Zappos Insights http://www.zapposinsights.com/ Zappos Insights Sun, 29 Mar 2015 20:45:38 GMT Let’s Work Happily Ever After: The Business Case for Culture (Guest Post) http://www.zapposinsights.com/blog/item/lets-work-happily-ever-after-the-business-case-for-culture <p class="date"> 03/19/2015 &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </p> <p class="date"> 03/19/2015 &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> <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> Workers want to be engaged. Companies want workers to be engaged. So what&rsquo;s the problem? Just like with wedding engagements, there&rsquo;s a lot to more to do. It&rsquo;s not as simple as grabbing anybody off the street and telling them when and where to show up. People want to feel united in purpose. Chosen. Engagement starts with a strong company culture. But in order for culture to engage people, first, it must be communicated.&nbsp;</p> </div> <div class="summary"> <p> Workers want to be engaged. Companies want workers to be engaged. So what&rsquo;s the problem? Just like with wedding engagements, there&rsquo;s a lot to more to do. It&rsquo;s not as simple as grabbing anybody off the street and telling them when and where to show up. People want to feel united in purpose. Chosen. Engagement starts with a strong company culture. But in order for culture to engage people, first, it must be communicated.&nbsp;</p> </div> <div class="html clearfix clear"> <p> <strong>The big buzzwords for 2015 are: Engagement and Culture</strong></p> <p> <a href="http://www.merriam-webster.com/top-ten-lists/2014-word-of-the-year/culture.html">Culture was the biggest word of 2014</a>&nbsp;and it&rsquo;s gaining momentum in 2015. The reason companies are focusing on culture is because the majority of workers,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.gallup.com/poll/181289/majority-employees-not-engaged-despite-gains-2014.aspx">51%, are &quot;not engaged&quot;,&nbsp;</a><a href="http://www.gallup.com/poll/181289/majority-employees-not-engaged-despite-gains-2014.aspx">and worse, 17.5% are &quot;actively disengaged&quot;</a>.</p> <p> So, where is the disconnect? If companies want workers to be engaged and workers want it, too&mdash;&nbsp;why does it happen? Just like a bad first date, it starts with the first point of contact. What do most companies communicate about themselves? Most companies tell workers what they need from them to be successful: bottom-line metrics, activity goals, and lots of professional buzzwords.</p> <p> <img alt="" class="img-thumbnail img-responsive" src="http://www.zapposinsights.com/files/accounts/zappos/assets/images/Confetti.Cloud.2-sclaed.JPG" style="width: 350px; height: 233px; float: right; margin: 15px;" /></p> <p> Companies that make conscious choices about revealing who they are and how they invest in workers create&nbsp;trust and engagement. Yet most the majority of companies don&rsquo;t tell their story well. Most job postings only focus on two things: where the company is located and what the duties of the job are. That is not compelling to job seekers (or customers). Where is the love? Where is the purpose? Where is the culture? Workers want to feel like they are part of something really special, but most companies don&rsquo;t reveal what makes them special until the interview or worse, during on-boarding. Only a handful of companies (Zappos is one) understand that company culture is directly related to engagement.</p> <p> For many companies, culture is a &ldquo;set it and forget it&rdquo; idea. Yet, leadership who understand the power of culture as a strategic initiative are WINNING. I see it all the time. Companies that talk about wanting better engagement distribute once per&nbsp;year employee engagement surveys. That&rsquo;s the extent of their strategy. Real initiatives require resources, time,&nbsp;and money. Zappos works to build a unique culture and communicate it in an accessible way. Candidates love it. Customers love it. Transparency rules.</p> <p> Companies that want to improve engagement must:&nbsp;</p> <p style="margin-left:39.35pt;"> 1.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Understand their culture first. Start with where you are today. Look at how you invest in your workers and in your community. That will tell you a lot about your culture. What kind of training and development opportunities do you offer? Do you invest in a wellness program for workers to stay healthy? Do you have career coaches or offer lunch with the CEO monthly? Everything you do reveals your culture.</p> <p style="margin-left:39.35pt;"> 2.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; After you have a baseline understanding of how you invest in your culture, you need to communicate it. Transparency wins. Do your candidates, current employees, hiring managers, and customers understand all of the programs, perks,&nbsp;and values you invest in? Branding is never done. Communicate it. Communicate it. Communicate it.</p> <p style="margin-left:39.35pt;"> 3.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Continue to learn from companies you admire. What are they doing to attract talent? Explore if that could make sense for your organization. Ask your workers what they like best about working there.</p> <p> There is no single source for building a strong culture. Just like there&rsquo;s no &ldquo;silver bullet&rdquo; to keeping everyone engaged. Engagement is a process of trust and communication. It starts with a transparent culture. For companies that invest in making their cultures&nbsp;unique and communicate it, they will continue to&nbsp;win loyalty and engagement with their workers.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <a href="http://www.linkedin.com\in\betsyrowbottom">Betsy Rowbottom</a>, Cofounder, The Good Jobs. <a href="http://thegoodjobs.com/">The Good Jobs</a>&nbsp;helps companies to define their cultures&nbsp;and communicate it to the world. We believe culture is the best competitive advantage.</p> </div> <div class="html clearfix clear"> <p> <strong>The big buzzwords for 2015 are: Engagement and Culture</strong></p> <p> <a href="http://www.merriam-webster.com/top-ten-lists/2014-word-of-the-year/culture.html">Culture was the biggest word of 2014</a>&nbsp;and it&rsquo;s gaining momentum in 2015. The reason companies are focusing on culture is because the majority of workers,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.gallup.com/poll/181289/majority-employees-not-engaged-despite-gains-2014.aspx">51%, are &quot;not engaged&quot;,&nbsp;</a><a href="http://www.gallup.com/poll/181289/majority-employees-not-engaged-despite-gains-2014.aspx">and worse, 17.5% are &quot;actively disengaged&quot;</a>.