.sharethis.com/button/buttons.js"></script> <script type="text/javascript">stLight.options({publisher: "cec80d9a-458b-434f-a39f-c0b9f446c13e", doNotHash: false, doNotCopy: false, hashAddressBar: false});</script> <div class="socialBar"> <span class='st_facebook_hcount' displayText='Facebook'></span> <span class='st_twitter_hcount' displayText='Tweet'></span> <span class='st_linkedin_hcount' displayText='LinkedIn'></span> <span class='st_googleplus_hcount' displayText='Google +'></span> </div> <div class="summary"> <p> More commonly known as the 80/20 rule, the Pareto Principle has widespread applications across many different fields such as mathematics, economics, health, and business. So what exactly is it, and how can it benefit your organization?</p> </div> <div class="html clearfix clear"> <p> Several variations of the 80/20 rule apply to multiple business areas from project management and quality control to time management and leadership. The 80/20 rule states that 20% of our efforts affect 80% of the results, or that &lsquo;20% of X is responsible for 80% of Y&rsquo;. In 1906, Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto observed that 80% of land in Italy was owned by just 20% of the population. In 1937, American engineer Dr. Joseph Juran - recognized for his research in quality management - identified this ratio in other areas of interest, as well, and named it the Pareto Principle. Seeing universal applications, he first described it as &ldquo;the vital few and trivial many&rdquo;, but later changed it to &ldquo;the vital few and the useful many&rdquo; so as not to exclude opportunities for improvement within the &ldquo;many&rdquo;.</p> <p> <strong>Business Applications</strong></p> <p> This pattern of distribution is found true in the business world in numerous ways. For example: 20% of your customers account for 80% of your sales, 20% of inventory items take up 80% of warehouse space, 20% of vendors make up 80% of your sales, 20% of your sales force is responsible for 80% of your sales, and so on. On the flip side, 20% of bugs cause 80% of your site&rsquo;s problems, and 20% of defects affect 80% of inventory. Analyzing this ratio within one&rsquo;s business can help identify where best to spend time, resources, marketing, research, and hiring efforts - not to mention highlight problem areas and those opportunities for improvement.</p> <p> <strong>Leadership</strong></p> <p> <img alt="" class="img-thumbnail img-responsive" src="http://www.zapposinsights.com/files/accounts/zappos/assets/images/photos/lobbystationsscaled.JPG" style="width: 400px; height: 466px; float: right; margin: 0px 10px 10px;" />So how do you use the 80/20 rule as a manager?At Zappos, managers and team leads are encouraged to spend 20% of their time hanging out and socializing with their team. &ldquo;If you take the time to get to know your employees, I mean really get to know them, you will be able to become a mentor,&rdquo; says Marcela Gutierrez, Manager of Zappos Insights and New Hire Training. &ldquo;The difference between a mentor and a manager is that you will know how to coach them and help them achieve not only professional but personal goals. They will also work harder for you because they will trust you 100%. There&rsquo;s nothing better than to have someone you can trust and come to for anything.&rdquo; Taking the time to get to know each other builds trust and team unity where both leaders and team members can learn from each other.</p> <p> <strong>An Environment of Innovation</strong></p> <p> The 80/20 rule not only applies to leadership at Zappos, but to the entire company, as well. All employees are encouraged to participate in company-sponsored events and work on passion projects. While the application of this rule varies from department to department, the time is there to be used. One example of how 20% time is used is the Zappos Development Department&rsquo;s quarterly hackathons. Employees take a few days to work on their idea, and completed projects are then shared with the entire company to vote on. Winning submissions are implemented and projects range from developing a back-end tool to one that is more customer-facing. There&rsquo;s always a buzz of excitement at each hackathon in seeing such inspiring innovation and creativity!</p> <p> <strong>Time Management </strong></p> <p> <strong>&quot;All improvement happens project by project and in no other way.&quot; -<cite>Joseph Juran</cite></strong></p> <p> When you think of your typical work day, how is it broken out? Out of 8 hours, during how much of that time do you feel truly productive? If applying the 80/20 rule, then roughly only 1.5 hours of our day are really impactful, which can be both insightful and disheartening! But when one adds up all the time spent in meetings, emails, coffee breaks, distractions, phone calls, procrastinating, and lunches, it doesn&rsquo;t seem so far-fetched, after all. Using the 80/20 rule can help employees prioritize the most important task for the day and set aside a 20% block of time to complete it. Limit distractions by shutting off your email and avoiding social media time sucks. Focusing that time on your most pressing projects can make a world of difference to your level of productivity and sense of accomplishment each day.</p> <p> Whether it&rsquo;s prioritizing project management, building teamwork, or promoting creativity, the 80/20 rule has practical applications for every part of an organization.</p> <p> <strong>We want to hear from you!</strong></p> <p> Post your response below, or respond to us on <a href="http://www.facebook.com/zapposinsights" target="_blank">Facebook</a> or <a href="http://www.twitter.com/zapposinsights" target="_blank">Twitter</a>&nbsp;using hashtag #ZapposInsights</p> <p> Can&rsquo;t get enough insights on our blog?&nbsp; Check out our <a href="http://www.zapposinsights.com/training?utm_source=Wishez%20Blog&amp;utm_medium=Blog&amp;utm_campaign=Wishez%20Blog">Training Events</a>.</p> </div> <p class="date"> 08/08/2014 &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </p> <script type="text/javascript">var switchTo5x=true;</script> <script type="text/javascript" src="http://w.sharethis.com/button/buttons.js"></script> <script type="text/javascript">stLight.options({publisher: "cec80d9a-458b-434f-a39f-c0b9f446c13e", doNotHash: false, doNotCopy: false, hashAddressBar: false});</script> <div class="socialBar"> <span class='st_facebook_hcount' displayText='Facebook'></span> <span class='st_twitter_hcount' displayText='Tweet'></span> <span class='st_linkedin_hcount' displayText='LinkedIn'></span> <span class='st_googleplus_hcount' displayText='Google +'></span> </div> <div class="summary"> <p> More commonly known as the 80/20 rule, the Pareto Principle has widespread applications across many different fields such as mathematics, economics, health, and business. So what exactly is it, and how can it benefit your organization?</p> </div> <div class="html clearfix clear"> <p> Several variations of the 80/20 rule apply to multiple business areas from project management and quality control to time management and leadership. The 80/20 rule states that 20% of our efforts affect 80% of the results, or that &lsquo;20% of X is responsible for 80% of Y&rsquo;. In 1906, Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto observed that 80% of land in Italy was owned by just 20% of the population. In 1937, American engineer Dr. Joseph Juran - recognized for his research in quality management - identified this ratio in other areas of interest, as well, and named it the Pareto Principle. Seeing universal applications, he first described it as &ldquo;the vital few and trivial many&rdquo;, but later changed it to &ldquo;the vital few and the useful many&rdquo; so as not to exclude opportunities for improvement within the &ldquo;many&rdquo;.</p> <p> <strong>Business Applications</strong></p> <p> This pattern of distribution is found true in the business world in numerous ways. For example: 20% of your customers account for 80% of your sales, 20% of inventory items take up 80% of warehouse space, 20% of vendors make up 80% of your sales, 20% of your sales force is responsible for 80% of your sales, and so on. On the flip side, 20% of bugs cause 80% of your site&rsquo;s problems, and 20% of defects affect 80% of inventory. Analyzing this ratio within one&rsquo;s business can help identify where best to spend time, resources, marketing, research, and hiring efforts - not to mention highlight problem areas and those opportunities for improvement.</p> <p> <strong>Leadership</strong></p> <p> <img alt="" class="img-thumbnail img-responsive" src="http://www.zapposinsights.com/files/accounts/zappos/assets/images/photos/lobbystationsscaled.JPG" style="width: 400px; height: 466px; float: right; margin: 0px 10px 10px;" />So how do you use the 80/20 rule as a manager?At Zappos, managers and team leads are encouraged to spend 20% of their time hanging out and socializing with their team. &ldquo;If you take the time to get to know your employees, I mean really get to know them, you will be able to become a mentor,&rdquo; says Marcela Gutierrez, Manager of Zappos Insights and New Hire Training. &ldquo;The difference between a mentor and a manager is that you will know how to coach them and help them achieve not only professional but personal goals. They will also work harder for you because they will trust you 100%. There&rsquo;s nothing better than to have someone you can trust and come to for anything.&rdquo; Taking the time to get to know each other builds trust and team unity where both leaders and team members can learn from each other.</p> <p> <strong>An Environment of Innovation</strong></p> <p> The 80/20 rule not only applies to leadership at Zappos, but to the entire company, as well. All employees are encouraged to participate in company-sponsored events and work on passion projects. While the application of this rule varies from department to department, the time is there to be used. One example of how 20% time is used is the Zappos Development Department&rsquo;s quarterly hackathons. Employees take a few days to work on their idea, and completed projects are then shared with the entire company to vote on. Winning submissions are implemented and projects range from developing a back-end tool to one that is more customer-facing. There&rsquo;s always a buzz of excitement at each hackathon in seeing such inspiring innovation and creativity!</p> <p> <strong>Time Management </strong></p> <p> <strong>&quot;All improvement happens project by project and in no other way.&quot; -<cite>Joseph Juran</cite></strong></p> <p> When you think of your typical work day, how is it broken out? Out of 8 hours, during how much of that time do you feel truly productive? If applying the 80/20 rule, then roughly only 1.5 hours of our day are really impactful, which can be both insightful and disheartening! But when one adds up all the time spent in meetings, emails, coffee breaks, distractions, phone calls, procrastinating, and lunches, it doesn&rsquo;t seem so far-fetched, after all. Using the 80/20 rule can help employees prioritize the most important task for the day and set aside a 20% block of time to complete it. Limit distractions by shutting off your email and avoiding social media time sucks. Focusing that time on your most pressing projects can make a world of difference to your level of productivity and sense of accomplishment each day.</p> <p> Whether it&rsquo;s prioritizing project management, building teamwork, or promoting creativity, the 80/20 rule has practical applications for every part of an organization.</p> <p> <strong>We want to hear from you!</strong></p> <p> Post your response below, or respond to us on <a href="http://www.facebook.com/zapposinsights" target="_blank">Facebook</a> or <a href="http://www.twitter.com/zapposinsights" target="_blank">Twitter</a>&nbsp;using hashtag #ZapposInsights</p> <p> Can&rsquo;t get enough insights on our blog?&nbsp; Check out our <a href="http://www.zapposinsights.com/training?utm_source=Wishez%20Blog&amp;utm_medium=Blog&amp;utm_campaign=Wishez%20Blog">Training Events</a>.</p> </div> Fri, 08 Aug 2014 18:40:42 GMT http://www.zapposinsights.com/blog/item/the-8020-rule-and-how-it-can-help-your-business Getting Creative with Employee Benefits and Engagement http://www.zapposinsights.com/blog/item/getting-creative-with-employee-benefits-and-engagement <p class="date"> 07/28/2014 &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </p> <script type="text/javascript">var switchTo5x=true;</script> <script type="text/javascript" src="http://w.sharethis.com/button/buttons.js"></script> <script type="text/javascript">stLight.options({publisher: "cec80d9a-458b-434f-a39f-c0b9f446c13e", doNotHash: false, doNotCopy: false, hashAddressBar: false});</script> <div class="socialBar"> <span class='st_facebook_hcount' displayText='Facebook'></span> <span class='st_twitter_hcount' displayText='Tweet'></span> <span class='st_linkedin_hcount' displayText='LinkedIn'></span> <span class='st_googleplus_hcount' displayText='Google +'></span> </div> <div class="summary"> <p> Sometimes wanting to improve company culture can be a double-edged sword. It&rsquo;s safe to say that both companies and employees alike want to strengthen their culture, but adding benefits can be expensive and take resources that may not be readily available. So how can a company get creative without breaking the bank? One example is the Zappos WISHEZ program.</p> </div> <div class="html clearfix clear"> <p> Launched in November of 2010, WISHEZ allows Zappos employees to make and grant each other&rsquo;s wishes. WISHEZ stands for &ldquo;Want&hellip;Imagine&hellip;Share&hellip;Hope&hellip;Engage&hellip;Zeliver&rdquo; (we like zappifying things with the letter &lsquo;Z&rsquo; here at Zappos!). Organized as a queue, employees can search a database of wishes. &ldquo;When someone wants to grant a wish, an email is sent to the Wish Fairies on how to proceed,&rdquo; says Maritza Lewis, ZapposU Trainer and Events Lead at the launch of the program. &ldquo;If you want to remain anonymous, employees can use the Fairies to grant wishes.&rdquo; &nbsp;</p> <p> <img alt="" class="img-responsive img-thumbnail" src="http://www.zapposinsights.com/files/accounts/zappos/assets/images/photos/wishez-scaled.JPG" style="width: 500px; height: 333px; float: right; margin: 0px 10px 10px;" />Wish Fairies help facilitate the granting of wishes - complete with wings! &quot;I love the fact that it allows each employee to impact the life of another Zappos employee,&rdquo; says Kathleen Joseph, Zappos Engagement Cultivator and former Wish Fairy. &ldquo;You may think you can&#39;t help someone out, but a lot of the time the wishes aren&#39;t about money, they&#39;re about time.&quot; From looking for help in building a website to wanting a tutor for their child, many of the wishes employees make provide an opportunity to donate one&rsquo;s time and talents more than just spending money. &ldquo;My favorite wishes are the ones when someone isn&rsquo;t asking for something for themselves, but when someone is asking for someone else,&rdquo; says Joseph. Such pay-it-forward wishes can extend to family members of an employee and exemplify co-workers looking out for each other.</p> <p> Not wanting to miss out on the fun, Zappos does have a small budget to grant wishes on behalf of the company. One of the most impactful wishes granted on behalf of Zappos to date was in 2011. A permanent resident at the time, a Zappos employee had wished for U.S. citizenship for himself and his daughter, but the process can be expensive. Zappos covered the necessary costs and the wish was granted at a company All Hands meeting for all of the Zappos Family to be able to witness. It was a moving event for everyone involved.</p> <p> From the early days of hoping employees would embrace the idea and drive the initiative to what WISHEZ is today, Lewis observes that &ldquo;it creates connections between employees and creates new bonds and memorable experiences that don&#39;t have a price tag.&rdquo; To date, over 3,000 wishes have been granted, with the great majority done so by employees rather than by Zappos itself. Inspired both by a similar idea from a 3<sup>rd</sup> party and a conversation between employees that started with &ldquo;Wouldn&rsquo;t it be cool if . . . ?&rdquo;, the WISHEZ program is an example of what can happen when employees take an idea and run with it.</p> <p> <strong>Now we want to hear from you! Does your company offer creative benefits? What kind of creative benefits would you like to see in your organization?&nbsp;</strong></p> <p> <em>Post your response below, or respond to us on Facebook</em>&nbsp;<a href="https://www.facebook.com/zapposinsights">https://www.facebook.com/zapposinsights</a></p> <p> <em>or Twitter</em>&nbsp;<a href="https://twitter.com/ZapposInsights">https://twitter.com/ZapposInsights</a>&nbsp;<em>using hashtag #ZapposInsights</em></p> <p> Can&rsquo;t get enough Zappos on our blog?&nbsp; Check out our <a href="http://www.zapposinsights.com/training?utm_source=Wishez%20Blog&amp;utm_medium=Blog&amp;utm_campaign=Wishez%20Blog">Training Events</a>.