</p> <p> So, where is the disconnect? If companies want workers to be engaged and workers want it, too&mdash;&nbsp;why does it happen? Just like a bad first date, it starts with the first point of contact. What do most companies communicate about themselves? Most companies tell workers what they need from them to be successful: bottom-line metrics, activity goals, and lots of professional buzzwords.</p> <p> <img alt="" class="img-thumbnail img-responsive" src="http://www.zapposinsights.com/files/accounts/zappos/assets/images/Confetti.Cloud.2-sclaed.JPG" style="width: 350px; height: 233px; float: right; margin: 15px;" /></p> <p> Companies that make conscious choices about revealing who they are and how they invest in workers create&nbsp;trust and engagement. Yet most the majority of companies don&rsquo;t tell their story well. Most job postings only focus on two things: where the company is located and what the duties of the job are. That is not compelling to job seekers (or customers). Where is the love? Where is the purpose? Where is the culture? Workers want to feel like they are part of something really special, but most companies don&rsquo;t reveal what makes them special until the interview or worse, during on-boarding. Only a handful of companies (Zappos is one) understand that company culture is directly related to engagement.</p> <p> For many companies, culture is a &ldquo;set it and forget it&rdquo; idea. Yet, leadership who understand the power of culture as a strategic initiative are WINNING. I see it all the time. Companies that talk about wanting better engagement distribute once per&nbsp;year employee engagement surveys. That&rsquo;s the extent of their strategy. Real initiatives require resources, time,&nbsp;and money. Zappos works to build a unique culture and communicate it in an accessible way. Candidates love it. Customers love it. Transparency rules.</p> <p> Companies that want to improve engagement must:&nbsp;</p> <p style="margin-left:39.35pt;"> 1.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Understand their culture first. Start with where you are today. Look at how you invest in your workers and in your community. That will tell you a lot about your culture. What kind of training and development opportunities do you offer? Do you invest in a wellness program for workers to stay healthy? Do you have career coaches or offer lunch with the CEO monthly? Everything you do reveals your culture.</p> <p style="margin-left:39.35pt;"> 2.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; After you have a baseline understanding of how you invest in your culture, you need to communicate it. Transparency wins. Do your candidates, current employees, hiring managers, and customers understand all of the programs, perks,&nbsp;and values you invest in? Branding is never done. Communicate it. Communicate it. Communicate it.</p> <p style="margin-left:39.35pt;"> 3.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Continue to learn from companies you admire. What are they doing to attract talent? Explore if that could make sense for your organization. Ask your workers what they like best about working there.</p> <p> There is no single source for building a strong culture. Just like there&rsquo;s no &ldquo;silver bullet&rdquo; to keeping everyone engaged. Engagement is a process of trust and communication. It starts with a transparent culture. For companies that invest in making their cultures&nbsp;unique and communicate it, they will continue to&nbsp;win loyalty and engagement with their workers.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> <a href="http://www.linkedin.com\in\betsyrowbottom">Betsy Rowbottom</a>, Cofounder, The Good Jobs. <a href="http://thegoodjobs.com/">The Good Jobs</a>&nbsp;helps companies to define their cultures&nbsp;and communicate it to the world. We believe culture is the best competitive advantage.</p> </div> Thu, 19 Mar 2015 23:28:41 GMT http://www.zapposinsights.com/blog/item/lets-work-happily-ever-after-the-business-case-for-culture My Entire Life I've Been a Doodler http://www.zapposinsights.com/blog/item/my-entire-life-ive-been-a-doodler <p class="date"> 02/04/2015 &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </p> <p class="date"> 02/04/2015 &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> <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> <span style="box-sizing: border-box; color: black; font-family: 'times new roman', times, serif; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25.2000007629395px;">During elementary school, I&rsquo;d spend class doodling strange monsters or made-up superheroes saving the day. For me, this was my escape from a world in which I was bullied and relentlessly made fun of; kids are mean and there&rsquo;s no guidebook for public school survival. The only coping mechanism I realized I had was the pencil and a piece of paper, so I focused on that made-up world instead.</span><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: 'times new roman', times, serif; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25.2000007629395px;">&nbsp;</span></p> </div> <div class="summary"> <p> <span style="box-sizing: border-box; color: black; font-family: 'times new roman', times, serif; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25.2000007629395px;">During elementary school, I&rsquo;d spend class doodling strange monsters or made-up superheroes saving the day. For me, this was my escape from a world in which I was bullied and relentlessly made fun of; kids are mean and there&rsquo;s no guidebook for public school survival. The only coping mechanism I realized I had was the pencil and a piece of paper, so I focused on that made-up world instead.</span><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: 'times new roman', times, serif; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25.2000007629395px;">&nbsp;</span></p> </div> <div class="html clearfix clear"> <p> <span style="box-sizing: border-box; color: black; font-family: 'times new roman', times, serif; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25.2000007629395px;">This form of escapism persisted through my college years and post-college jobs that offered no form of fulfillment. I found myself dreading Mondays, uneager to face the day, which led to days of self-skepticism in the direction of my career. Meanwhile, I continued to sketch little monsters.