</p> </div> <p class="date"> 07/28/2014 &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </p> <script type="text/javascript">var switchTo5x=true;</script> <script type="text/javascript" src="http://w.sharethis.com/button/buttons.js"></script> <script type="text/javascript">stLight.options({publisher: "cec80d9a-458b-434f-a39f-c0b9f446c13e", doNotHash: false, doNotCopy: false, hashAddressBar: false});</script> <div class="socialBar"> <span class='st_facebook_hcount' displayText='Facebook'></span> <span class='st_twitter_hcount' displayText='Tweet'></span> <span class='st_linkedin_hcount' displayText='LinkedIn'></span> <span class='st_googleplus_hcount' displayText='Google +'></span> </div> <div class="summary"> <p> Sometimes wanting to improve company culture can be a double-edged sword. It&rsquo;s safe to say that both companies and employees alike want to strengthen their culture, but adding benefits can be expensive and take resources that may not be readily available. So how can a company get creative without breaking the bank? One example is the Zappos WISHEZ program.</p> </div> <div class="html clearfix clear"> <p> Launched in November of 2010, WISHEZ allows Zappos employees to make and grant each other&rsquo;s wishes. WISHEZ stands for &ldquo;Want&hellip;Imagine&hellip;Share&hellip;Hope&hellip;Engage&hellip;Zeliver&rdquo; (we like zappifying things with the letter &lsquo;Z&rsquo; here at Zappos!). Organized as a queue, employees can search a database of wishes. &ldquo;When someone wants to grant a wish, an email is sent to the Wish Fairies on how to proceed,&rdquo; says Maritza Lewis, ZapposU Trainer and Events Lead at the launch of the program. &ldquo;If you want to remain anonymous, employees can use the Fairies to grant wishes.&rdquo; &nbsp;</p> <p> <img alt="" class="img-responsive img-thumbnail" src="http://www.zapposinsights.com/files/accounts/zappos/assets/images/photos/wishez-scaled.JPG" style="width: 500px; height: 333px; float: right; margin: 0px 10px 10px;" />Wish Fairies help facilitate the granting of wishes - complete with wings! &quot;I love the fact that it allows each employee to impact the life of another Zappos employee,&rdquo; says Kathleen Joseph, Zappos Engagement Cultivator and former Wish Fairy. &ldquo;You may think you can&#39;t help someone out, but a lot of the time the wishes aren&#39;t about money, they&#39;re about time.&quot; From looking for help in building a website to wanting a tutor for their child, many of the wishes employees make provide an opportunity to donate one&rsquo;s time and talents more than just spending money. &ldquo;My favorite wishes are the ones when someone isn&rsquo;t asking for something for themselves, but when someone is asking for someone else,&rdquo; says Joseph. Such pay-it-forward wishes can extend to family members of an employee and exemplify co-workers looking out for each other.</p> <p> Not wanting to miss out on the fun, Zappos does have a small budget to grant wishes on behalf of the company. One of the most impactful wishes granted on behalf of Zappos to date was in 2011. A permanent resident at the time, a Zappos employee had wished for U.S. citizenship for himself and his daughter, but the process can be expensive. Zappos covered the necessary costs and the wish was granted at a company All Hands meeting for all of the Zappos Family to be able to witness. It was a moving event for everyone involved.</p> <p> From the early days of hoping employees would embrace the idea and drive the initiative to what WISHEZ is today, Lewis observes that &ldquo;it creates connections between employees and creates new bonds and memorable experiences that don&#39;t have a price tag.&rdquo; To date, over 3,000 wishes have been granted, with the great majority done so by employees rather than by Zappos itself. Inspired both by a similar idea from a 3<sup>rd</sup> party and a conversation between employees that started with &ldquo;Wouldn&rsquo;t it be cool if . . . ?&rdquo;, the WISHEZ program is an example of what can happen when employees take an idea and run with it.</p> <p> <strong>Now we want to hear from you! Does your company offer creative benefits? What kind of creative benefits would you like to see in your organization?&nbsp;</strong></p> <p> <em>Post your response below, or respond to us on Facebook</em>&nbsp;<a href="https://www.facebook.com/zapposinsights">https://www.facebook.com/zapposinsights</a></p> <p> <em>or Twitter</em>&nbsp;<a href="https://twitter.com/ZapposInsights">https://twitter.com/ZapposInsights</a>&nbsp;<em>using hashtag #ZapposInsights</em></p> <p> Can&rsquo;t get enough Zappos on our blog?&nbsp; Check out our <a href="http://www.zapposinsights.com/training?utm_source=Wishez%20Blog&amp;utm_medium=Blog&amp;utm_campaign=Wishez%20Blog">Training Events</a>.</p> </div> Mon, 28 Jul 2014 22:19:26 GMT http://www.zapposinsights.com/blog/item/getting-creative-with-employee-benefits-and-engagement 3 Steps to Identifying Personal Core Values http://www.zapposinsights.com/blog/item/3-steps-to-identifying-personal-core-values <p class="date"> 07/09/2014 &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </p> <script type="text/javascript">var switchTo5x=true;</script> <script type="text/javascript" src="http://w.sharethis.com/button/buttons.js"></script> <script type="text/javascript">stLight.options({publisher: "cec80d9a-458b-434f-a39f-c0b9f446c13e", doNotHash: false, doNotCopy: false, hashAddressBar: false});</script> <div class="socialBar"> <span class='st_facebook_hcount' displayText='Facebook'></span> <span class='st_twitter_hcount' displayText='Tweet'></span> <span class='st_linkedin_hcount' displayText='LinkedIn'></span> <span class='st_googleplus_hcount' displayText='Google +'></span> </div> <div class="summary"> <p> Since Zappos HQ is based in downtown Las Vegas, we&rsquo;re no strangers to Elvis sightings, and the King himself had some wise words about more than just hip shaking. &ldquo;Values are like fingerprints,&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;Nobody&rsquo;s are the same, but you leave &lsquo;em all over everything you do.&rdquo; Personal core values are intrinsic beliefs that affect how we interact with the world around us. In a <a href="http://www.zapposinsights.com/blog/item/the-benefits-of-identifying-personal-core-values">previous post</a>, we talked about the benefits of identifying core values, but how does one go about it?&nbsp;</p> </div> <div class="html clearfix clear"> <p> Whether we&rsquo;re conscious of it or not, our core values influence our behavior every day, so knowing what they are can act as a guide both professionally and personally. Putting them into words may sound daunting, but is easier than you think. Read on for some exercises on how to bring your core values into focus and share your own tips with us in the comments below!</p> <p> <img alt="" class="img-thumbnail img-responsive" src="http://www.zapposinsights.com/files/accounts/zappos/assets/images/photos/ValuesWordCloud.jpg" style="width: 500px; height: 309px; float: right; margin: 20px;" /></p> <p> <strong>&ldquo;All that we are is the result of what we have thought. The mind is everything. What we think we become.&rdquo; - Buddha</strong></p> <p> Identifying personal core values isn&rsquo;t something you need to do in one sitting. Just starting the process can help you notice things about yourself that you haven&rsquo;t before. It&rsquo;s like car shopping: when you know which one you want, you start seeing that car everywhere. Observing your own behavior and reactions to different situations will help pinpoint the underlying core values at work.</p> <p> <strong>Write down situations that evoked a really strong reaction in you. </strong>List what happened, how you felt, and what principle coincides with it. Did you see some form of injustice imposed on someone else? Then you may possess a strong sense of justice. Did someone lie to you? Then honesty may be a driving force for you. Did a positive performance review put you over the moon more than a raise did? Appreciation and a sense of being valued may be at play. This exercise also helps find patterns in reoccurring core values that may be more deeply rooted, as well as common themes between values such as justice and mercy or compassion and service.</p> <p> <strong>List your highs and lows. </strong>Recall several situations when you were the happiest and why. Then list when you were the saddest and why. This exercise establishes not only what helps you feel fulfilled, but what might be missing that you may not have been aware of before. And again, the more common denominators there are, the more weight those particular core values carry.</p> <p> <strong>Identify moments of pride and disappointment. </strong>While the previous step is more influenced by environment and situations, this one helps reveal strengths and weaknesses in our character. Acknowledging when we have let ourselves down can be uncomfortable, but is also the most helpful because it shows us where we are most out of alignment with our core values. It&rsquo;s easier - and more fun - to list our personal successes, but it is our failures that provide the most opportunity for growth.</p> <p> Once they&rsquo;ve been identified, the key to core values for both individuals - and companies - is committing to them. Practicing them and living them is what gives core values their strength and their ability to provide insight into even the most difficult situations and decisions.</p> </div> <p class="date"> 07/09/2014 &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </p> <script type="text/javascript">var switchTo5x=true;</script> <script type="text/javascript" src="http://w.sharethis.com/button/buttons.js"></script> <script type="text/javascript">stLight.options({publisher: "cec80d9a-458b-434f-a39f-c0b9f446c13e", doNotHash: false, doNotCopy: false, hashAddressBar: false});</script> <div class="socialBar"> <span class='st_facebook_hcount' displayText='Facebook'></span> <span class='st_twitter_hcount' displayText='Tweet'></span> <span class='st_linkedin_hcount' displayText='LinkedIn'></span> <span class='st_googleplus_hcount' displayText='Google +'></span> </div> <div class="summary"> <p> Since Zappos HQ is based in downtown Las Vegas, we&rsquo;re no strangers to Elvis sightings, and the King himself had some wise words about more than just hip shaking. &ldquo;Values are like fingerprints,&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;Nobody&rsquo;s are the same, but you leave &lsquo;em all over everything you do.&rdquo; Personal core values are intrinsic beliefs that affect how we interact with the world around us. In a <a href="http://www.zapposinsights.com/blog/item/the-benefits-of-identifying-personal-core-values">previous post</a>, we talked about the benefits of identifying core values, but how does one go about it?&nbsp;</p> </div> <div class="html clearfix clear"> <p> Whether we&rsquo;re conscious of it or not, our core values influence our behavior every day, so knowing what they are can act as a guide both professionally and personally. Putting them into words may sound daunting, but is easier than you think. Read on for some exercises on how to bring your core values into focus and share your own tips with us in the comments below!</p> <p> <img alt="" class="img-thumbnail img-responsive" src="http://www.zapposinsights.com/files/accounts/zappos/assets/images/photos/ValuesWordCloud.jpg" style="width: 500px; height: 309px; float: right; margin: 20px;" /></p> <p> <strong>&ldquo;All that we are is the result of what we have thought. The mind is everything. What we think we become.&rdquo; - Buddha</strong></p> <p> Identifying personal core values isn&rsquo;t something you need to do in one sitting. Just starting the process can help you notice things about yourself that you haven&rsquo;t before. It&rsquo;s like car shopping: when you know which one you want, you start seeing that car everywhere. Observing your own behavior and reactions to different situations will help pinpoint the underlying core values at work.</p> <p> <strong>Write down situations that evoked a really strong reaction in you. </strong>List what happened, how you felt, and what principle coincides with it. Did you see some form of injustice imposed on someone else? Then you may possess a strong sense of justice. Did someone lie to you? Then honesty may be a driving force for you. Did a positive performance review put you over the moon more than a raise did? Appreciation and a sense of being valued may be at play. This exercise also helps find patterns in reoccurring core values that may be more deeply rooted, as well as common themes between values such as justice and mercy or compassion and service.</p> <p> <strong>List your highs and lows. </strong>Recall several situations when you were the happiest and why. Then list when you were the saddest and why. This exercise establishes not only what helps you feel fulfilled, but what might be missing that you may not have been aware of before. And again, the more common denominators there are, the more weight those particular core values carry.</p> <p> <strong>Identify moments of pride and disappointment. </strong>While the previous step is more influenced by environment and situations, this one helps reveal strengths and weaknesses in our character. Acknowledging when we have let ourselves down can be uncomfortable, but is also the most helpful because it shows us where we are most out of alignment with our core values. It&rsquo;s easier - and more fun - to list our personal successes, but it is our failures that provide the most opportunity for growth.</p> <p> Once they&rsquo;ve been identified, the key to core values for both individuals - and companies - is committing to them. Practicing them and living them is what gives core values their strength and their ability to provide insight into even the most difficult situations and decisions.</p> </div> Wed, 09 Jul 2014 23:13:50 GMT http://www.zapposinsights.com/blog/item/3-steps-to-identifying-personal-core-values What Does Hiring for Culture Fit Really Mean? http://www.zapposinsights.com/blog/item/what-does-hiring-for-culture-fit-really-mean <p class="date"> 07/02/2014 &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </p> <script type="text/javascript">var switchTo5x=true;</script> <script type="text/javascript" src="http://w.sharethis.com/button/buttons.js"></script> <script type="text/javascript">stLight.options({publisher: "cec80d9a-458b-434f-a39f-c0b9f446c13e", doNotHash: false, doNotCopy: false, hashAddressBar: false});</script> <div class="socialBar"> <span class='st_facebook_hcount' displayText='Facebook'></span> <span class='st_twitter_hcount' displayText='Tweet'></span> <span class='st_linkedin_hcount' displayText='LinkedIn'></span> <span class='st_googleplus_hcount' displayText='Google +'></span> </div> <div class="summary"> <p> The term &lsquo;culture fit&rsquo; has become commonplace in today&rsquo;s workplace, but what does it really mean? With all the investment that organizations put into the training and retention of new hires, hiring the right person is crucial from the get-go. Tools such as culture fit interviews can help companies - and applicants - find the right fit.</p> </div> <div class="html clearfix clear"> <p> <strong>The Benefits of Committable Core Values</strong></p> <div> <img alt="" class="img-thumbnail img-responsive" src="http://www.zapposinsights.com/files/accounts/zappos/assets/images/photos/nhtparade.jpg" style="width: 375px; height: 375px; float: right; margin: 20px;" /> <p> Core values by themselves won&rsquo;t strengthen a company unless they are committable and an organization is willing to both hire - and fire- by them. Zappos has two sets of interviews: the skills interview and the culture interview, and candidates must pass both. The culture interview is based on Zappos&rsquo; <a href="http://www.zapposinsights.com/about/core-values"><u>10 Core Values</u></a>; if an applicant doesn&rsquo;t pass it, they don&rsquo;t move forward in the process, regardless of how much of a technical fit they may be. Past behaviors and touchpoints that come up during the interview that are contrary to the core values are red flags. &ldquo;We infuse culture into every step of the recruiting process,&rdquo; says Mike Bailen, Senior HR Manager at Zappos. &ldquo;We really place such a high value on culture that if a candidate demonstrates behaviors out of alignment with our core values, we will stop the process right there.&rdquo; Creating an interview process that reviews more than just technical skills allows both companies and candidates to get to know each other and offers a better understanding of each other&rsquo;s personalities. After all, an interview is a two-way street: an awkward first date where both parties are seeing if they want to take this relationship to the next level.</p> <p> <strong>Do Culture Fit Interviews Limit Diversity?</strong></p> <p> So what is a culture fit, anyway? Does it mean signing up to be a company clone, a Yes man or a Yes woman? Can candidates be a culture fit and still be themselves? &ldquo;We believe you can put your best foot forward and still be you - core values are our guide,&rdquo; says Christa Foley, Senior Manager HR &amp; Zappos Insights. &ldquo;People energize the core values in different ways and some people embody different core values than others. All we&rsquo;re looking to find out is that you aren&rsquo;t opposed to any of the core values.&rdquo; And given that the occasional parade makes its way through Zappos HQ now and again, Foley adds that &ldquo;you don&rsquo;t have to be leading the parade, but you can&rsquo;t be upset about the parade passing by.