</span><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: 'times new roman', times, serif; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25.2000007629395px;">&nbsp;</span><br style="box-sizing: border-box; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: 'times new roman', times, serif; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25.2000007629395px;" /> <span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: 'times new roman', times, serif; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25.2000007629395px;">&nbsp;&nbsp;</span><br style="box-sizing: border-box; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: 'times new roman', times, serif; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25.2000007629395px;" /> <span style="box-sizing: border-box; color: black; font-family: 'times new roman', times, serif; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25.2000007629395px;"><img alt="" class="img-thumbnail img-responsive" src="http://www.zapposinsights.com/files/accounts/zappos/assets/images/photos/Doodle.Blog.Image.jpg" style="width: 300px; height: 200px; float: right; margin: 10px;" />Fast forward a few years and I hear of a local company making big waves called Zappos. I spoke with a few friends whom worked there and they allgushed about the culture, the core values, and impact their work had on the overall vision of the company. However, most importantly, they said they were happy.</span><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: 'times new roman', times, serif; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25.2000007629395px;">&nbsp;</span><br style="box-sizing: border-box; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: 'times new roman', times, serif; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25.2000007629395px;" /> <span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: 'times new roman', times, serif; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25.2000007629395px;">&nbsp;&nbsp;</span><br style="box-sizing: border-box; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: 'times new roman', times, serif; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25.2000007629395px;" /> <span style="box-sizing: border-box; color: black; font-family: 'times new roman', times, serif; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25.2000007629395px;">To me, this was a foreign subject. Happiness at work? Was that possible? My parents and grandparents always reinforced the idea that work isn&rsquo;t supposed to be fun, it&rsquo;s supposed to be&nbsp;<em style="box-sizing: border-box;">work</em>.&nbsp;For too many this is the case. For instance, the Seminole new wave band LOVERBOY wrote an entire song about this aptly called, &ldquo;Working for the Weekend.&rdquo; So many people put up with their work hours just to get off to their downtime.&nbsp;</span><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: 'times new roman', times, serif; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25.2000007629395px;">&nbsp;</span><br style="box-sizing: border-box; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: 'times new roman', times, serif; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25.2000007629395px;" /> <span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: 'times new roman', times, serif; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25.2000007629395px;">&nbsp;&nbsp;</span><br style="box-sizing: border-box; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: 'times new roman', times, serif; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25.2000007629395px;" /> <span style="box-sizing: border-box; color: black; font-family: 'times new roman', times, serif; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25.2000007629395px;">So I took a chance and applied at Zappos and, luckily for me, was accepted after a few interview processes. (It may take a few times, but persistence is key. Trust me, it&rsquo;s worth it!) And sure enough, my friends were right about this place. I remember walking into work my first day and a Nerf gun dart zoomed past me and I thought, &ldquo;I&rsquo;m exactly where I&rsquo;m supposed to be.&rdquo;</span><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: 'times new roman', times, serif; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25.2000007629395px;">&nbsp;</span><br style="box-sizing: border-box; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: 'times new roman', times, serif; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25.2000007629395px;" /> <span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: 'times new roman', times, serif; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25.2000007629395px;">&nbsp;&nbsp;</span><br style="box-sizing: border-box; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: 'times new roman', times, serif; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25.2000007629395px;" /> <span style="box-sizing: border-box; color: black; font-family: 'times new roman', times, serif; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25.2000007629395px;">There isn&rsquo;t a day that I am not thankful that I decided to choose happiness over complacency. Every day is challenging, different, and full of happiness. You&rsquo;ll never meet a group of people that truly enjoy each other like you do at Zappos; it truly is a family environment, and I couldn&rsquo;t be happier.</span><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: 'times new roman', times, serif; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25.2000007629395px;">&nbsp;</span><br style="box-sizing: border-box; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: 'times new roman', times, serif; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25.2000007629395px;" /> <span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: 'times new roman', times, serif; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25.2000007629395px;">&nbsp;&nbsp;</span><br style="box-sizing: border-box; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: 'times new roman', times, serif; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25.2000007629395px;" /> <span style="box-sizing: border-box; color: black; font-family: 'times new roman', times, serif; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25.2000007629395px;">Oh, and about those doodles! Well, the other great thing about this company is through one of our core values, we&rsquo;re empowered to pursue growth and learning, be passionate and determined and, most importantly, create fun and a little weirdness. So I&rsquo;m not wasting my time drawing little monsters anymore on pieces of paper. Nope, now I&rsquo;m able to spice up the walls here at work for others to enjoy!