&rdquo; Diversity in a company spurs innovation. Bailen notes, &ldquo;Diversity is critical to the health of a company. That&#39;s how innovation starts - a fresh pair of eyes. That&#39;s the only way we can push this company forward.&rdquo; Providing a space where collaboration and innovation can flourish is also pivotal. An introvert himself, Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh said, &ldquo;I view my role more as trying to set up an environment where the personalities, creativity, and individuality of all the different employees come out and can shine.&rdquo;</p> <p> <strong>Slow to Hire, Quick to Fire</strong></p> <p> &quot;Most companies are very quick to hire and slow to fire, when really it should be the other way around.&quot; - Tony Hsieh</p> <p> Being &lsquo;slow to hire&rsquo; may seem like a hindrance when you need talent yesterday, but doing so can help your company in the long run. &ldquo;When you&rsquo;re too quick to hire, you can miss something,&rdquo; says Bailen. &ldquo;Make sure you&rsquo;re doing your due diligence on the front end and don&rsquo;t be afraid to part ways if it&rsquo;s not a match.&rdquo; Shake things up with out-of-the-box interview questions to vet different behaviors and bring out a candidate&rsquo;s personality. Finding out what they&rsquo;re interested in and what they like doing helps recruiters relate to applicants individually.</p> <p> Adding new components to the interview process can be an opportunity for companies to be more transparent about who they are and what they&rsquo;re looking for and can contribute more helpful data points than just what&rsquo;s on paper.</p> </div> </div> <p class="date"> 07/02/2014 &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </p> <script type="text/javascript">var switchTo5x=true;</script> <script type="text/javascript" src="http://w.sharethis.com/button/buttons.js"></script> <script type="text/javascript">stLight.options({publisher: "cec80d9a-458b-434f-a39f-c0b9f446c13e", doNotHash: false, doNotCopy: false, hashAddressBar: false});</script> <div class="socialBar"> <span class='st_facebook_hcount' displayText='Facebook'></span> <span class='st_twitter_hcount' displayText='Tweet'></span> <span class='st_linkedin_hcount' displayText='LinkedIn'></span> <span class='st_googleplus_hcount' displayText='Google +'></span> </div> <div class="summary"> <p> The term &lsquo;culture fit&rsquo; has become commonplace in today&rsquo;s workplace, but what does it really mean? With all the investment that organizations put into the training and retention of new hires, hiring the right person is crucial from the get-go. Tools such as culture fit interviews can help companies - and applicants - find the right fit.</p> </div> <div class="html clearfix clear"> <p> <strong>The Benefits of Committable Core Values</strong></p> <div> <img alt="" class="img-thumbnail img-responsive" src="http://www.zapposinsights.com/files/accounts/zappos/assets/images/photos/nhtparade.jpg" style="width: 375px; height: 375px; float: right; margin: 20px;" /> <p> Core values by themselves won&rsquo;t strengthen a company unless they are committable and an organization is willing to both hire - and fire- by them. Zappos has two sets of interviews: the skills interview and the culture interview, and candidates must pass both. The culture interview is based on Zappos&rsquo; <a href="http://www.zapposinsights.com/about/core-values"><u>10 Core Values</u></a>; if an applicant doesn&rsquo;t pass it, they don&rsquo;t move forward in the process, regardless of how much of a technical fit they may be. Past behaviors and touchpoints that come up during the interview that are contrary to the core values are red flags. &ldquo;We infuse culture into every step of the recruiting process,&rdquo; says Mike Bailen, Senior HR Manager at Zappos. &ldquo;We really place such a high value on culture that if a candidate demonstrates behaviors out of alignment with our core values, we will stop the process right there.&rdquo; Creating an interview process that reviews more than just technical skills allows both companies and candidates to get to know each other and offers a better understanding of each other&rsquo;s personalities. After all, an interview is a two-way street: an awkward first date where both parties are seeing if they want to take this relationship to the next level.</p> <p> <strong>Do Culture Fit Interviews Limit Diversity?</strong></p> <p> So what is a culture fit, anyway? Does it mean signing up to be a company clone, a Yes man or a Yes woman? Can candidates be a culture fit and still be themselves? &ldquo;We believe you can put your best foot forward and still be you - core values are our guide,&rdquo; says Christa Foley, Senior Manager HR &amp; Zappos Insights. &ldquo;People energize the core values in different ways and some people embody different core values than others. All we&rsquo;re looking to find out is that you aren&rsquo;t opposed to any of the core values.&rdquo; And given that the occasional parade makes its way through Zappos HQ now and again, Foley adds that &ldquo;you don&rsquo;t have to be leading the parade, but you can&rsquo;t be upset about the parade passing by.&rdquo; Diversity in a company spurs innovation. Bailen notes, &ldquo;Diversity is critical to the health of a company. That&#39;s how innovation starts - a fresh pair of eyes. That&#39;s the only way we can push this company forward.&rdquo; Providing a space where collaboration and innovation can flourish is also pivotal. An introvert himself, Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh said, &ldquo;I view my role more as trying to set up an environment where the personalities, creativity, and individuality of all the different employees come out and can shine.&rdquo;</p> <p> <strong>Slow to Hire, Quick to Fire</strong></p> <p> &quot;Most companies are very quick to hire and slow to fire, when really it should be the other way around.&quot; - Tony Hsieh</p> <p> Being &lsquo;slow to hire&rsquo; may seem like a hindrance when you need talent yesterday, but doing so can help your company in the long run. &ldquo;When you&rsquo;re too quick to hire, you can miss something,&rdquo; says Bailen. &ldquo;Make sure you&rsquo;re doing your due diligence on the front end and don&rsquo;t be afraid to part ways if it&rsquo;s not a match.&rdquo; Shake things up with out-of-the-box interview questions to vet different behaviors and bring out a candidate&rsquo;s personality. Finding out what they&rsquo;re interested in and what they like doing helps recruiters relate to applicants individually.</p> <p> Adding new components to the interview process can be an opportunity for companies to be more transparent about who they are and what they&rsquo;re looking for and can contribute more helpful data points than just what&rsquo;s on paper.</p> </div> </div> Thu, 03 Jul 2014 00:15:02 GMT http://www.zapposinsights.com/blog/item/what-does-hiring-for-culture-fit-really-mean 5 Inexpensive and Effective Team Building Ideas http://www.zapposinsights.com/blog/item/5-inexpensive-and-effective-team-building-ideas <p class="date"> 06/26/2014 &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </p> <script type="text/javascript">var switchTo5x=true;</script> <script type="text/javascript" src="http://w.sharethis.com/button/buttons.js"></script> <script type="text/javascript">stLight.options({publisher: "cec80d9a-458b-434f-a39f-c0b9f446c13e", doNotHash: false, doNotCopy: false, hashAddressBar: false});</script> <div class="socialBar"> <span class='st_facebook_hcount' displayText='Facebook'></span> <span class='st_twitter_hcount' displayText='Tweet'></span> <span class='st_linkedin_hcount' displayText='LinkedIn'></span> <span class='st_googleplus_hcount' displayText='Google +'></span> </div> <div class="summary"> <p> The benefits of regular team building are well documented, from increased productivity and better communication to more team support and less conflicts, but how do you make them a priority without breaking the bank? The standard of getting drinks after work can get old (and pricey) pretty quick. Not to mention, you can lead your co-workers to a happy hour, but you can&rsquo;t make them mingle. Mix things up with some creative yet inexpensive team building ideas.</p> </div> <div class="html clearfix clear"> <p> <strong><img alt="" class="img-circle img-responsive" src="http://www.zapposinsights.com/files/accounts/zappos/assets/images/team photos/FunnyGroup-scaled.jpg" style="width: 350px; height: 233px; float: right; margin: 20px;" />Volunteer as a team.