</span><br style="box-sizing: border-box; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: 'times new roman', times, serif; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25.2000007629395px;" /> <span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: 'times new roman', times, serif; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25.2000007629395px;">&nbsp;&nbsp;</span><br style="box-sizing: border-box; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: 'times new roman', times, serif; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25.2000007629395px;" /> <span style="box-sizing: border-box; color: black; font-family: 'times new roman', times, serif; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25.2000007629395px;">There&rsquo;s a curated art program on campus that allows employees to paint murals, conference rooms, etc. here at headquarters. Many of those that partake have never painted anything on a scale of this size (including myself), and so it allows individuals to really hone in on their artistic leanings. To be able to work, play, and paint in such an amazing place still makes me smile ear to ear. It&rsquo;s unlike any other company on Earth.</span><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: 'times new roman', times, serif; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25.2000007629395px;">&nbsp;</span><br style="box-sizing: border-box; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: 'times new roman', times, serif; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25.2000007629395px;" /> <span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: 'times new roman', times, serif; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25.2000007629395px;">&nbsp;&nbsp;</span><br style="box-sizing: border-box; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: 'times new roman', times, serif; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25.2000007629395px;" /> <span style="box-sizing: border-box; color: black; font-family: 'times new roman', times, serif; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25.2000007629395px;">In fact, there was an entire gallery show curated by Mr. Brian &ldquo;Paco&rdquo; Alvarez, our campus curator, which featured employees who painted a mural along with influential local artists! The gallery show hung most of late 2014 and featured some of my favorite artists and fellow downtown Las Vegas collaborators: Juan Muniz, Bubblegum Nightmare, Snipt!, Miguel Hernandez, and many, many more! If you&rsquo;re interested in taking an art tour at Zappos, you can sign up here:&nbsp;</span><u style="box-sizing: border-box; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: 'times new roman', times, serif; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25.2000007629395px;"><span style="box-sizing: border-box; color: blue;"><a href="http://www.zapposinsights.com/tours/art-tour" style="box-sizing: border-box; text-decoration: none; font-size: 18px; line-height: 1.4em; background: transparent;">www.zapposinsights.com/tours/art-tour</a></span></u><span style="box-sizing: border-box; color: black; font-family: 'times new roman', times, serif; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25.2000007629395px;">. I highly recommend it!</span><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: 'times new roman', times, serif; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25.2000007629395px;">&nbsp;</span><br style="box-sizing: border-box; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: 'times new roman', times, serif; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25.2000007629395px;" /> <span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: 'times new roman', times, serif; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25.2000007629395px;">&nbsp;&nbsp;</span><br style="box-sizing: border-box; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: 'times new roman', times, serif; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25.2000007629395px;" /> <span style="box-sizing: border-box; color: black; font-family: 'times new roman', times, serif; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25.2000007629395px;">If you&rsquo;re ever here for a tour, come by and say hello, or if you see my little monster, Yerman the Sad Yeti, on a wall, give him a high five!</span></p> </div> <div class="html clearfix clear"> <p> <span style="box-sizing: border-box; color: black; font-family: 'times new roman', times, serif; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25.2000007629395px;">This form of escapism persisted through my college years and post-college jobs that offered no form of fulfillment. I found myself dreading Mondays, uneager to face the day, which led to days of self-skepticism in the direction of my career. Meanwhile, I continued to sketch little monsters.</span><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: 'times new roman', times, serif; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25.2000007629395px;">&nbsp;</span><br style="box-sizing: border-box; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: 'times new roman', times, serif; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25.2000007629395px;" /> <span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: 'times new roman', times, serif; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25.2000007629395px;">&nbsp;&nbsp;</span><br style="box-sizing: border-box; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: 'times new roman', times, serif; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25.2000007629395px;" /> <span style="box-sizing: border-box; color: black; font-family: 'times new roman', times, serif; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25.2000007629395px;"><img alt="" class="img-thumbnail img-responsive" src="http://www.zapposinsights.com/files/accounts/zappos/assets/images/photos/Doodle.Blog.Image.jpg" style="width: 300px; height: 200px; float: right; margin: 10px;" />Fast forward a few years and I hear of a local company making big waves called Zappos. I spoke with a few friends whom worked there and they allgushed about the culture, the core values, and impact their work had on the overall vision of the company. However, most importantly, they said they were happy.</span><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: 'times new roman', times, serif; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25.2000007629395px;">&nbsp;</span><br style="box-sizing: border-box; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: 'times new roman', times, serif; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25.2000007629395px;" /> <span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: 'times new roman', times, serif; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25.2000007629395px;">&nbsp;&nbsp;</span><br style="box-sizing: border-box; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: 'times new roman', times, serif; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25.2000007629395px;" /> <span style="box-sizing: border-box; color: black; font-family: 'times new roman', times, serif; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25.2000007629395px;">To me, this was a foreign subject. Happiness at work? Was that possible? My parents and grandparents always reinforced the idea that work isn&rsquo;t supposed to be fun, it&rsquo;s supposed to be&nbsp;<em style="box-sizing: border-box;">work</em>.&nbsp;For too many this is the case. For instance, the Seminole new wave band LOVERBOY wrote an entire song about this aptly called, &ldquo;Working for the Weekend.&rdquo; So many people put up with their work hours just to get off to their downtime.&nbsp;</span><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: 'times new roman', times, serif; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25.2000007629395px;">&nbsp;</span><br style="box-sizing: border-box; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: 'times new roman', times, serif; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25.2000007629395px;" /> <span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: 'times new roman', times, serif; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25.2000007629395px;">&nbsp;&nbsp;</span><br style="box-sizing: border-box; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: 'times new roman', times, serif; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25.2000007629395px;" /> <span style="box-sizing: border-box; color: black; font-family: 'times new roman', times, serif; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25.2000007629395px;">So I took a chance and applied at Zappos and, luckily for me, was accepted after a few interview processes. (It may take a few times, but persistence is key. Trust me, it&rsquo;s worth it!) And sure enough, my friends were right about this place. I remember walking into work my first day and a Nerf gun dart zoomed past me and I thought, &ldquo;I&rsquo;m exactly where I&rsquo;m supposed to be.&rdquo;</span><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: 'times new roman', times, serif; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25.2000007629395px;">&nbsp;</span><br style="box-sizing: border-box; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: 'times new roman', times, serif; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25.2000007629395px;" /> <span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: 'times new roman', times, serif; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25.2000007629395px;">&nbsp;&nbsp;</span><br style="box-sizing: border-box; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: 'times new roman', times, serif; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25.2000007629395px;" /> <span style="box-sizing: border-box; color: black; font-family: 'times new roman', times, serif; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25.2000007629395px;">There isn&rsquo;t a day that I am not thankful that I decided to choose happiness over complacency. Every day is challenging, different, and full of happiness. You&rsquo;ll never meet a group of people that truly enjoy each other like you do at Zappos; it truly is a family environment, and I couldn&rsquo;t be happier.</span><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: 'times new roman', times, serif; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25.2000007629395px;">&nbsp;</span><br style="box-sizing: border-box; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: 'times new roman', times, serif; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25.2000007629395px;" /> <span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: 'times new roman', times, serif; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25.2000007629395px;">&nbsp;&nbsp;</span><br style="box-sizing: border-box; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: 'times new roman', times, serif; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25.2000007629395px;" /> <span style="box-sizing: border-box; color: black; font-family: 'times new roman', times, serif; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25.2000007629395px;">Oh, and about those doodles! Well, the other great thing about this company is through one of our core values, we&rsquo;re empowered to pursue growth and learning, be passionate and determined and, most importantly, create fun and a little weirdness. So I&rsquo;m not wasting my time drawing little monsters anymore on pieces of paper. Nope, now I&rsquo;m able to spice up the walls here at work for others to enjoy!</span><br style="box-sizing: border-box; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: 'times new roman', times, serif; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25.2000007629395px;" /> <span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: 'times new roman', times, serif; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25.2000007629395px;">&nbsp;&nbsp;</span><br style="box-sizing: border-box; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: 'times new roman', times, serif; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25.2000007629395px;" /> <span style="box-sizing: border-box; color: black; font-family: 'times new roman', times, serif; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25.2000007629395px;">There&rsquo;s a curated art program on campus that allows employees to paint murals, conference rooms, etc. here at headquarters. Many of those that partake have never painted anything on a scale of this size (including myself), and so it allows individuals to really hone in on their artistic leanings. To be able to work, play, and paint in such an amazing place still makes me smile ear to ear. It&rsquo;s unlike any other company on Earth.