</strong>&nbsp;Working together for a higher purpose not only lets co-workers see a new side to each other, but being able to give back can provide a strong sense of belonging within a company&rsquo;s surrounding community. &ldquo;I love the idea of combining a fun outing and giving back,&rdquo; says Christa Foley, Senior Manager HR &amp; Zappos Insights.&nbsp;&ldquo;It&rsquo;s the embodiment of doing more with less and building a positive team and family spirit combined. Having a great time doesn&rsquo;t have to cost a ton of money.&rdquo; Zappos encourages team building through <a href="http://www.zapposinsights.com/about/core-values">Core Value</a> #7, Build a Positive Team and Family Spirit.</p> <p> <strong>Do a scavenger hunt.&nbsp;</strong>Using local favorite places and pairing up people who don&rsquo;t know each other as well can result in good times and good memories. Use white elephant gifts as prizes for participants as fun reminders.</p> <p> <strong>Themed potlucks.&nbsp;</strong>Contributing to a potluck doesn&rsquo;t have to cost much, and having a theme of favorite childhood food or best hangover cure usually coaxes out some great stories to get to know everyone better.</p> <p> <strong>Host a game day.&nbsp;</strong>Having a team member host at their house adds a personal feel and more relaxed setting than the office or a restaurant. Card games or classic board games provide a (hopefully) friendly sense of competition. (:</p> <p> <strong>Add a twist to an old favorite.&nbsp;</strong>There&rsquo;s nothing wrong with a well-deserved happy hour or team dinner. Shake them up with previously collected trivia questions and answers about everyone. For the more daring, pair together actions with reactions. For example, every time someone uses their fork, someone else has to scream &ldquo;TOUCHDOWN!&rdquo; The results are unforgettable as team members try to decipher which action is triggering what reaction. &nbsp;</p> <p> Take turns picking an activity<strong>.&nbsp;</strong>You won&rsquo;t always be able to please everyone, so letting each team member choose an activity allows them to express part of their personality and helps the team get to know each other in a new way.</p> <p> Plan events during business hours when possible<strong>.&nbsp;</strong>It may sound like common knowledge, but is a good reminder that while there are fun options outside of a typical work day, asking employees to participate outside of their schedule can add additional stress to already jam-packed weekdays and should be done sparingly.&nbsp;</p> </div> <p class="date"> 06/26/2014 &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </p> <script type="text/javascript">var switchTo5x=true;</script> <script type="text/javascript" src="http://w.sharethis.com/button/buttons.js"></script> <script type="text/javascript">stLight.options({publisher: "cec80d9a-458b-434f-a39f-c0b9f446c13e", doNotHash: false, doNotCopy: false, hashAddressBar: false});</script> <div class="socialBar"> <span class='st_facebook_hcount' displayText='Facebook'></span> <span class='st_twitter_hcount' displayText='Tweet'></span> <span class='st_linkedin_hcount' displayText='LinkedIn'></span> <span class='st_googleplus_hcount' displayText='Google +'></span> </div> <div class="summary"> <p> The benefits of regular team building are well documented, from increased productivity and better communication to more team support and less conflicts, but how do you make them a priority without breaking the bank? The standard of getting drinks after work can get old (and pricey) pretty quick. Not to mention, you can lead your co-workers to a happy hour, but you can&rsquo;t make them mingle. Mix things up with some creative yet inexpensive team building ideas.</p> </div> <div class="html clearfix clear"> <p> <strong><img alt="" class="img-circle img-responsive" src="http://www.zapposinsights.com/files/accounts/zappos/assets/images/team photos/FunnyGroup-scaled.jpg" style="width: 350px; height: 233px; float: right; margin: 20px;" />Volunteer as a team.</strong>&nbsp;Working together for a higher purpose not only lets co-workers see a new side to each other, but being able to give back can provide a strong sense of belonging within a company&rsquo;s surrounding community. &ldquo;I love the idea of combining a fun outing and giving back,&rdquo; says Christa Foley, Senior Manager HR &amp; Zappos Insights.&nbsp;&ldquo;It&rsquo;s the embodiment of doing more with less and building a positive team and family spirit combined. Having a great time doesn&rsquo;t have to cost a ton of money.&rdquo; Zappos encourages team building through <a href="http://www.zapposinsights.com/about/core-values">Core Value</a> #7, Build a Positive Team and Family Spirit.</p> <p> <strong>Do a scavenger hunt.&nbsp;</strong>Using local favorite places and pairing up people who don&rsquo;t know each other as well can result in good times and good memories. Use white elephant gifts as prizes for participants as fun reminders.</p> <p> <strong>Themed potlucks.&nbsp;</strong>Contributing to a potluck doesn&rsquo;t have to cost much, and having a theme of favorite childhood food or best hangover cure usually coaxes out some great stories to get to know everyone better.</p> <p> <strong>Host a game day.&nbsp;</strong>Having a team member host at their house adds a personal feel and more relaxed setting than the office or a restaurant. Card games or classic board games provide a (hopefully) friendly sense of competition. (:</p> <p> <strong>Add a twist to an old favorite.&nbsp;</strong>There&rsquo;s nothing wrong with a well-deserved happy hour or team dinner. Shake them up with previously collected trivia questions and answers about everyone. For the more daring, pair together actions with reactions. For example, every time someone uses their fork, someone else has to scream &ldquo;TOUCHDOWN!&rdquo; The results are unforgettable as team members try to decipher which action is triggering what reaction. &nbsp;</p> <p> Take turns picking an activity<strong>.&nbsp;</strong>You won&rsquo;t always be able to please everyone, so letting each team member choose an activity allows them to express part of their personality and helps the team get to know each other in a new way.</p> <p> Plan events during business hours when possible<strong>.&nbsp;</strong>It may sound like common knowledge, but is a good reminder that while there are fun options outside of a typical work day, asking employees to participate outside of their schedule can add additional stress to already jam-packed weekdays and should be done sparingly.&nbsp;</p> </div> Fri, 27 Jun 2014 00:11:52 GMT http://www.zapposinsights.com/blog/item/5-inexpensive-and-effective-team-building-ideas 3 Tips to Creating Better Connections with Your Candidates http://www.zapposinsights.com/blog/item/hey-recruiters-connecting-with-your-candidates-can-be-hard-but-it-doesnt-have-to-be-here-are-3-tips- <p class="date"> 06/19/2014 &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </p> <script type="text/javascript">var switchTo5x=true;</script> <script type="text/javascript" src="http://w.sharethis.com/button/buttons.js"></script> <script type="text/javascript">stLight.options({publisher: "cec80d9a-458b-434f-a39f-c0b9f446c13e", doNotHash: false, doNotCopy: false, hashAddressBar: false});</script> <div class="socialBar"> <span class='st_facebook_hcount' displayText='Facebook'></span> <span class='st_twitter_hcount' displayText='Tweet'></span> <span class='st_linkedin_hcount' displayText='LinkedIn'></span> <span class='st_googleplus_hcount' displayText='Google +'></span> </div> <div class="summary"> <p> Few experiences induce more fear and dread than that of the job interview. Ironic, isn&rsquo;t it? &lsquo;You have a job opening! I want that job! Let&rsquo;s make this happen!&rsquo; Ah, if only it were so easy. Quite the opposite, the interview process itself is anything but easy for either party, and can often make people feel anything but themselves. Countless interview tips and tricks exist for hopeful applicants to pore over, from attire to speech to body language. So as a recruiter, how do you get a candidate to relax and be themselves so that you both can make the most out of the interview process?&nbsp;</p> </div> <div class="html clearfix clear"> <p> While the meat and potatoes of an interview is pretty standard (i.e. questions and answers in an office), recruiters have a lot of sometimes overlooked tools at their disposal that can set the tone and provide helpful data points along the way.</p> <p> <strong>It&rsquo;s Not Just about the Interview<img alt="" class="img-thumbnail img-responsive" src="http://www.zapposinsights.com/files/accounts/zappos/assets/images/photos/alexisinterns.jpg" style="width: 500px; height: 572px; float: right; margin: 15px;" /> </strong></p> <p> Interviews don&rsquo;t start when an applicant walks into the room; they start at first contact, and every interaction with your company counts. For example, Zappos will ask its shuttle drivers how they were treated by interview candidates; if the feedback is negative, then that candidate doesn&rsquo;t move forward in the process, no matter how well they may have done in the actual interview. Why? Because we want people to be themselves, and if who they naturally are when they think no one is looking differs from how they act in the interview, then that&rsquo;s important to know. If your experience with the candidate was positive, but they were rude to your front desk or administrative assistant, wouldn&rsquo;t you want to know?</p> <p> <strong>Set the Stage</strong></p> <p> When you think of an interview, what do you picture? Is it something out of <em>Law &amp; Order</em>: bland room, people in suits, a spotlight, and ominous theme music? OK, so maybe it&rsquo;s not <em>exactly</em> like that, but it may as well be with the stress that the interview process can induce. Providing a setting that&rsquo;s inviting puts the applicant at ease. A beach-themed room at the former Zappos offices in Henderson, NV, did just that. &ldquo;I think we do a good job of making people feel really comfortable. We give them a tour, things are pretty casual,&rdquo; says Mike Bailen, Senior HR Manager at Zappos. &ldquo;It&#39;s relaxed and conversational so they will feel they can be themselves.&rdquo; Because while recruiting might feel like detective work sometimes, matching company needs to an individual&rsquo;s skill sets, no one likes an interrogation room.</p> <p> <strong>Ask the Right Questions and Involve the Right People</strong></p> <p> Countless possible interview questions exist out there and so it&rsquo;s common practice for candidates to, well, practice. But too much practice can squash authenticity, and that&rsquo;s where a well thought out interview strategy comes in. Bailen offers insight into Zappos&rsquo; recruiting theory. &ldquo;We don&#39;t want someone to rehearse; we intentionally make our interview questions pretty easy to facilitate conversation.&rdquo; Using your interview time to really get to know your applicants pays off in the long run - after all, this is someone you will be spending a lot of time with if they get the job, so interview wisely. Avoiding simple yes or no questions as well as asking questions that will bring out someone&rsquo;s personality keeps the conversation going and creates the opportunity for applicants to open up.</p> <p> Closely related to asking the right questions is involving more people in the interview and decision-making process. Who will be working with this person the most? Bring them into the picture and coordinate what questions to cover and what data points you want collected. Candidates can tell when an interviewer isn&rsquo;t prepared and nothing feels worse than getting asked the same question by three different people.</p> <p> The interview process can be an oddly intimate setting with strangers you just met, but with the right tools, can become an opportunity to build relationships in a more organic way.</p> </div> <p class="date"> 06/19/2014 &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </p> <script type="text/javascript">var switchTo5x=true;</script> <script type="text/javascript" src="http://w.sharethis.com/button/buttons.js"></script> <script type="text/javascript">stLight.options({publisher: "cec80d9a-458b-434f-a39f-c0b9f446c13e", doNotHash: false, doNotCopy: false, hashAddressBar: false});</script> <div class="socialBar"> <span class='st_facebook_hcount' displayText='Facebook'></span> <span class='st_twitter_hcount' displayText='Tweet'></span> <span class='st_linkedin_hcount' displayText='LinkedIn'></span> <span class='st_googleplus_hcount' displayText='Google +'></span> </div> <div class="summary"> <p> Few experiences induce more fear and dread than that of the job interview. Ironic, isn&rsquo;t it? &lsquo;You have a job opening! I want that job! Let&rsquo;s make this happen!&rsquo; Ah, if only it were so easy. Quite the opposite, the interview process itself is anything but easy for either party, and can often make people feel anything but themselves. Countless interview tips and tricks exist for hopeful applicants to pore over, from attire to speech to body language. So as a recruiter, how do you get a candidate to relax and be themselves so that you both can make the most out of the interview process?&nbsp;</p> </div> <div class="html clearfix clear"> <p> While the meat and potatoes of an interview is pretty standard (i.e. questions and answers in an office), recruiters have a lot of sometimes overlooked tools at their disposal that can set the tone and provide helpful data points along the way.</p> <p> <strong>It&rsquo;s Not Just about the Interview<img alt="" class="img-thumbnail img-responsive" src="http://www.zapposinsights.com/files/accounts/zappos/assets/images/photos/alexisinterns.jpg" style="width: 500px; height: 572px; float: right; margin: 15px;" /> </strong></p> <p> Interviews don&rsquo;t start when an applicant walks into the room; they start at first contact, and every interaction with your company counts. For example, Zappos will ask its shuttle drivers how they were treated by interview candidates; if the feedback is negative, then that candidate doesn&rsquo;t move forward in the process, no matter how well they may have done in the actual interview. Why? Because we want people to be themselves, and if who they naturally are when they think no one is looking differs from how they act in the interview, then that&rsquo;s important to know. If your experience with the candidate was positive, but they were rude to your front desk or administrative assistant, wouldn&rsquo;t you want to know?</p> <p> <strong>Set the Stage</strong></p> <p> When you think of an interview, what do you picture? Is it something out of <em>Law &amp; Order</em>: bland room, people in suits, a spotlight, and ominous theme music? OK, so maybe it&rsquo;s not <em>exactly</em> like that, but it may as well be with the stress that the interview process can induce. Providing a setting that&rsquo;s inviting puts the applicant at ease. A beach-themed room at the former Zappos offices in Henderson, NV, did just that. &ldquo;I think we do a good job of making people feel really comfortable. We give them a tour, things are pretty casual,&rdquo; says Mike Bailen, Senior HR Manager at Zappos. &ldquo;It&#39;s relaxed and conversational so they will feel they can be themselves.&rdquo; Because while recruiting might feel like detective work sometimes, matching company needs to an individual&rsquo;s skill sets, no one likes an interrogation room.</p> <p> <strong>Ask the Right Questions and Involve the Right People</strong></p> <p> Countless possible interview questions exist out there and so it&rsquo;s common practice for candidates to, well, practice. But too much practice can squash authenticity, and that&rsquo;s where a well thought out interview strategy comes in. Bailen offers insight into Zappos&rsquo; recruiting theory. &ldquo;We don&#39;t want someone to rehearse; we intentionally make our interview questions pretty easy to facilitate conversation.&rdquo; Using your interview time to really get to know your applicants pays off in the long run - after all, this is someone you will be spending a lot of time with if they get the job, so interview wisely. Avoiding simple yes or no questions as well as asking questions that will bring out someone&rsquo;s personality keeps the conversation going and creates the opportunity for applicants to open up.</p> <p> Closely related to asking the right questions is involving more people in the interview and decision-making process. Who will be working with this person the most? Bring them into the picture and coordinate what questions to cover and what data points you want collected. Candidates can tell when an interviewer isn&rsquo;t prepared and nothing feels worse than getting asked the same question by three different people.</p> <p> The interview process can be an oddly intimate setting with strangers you just met, but with the right tools, can become an opportunity to build relationships in a more organic way.