</span><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: 'times new roman', times, serif; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25.2000007629395px;">&nbsp;</span><br style="box-sizing: border-box; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: 'times new roman', times, serif; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25.2000007629395px;" /> <span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: 'times new roman', times, serif; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25.2000007629395px;">&nbsp;&nbsp;</span><br style="box-sizing: border-box; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: 'times new roman', times, serif; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25.2000007629395px;" /> <span style="box-sizing: border-box; color: black; font-family: 'times new roman', times, serif; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25.2000007629395px;">In fact, there was an entire gallery show curated by Mr. Brian &ldquo;Paco&rdquo; Alvarez, our campus curator, which featured employees who painted a mural along with influential local artists! The gallery show hung most of late 2014 and featured some of my favorite artists and fellow downtown Las Vegas collaborators: Juan Muniz, Bubblegum Nightmare, Snipt!, Miguel Hernandez, and many, many more! If you&rsquo;re interested in taking an art tour at Zappos, you can sign up here:&nbsp;</span><u style="box-sizing: border-box; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: 'times new roman', times, serif; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25.2000007629395px;"><span style="box-sizing: border-box; color: blue;"><a href="http://www.zapposinsights.com/tours/art-tour" style="box-sizing: border-box; text-decoration: none; font-size: 18px; line-height: 1.4em; background: transparent;">www.zapposinsights.com/tours/art-tour</a></span></u><span style="box-sizing: border-box; color: black; font-family: 'times new roman', times, serif; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25.2000007629395px;">. I highly recommend it!</span><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: 'times new roman', times, serif; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25.2000007629395px;">&nbsp;</span><br style="box-sizing: border-box; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: 'times new roman', times, serif; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25.2000007629395px;" /> <span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: 'times new roman', times, serif; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25.2000007629395px;">&nbsp;&nbsp;</span><br style="box-sizing: border-box; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: 'times new roman', times, serif; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25.2000007629395px;" /> <span style="box-sizing: border-box; color: black; font-family: 'times new roman', times, serif; font-size: 16px; line-height: 25.2000007629395px;">If you&rsquo;re ever here for a tour, come by and say hello, or if you see my little monster, Yerman the Sad Yeti, on a wall, give him a high five!</span></p> </div> Wed, 04 Feb 2015 05:00:00 GMT http://www.zapposinsights.com/blog/item/my-entire-life-ive-been-a-doodler The Importance of Staying Connected to Your Customers http://www.zapposinsights.com/blog/item/the-importance-of-staying-connected-to-your-customers <p class="date"> 12/03/2014 &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </p> <p class="date"> 12/03/2014 &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> <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> There&rsquo;s a plethora of examples of what happens when a company loses touch with its customers, what they want, and its brand identity. Any infamous PR disasters come to mind? Like any relationship, that of a company and its customer needs constant nourishing if it&#39;s going to survive, and if you don&rsquo;t treat your customer right, there&rsquo;s another company out there who will.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> </div> <div class="summary"> <p> There&rsquo;s a plethora of examples of what happens when a company loses touch with its customers, what they want, and its brand identity. Any infamous PR disasters come to mind? Like any relationship, that of a company and its customer needs constant nourishing if it&#39;s going to survive, and if you don&rsquo;t treat your customer right, there&rsquo;s another company out there who will.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> </div> <div class="html clearfix clear"> <p> One prime example of how Zappos strives to stay connected with its customers is happening right now, and if you call in during the <img alt="" class="img-responsive img-thumbnail" src="http://www.zapposinsights.com/files/accounts/zappos/assets/images/photos/HolidayHelp.Tony-scaled.JPG" style="width: 500px; height: 333px; float: right; margin: 25px;" />next few weeks, you&rsquo;ll catch a glimpse of it! It&rsquo;s our Holiday Helper program; a Q4 tradition as well as a reminder of our roots.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> Since the beginning, no matter what products Zappos offers, the level of service we strive to provide has always been the common denominator. That principle is the driving force behind everything Zappos does. The customer comes first, and each employee is always encouraged to remember that regardless of what department he or she works in.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> During the mad rush of the holiday shopping season, the retail world feels the buzz in the air, the faster pace, and the higher volume of everything: product, calls, and customers. As Zappos defined what it wanted its level of service to be, it found a challenge during the flurry that is the 4<sup>th</sup> quarter. Given the rigorous hiring and training process at Zappos, how could it maintain the personality of the company and that personal connection with the customer especially at peak time? It was out of that question that Holiday Helper was born.