</p> </div> Fri, 20 Jun 2014 00:53:26 GMT http://www.zapposinsights.com/blog/item/hey-recruiters-connecting-with-your-candidates-can-be-hard-but-it-doesnt-have-to-be-here-are-3-tips- Zappos Insights Announces its Latest Offering in Culture and Customer Service Training: The School of WOW! http://www.zapposinsights.com/blog/item/zappos-insights-announces-its-latest-offering-in-culture-and-customer-service-training-the-school-of-wow <p class="date"> 06/16/2014 &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </p> <script type="text/javascript">var switchTo5x=true;</script> <script type="text/javascript" src="http://w.sharethis.com/button/buttons.js"></script> <script type="text/javascript">stLight.options({publisher: "cec80d9a-458b-434f-a39f-c0b9f446c13e", doNotHash: false, doNotCopy: false, hashAddressBar: false});</script> <div class="socialBar"> <span class='st_facebook_hcount' displayText='Facebook'></span> <span class='st_twitter_hcount' displayText='Tweet'></span> <span class='st_linkedin_hcount' displayText='LinkedIn'></span> <span class='st_googleplus_hcount' displayText='Google +'></span> </div> <div class="summary"> <p> Designed and refined after years of custom events and participant feedback, the newly launched School of WOW has two offerings: one for customer service leaders and one for frontline employees.</p> </div> <div class="html clearfix clear"> <p> Led by Zappos customer service experts, both platforms review the key tools needed to set your customer service apart and really WOW your customers. Hosted at Zappos HQ in downtown Las Vegas, School of WOW for Leaders features call shadowing with our Customer Loyalty Team, call center-related presentations, and a Q &amp; A panel with CLT leaders. Our Frontline option brings the training straight to you and your team. Not only does it cover the nuts and bolts of stellar customer service, but it can also be customized to meet your team&rsquo;s needs.</p> <p> When Zappos first began, it was all about the shoes. There was a gap in the online marketplace for buying shoes online and in 1999, Zappos was created to fill it. The main goal <img alt="" class="img-thumbnail" src="http://www.zapposinsights.com/files/accounts/zappos/assets/images/SchoolofWOWLogo.png" style="width: 350px; height: 200px; float: right; margin: 15px;" />would be to provide the best online selection of shoes. But then something happened that changed the company&rsquo;s focus - that something was what is now known as the first WOW letter.</p> <p> In January 2000, a customer emailed Zappos to describe her recent shopping experience. She tried ordering two different pairs of shoes, both of which were unavailable, but that wasn&rsquo;t why she contacted us. It was the fast, courteous response of the Zappos Customer Loyalty Team as well as receiving both a gift certificate and a t-shirt for the inconvenience that WOW&rsquo;ed her. That feedback changed the focus of Zappos: What if the company focused not solely (see what we did there?) on <em>what</em> it sold, but <em>how</em> it sold it? What if Zappos focused on WOWing its customers? &ldquo;We asked ourselves what we wanted this company to stand for,&rdquo; said CEO Tony Hsieh, &ldquo;we didn&rsquo;t want to sell just shoes. I wasn&rsquo;t even into shoes - but I was passionate about customer service.&rdquo;</p> <p> These days, you can find much more than just shoes on Zappos. Clothing, housewares, accessories, outdoor gear, you name it. But after 15 years, offering the best customer service experience is what Zappos continues to strive for. Each new employee goes through a rigorous month-long training that focuses on nothing but customer service. They spend 40 hours on the phones helping our customers because regardless of the specific department they were hired for, customer service is the priority. Each holiday season when call volume goes up, everyone in the company pitches in and jumps on the phones because we want to maintain the same level of service no matter how busy it gets. Everything we do as a company goes back to customer service.</p> <p> As Zappos started to become known for these customer service standards, people began asking how they were developed and if other companies could implement them. In 2008, Zappos Insights was created to address such interest and develop different offerings for other companies. With tens of thousands of requests for a customer service-specific training, we are beyond thrilled to introduce our latest Zappos Insights offering, the School of WOW.</p> <p> Click on the following link for more details: <a href="http://www.zapposinsights.com/training/school-of-wow">http://www.zapposinsights.com/training/school-of-wow</a></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> </div> <p class="date"> 06/16/2014 &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </p> <script type="text/javascript">var switchTo5x=true;</script> <script type="text/javascript" src="http://w.sharethis.com/button/buttons.js"></script> <script type="text/javascript">stLight.options({publisher: "cec80d9a-458b-434f-a39f-c0b9f446c13e", doNotHash: false, doNotCopy: false, hashAddressBar: false});</script> <div class="socialBar"> <span class='st_facebook_hcount' displayText='Facebook'></span> <span class='st_twitter_hcount' displayText='Tweet'></span> <span class='st_linkedin_hcount' displayText='LinkedIn'></span> <span class='st_googleplus_hcount' displayText='Google +'></span> </div> <div class="summary"> <p> Designed and refined after years of custom events and participant feedback, the newly launched School of WOW has two offerings: one for customer service leaders and one for frontline employees.</p> </div> <div class="html clearfix clear"> <p> Led by Zappos customer service experts, both platforms review the key tools needed to set your customer service apart and really WOW your customers. Hosted at Zappos HQ in downtown Las Vegas, School of WOW for Leaders features call shadowing with our Customer Loyalty Team, call center-related presentations, and a Q &amp; A panel with CLT leaders. Our Frontline option brings the training straight to you and your team. Not only does it cover the nuts and bolts of stellar customer service, but it can also be customized to meet your team&rsquo;s needs.</p> <p> When Zappos first began, it was all about the shoes. There was a gap in the online marketplace for buying shoes online and in 1999, Zappos was created to fill it. The main goal <img alt="" class="img-thumbnail" src="http://www.zapposinsights.com/files/accounts/zappos/assets/images/SchoolofWOWLogo.png" style="width: 350px; height: 200px; float: right; margin: 15px;" />would be to provide the best online selection of shoes. But then something happened that changed the company&rsquo;s focus - that something was what is now known as the first WOW letter.</p> <p> In January 2000, a customer emailed Zappos to describe her recent shopping experience. She tried ordering two different pairs of shoes, both of which were unavailable, but that wasn&rsquo;t why she contacted us. It was the fast, courteous response of the Zappos Customer Loyalty Team as well as receiving both a gift certificate and a t-shirt for the inconvenience that WOW&rsquo;ed her. That feedback changed the focus of Zappos: What if the company focused not solely (see what we did there?) on <em>what</em> it sold, but <em>how</em> it sold it? What if Zappos focused on WOWing its customers? &ldquo;We asked ourselves what we wanted this company to stand for,&rdquo; said CEO Tony Hsieh, &ldquo;we didn&rsquo;t want to sell just shoes. I wasn&rsquo;t even into shoes - but I was passionate about customer service.&rdquo;</p> <p> These days, you can find much more than just shoes on Zappos. Clothing, housewares, accessories, outdoor gear, you name it. But after 15 years, offering the best customer service experience is what Zappos continues to strive for. Each new employee goes through a rigorous month-long training that focuses on nothing but customer service. They spend 40 hours on the phones helping our customers because regardless of the specific department they were hired for, customer service is the priority. Each holiday season when call volume goes up, everyone in the company pitches in and jumps on the phones because we want to maintain the same level of service no matter how busy it gets. Everything we do as a company goes back to customer service.</p> <p> As Zappos started to become known for these customer service standards, people began asking how they were developed and if other companies could implement them. In 2008, Zappos Insights was created to address such interest and develop different offerings for other companies. With tens of thousands of requests for a customer service-specific training, we are beyond thrilled to introduce our latest Zappos Insights offering, the School of WOW.</p> <p> Click on the following link for more details: <a href="http://www.zapposinsights.com/training/school-of-wow">http://www.zapposinsights.com/training/school-of-wow</a></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> </div> Mon, 16 Jun 2014 23:13:01 GMT http://www.zapposinsights.com/blog/item/zappos-insights-announces-its-latest-offering-in-culture-and-customer-service-training-the-school-of-wow