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> Borrowing from part of the Zappos New Hire Training program where each new hire spends 40 hours on the phones, every employee spends 10 hours on the phones during Zappos&rsquo; busiest season. Not only does this let everyone get to know our customers first hand, but it allows us to deliver some WOW in our own individual ways. The benefits of Holiday Helper are far reaching, from being able to maintain the same level of service regardless of how busy it gets, to each employee from the CEO to the newest member of the Customer Loyalty Team having a chance to interact with Zappos&#39; amazing customers and being reminded of why Zappos exists in the first place. &quot;My favorite thing about Holiday Helper is all of the employees banding together to Deliver WOW Through Service,&rdquo; says Regina Renda, Customer Loyalty Team representative. Megan Petrini, Senior New Hire Trainer, adds, &ldquo;My favorite thing about Holiday Helper is having the chance to impact a customer&#39;s life in a positive way. It reaffirms what it is that we stand for when you get the chance to go and do it for real.&rdquo;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> Holiday Helper also provides valuable insight into what our customers need. &ldquo;All of our other departments get a chance to ask for real-time feedback from our customers,&rdquo; says Petrini. Buyers from the Merchandising department can get feedback on everything from assortment to demand while members of the User Experience team may think of a new tool or design to make the site even more user-friendly for our customer base &ndash; all from just talking with our customers. Shopping your company&rsquo;s own product is one thing, but shopping it with one of your actual customers adds a whole new perspective.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> So whether you&#39;re calling for the first time - or the fiftieth! - during the craziest time of the year, you may just get CEO Tony Hsieh helping you shop for that perfect pair of winter boots, or someone might answer your call by singing you a song, and either way, one thing will be really clear: especially during Zappos Holiday Helper season, Fun and A Little Weirdness are always just a phone call away!</p> <p> &nbsp;</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">Facebook</a>&nbsp;or <a href="http://www.twitter.com/zapposinsights">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>.&nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> </div> <div class="html clearfix clear"> <p> One prime example of how Zappos strives to stay connected with its customers is happening right now, and if you call in during the <img alt="" class="img-responsive img-thumbnail" src="http://www.zapposinsights.com/files/accounts/zappos/assets/images/photos/HolidayHelp.Tony-scaled.JPG" style="width: 500px; height: 333px; float: right; margin: 25px;" />next few weeks, you&rsquo;ll catch a glimpse of it! It&rsquo;s our Holiday Helper program; a Q4 tradition as well as a reminder of our roots.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> Since the beginning, no matter what products Zappos offers, the level of service we strive to provide has always been the common denominator. That principle is the driving force behind everything Zappos does. The customer comes first, and each employee is always encouraged to remember that regardless of what department he or she works in.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> During the mad rush of the holiday shopping season, the retail world feels the buzz in the air, the faster pace, and the higher volume of everything: product, calls, and customers. As Zappos defined what it wanted its level of service to be, it found a challenge during the flurry that is the 4<sup>th</sup> quarter. Given the rigorous hiring and training process at Zappos, how could it maintain the personality of the company and that personal connection with the customer especially at peak time? It was out of that question that Holiday Helper was born.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> Borrowing from part of the Zappos New Hire Training program where each new hire spends 40 hours on the phones, every employee spends 10 hours on the phones during Zappos&rsquo; busiest season. Not only does this let everyone get to know our customers first hand, but it allows us to deliver some WOW in our own individual ways. The benefits of Holiday Helper are far reaching, from being able to maintain the same level of service regardless of how busy it gets, to each employee from the CEO to the newest member of the Customer Loyalty Team having a chance to interact with Zappos&#39; amazing customers and being reminded of why Zappos exists in the first place. &quot;My favorite thing about Holiday Helper is all of the employees banding together to Deliver WOW Through Service,&rdquo; says Regina Renda, Customer Loyalty Team representative. Megan Petrini, Senior New Hire Trainer, adds, &ldquo;My favorite thing about Holiday Helper is having the chance to impact a customer&#39;s life in a positive way. It reaffirms what it is that we stand for when you get the chance to go and do it for real.&rdquo;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> Holiday Helper also provides valuable insight into what our customers need. &ldquo;All of our other departments get a chance to ask for real-time feedback from our customers,&rdquo; says Petrini. Buyers from the Merchandising department can get feedback on everything from assortment to demand while members of the User Experience team may think of a new tool or design to make the site even more user-friendly for our customer base &ndash; all from just talking with our customers. Shopping your company&rsquo;s own product is one thing, but shopping it with one of your actual customers adds a whole new perspective.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> So whether you&#39;re calling for the first time - or the fiftieth! - during the craziest time of the year, you may just get CEO Tony Hsieh helping you shop for that perfect pair of winter boots, or someone might answer your call by singing you a song, and either way, one thing will be really clear: especially during Zappos Holiday Helper season, Fun and A Little Weirdness are always just a phone call away!</p> <p> &nbsp;</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">Facebook</a>&nbsp;or <a href="http://www.twitter.com/zapposinsights">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>.&nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> </div> Wed, 03 Dec 2014 05:00:00 GMT http://www.zapposinsights.com/blog/item/the-importance-of-staying-connected-to-your-customers How Having a Higher Purpose Can Strengthen Your Company http://www.zapposinsights.com/blog/item/how-having-a-higher-purpose-can-strengthen-your-company <p class="date"> 11/20/2014 &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </p> <p class="date"> 11/20/2014 &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> <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> While it can be tempting for a company to focus solely on profits, research suggests that companies can achieve more than just increasing their bottom line when they also focus on a higher purpose.</p> </div> <div class="summary"> <p> While it can be tempting for a company to focus solely on profits, research suggests that companies can achieve more than just increasing their bottom line when they also focus on a higher purpose.</p> </div> <div class="html clearfix clear"> <p> Zappos.com CEO Tony Hsieh observes that &ldquo;great companies actually have a vision that has a higher purpose beyond just money or profits . . . as it turns out, the research has shown it&#39;s actually a good long-term business strategy.&quot;Companies that embrace such a strategy can create stronger connections with their employees, their customers, and their surrounding community.</p> <p> In his book <em>Good to Great</em>, author Jim Collins notes, &ldquo;Enduring great companies don&rsquo;t exist merely to deliver returns to shareholders. Indeed, in a truly great company, profits and cash flow become like blood and water to a healthy body: They are absolutely essential for life, but they are not the very <em>point</em> of life.&rdquo; So what&rsquo;s the formula for lasting endurance of an organization? Collins continues: &ldquo;To make the shift from a company with sustained great results to an enduring great company of iconic stature . . . discover your core values and purpose beyond just making money (core ideology) and combine this with the dynamic of preserve the core/stimulate progress.&rdquo;</p> <p> Companies that strive for this combination can see results in several key areas:</p> <p> <strong><img alt="" class="img-thumbnail img-responsive" src="http://www.zapposinsights.com/files/accounts/zappos/assets/images/Plaza-scaled.JPG" style="width: 400px; height: 266px; float: right; margin: 0px 15px 15px;" /></strong></p> <h2> <strong>Employee engagement</strong></h2> <p> How employees feel about the company they work for is a factor that is often undervalued. Yet there is a distinct difference between those that are just working for a paycheck and those that feel emotionally connected to the company they work for, and studies show a correlation between more engaged employees and higher profits for that organization. When Zappos HQ relocated to Downtown Las Vegas in October 2013, it provided new opportunities for employees to connect with the surrounding community through partnerships with local charities. &ldquo;The ability to do greater good was there when we moved downtown because we were in the heart of the greatest need,&rdquo; says Steven Bautista, Zappos Karma Kommando. Rather than just cutting a check, Zappos focuses on encouraging employees to give their time. &ldquo;It helps people change the community that they&rsquo;re in,&rdquo; Bautista adds. &ldquo;I think that&rsquo;s why people are going more local because they can get engaged and be more involved.&rdquo; Employees that can participate in a company&rsquo;s higher purpose feel a sense of pride for where they work - a priceless commodity.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <h2> <strong>Connecting with the community</strong></h2> <p> While partnering with good causes is always worthwhile, the opportunity for companies to get involved in local charities provides a chance to really feel part of their surrounding community. One example of an event Zappos hosts is Turkey Town. In 2013, Zappos held the 1<sup>st</sup> annual Turkey Town event in the Zappos HQ plaza area. This event provides full Thanksgiving meals to local Las Vegas families in need. Bautista says, &ldquo;When we do community events, we want it to be an experience with a takeaway with it.&rdquo; This year&rsquo;s Turkey Town was held November 19<sup>th</sup> where 632 local families each received all the fixings for an epic holiday spread including six canned foods, bread, stuffing, a 15lb turkey, and a pumpkin pie for dessert. There were also games and fun activities that families could enjoy together. Events like this help employees and companies see firsthand the impact they can have and the difference they can make. &ldquo;Creating connections that last beyond the company itself,&rdquo; notes Bautista, &ldquo;helps employees engage with their community as well as feel a connection to the higher purpose of the company.&rdquo;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <h2> <strong>Customer awareness</strong></h2> <p> It&rsquo;s a growing trend that customers not only want to feel emotionally connected to the companies they do business with, but they also want to see how those companies are giving back. Companies also have a unique opportunity to bring awareness to worthwhile causes that may not get that spotlight otherwise. &ldquo;We try to connect our customers to our higher purpose,&rdquo; says Bautista. Zappos is currently partnering with Feeding America&reg; to donate up to 5,000,000 meals. Check out this link to learn more: <a href="http://www.zappos.com/give-back" target="_self">http://www.zappos.com/give-back</a></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> For companies that want to get more involved, Bautista suggests: &ldquo;Find out what it is your employees want to do and empower them to create ways to engage with the charities. If it doesn&#39;t come from the employees themselves, it tends to not have as much longevity.&rdquo; As far as the effects of such efforts, he adds, &ldquo;&#39;I think it does make employees happier and better connects them to who the company is and gives them a sense of pride for the company they work for.&rdquo; Now what company doesn&rsquo;t want that?</p> <p> For more information on Zappos&rsquo; higher purpose, click here: <a href="http://www.zapposinsights.com/about/zappos/higher-purpose" target="_self">http://www.zapposinsights.com/about/zappos/higher-purpose</a></p> <p> &nbsp;</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">Facebook</a>&nbsp;or <a href="http://www.twitter.com/zapposinsights">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>.&nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> </div> <div class="html clearfix clear"> <p> Zappos.com CEO Tony Hsieh observes that &ldquo;great companies actually have a vision that has a higher purpose beyond just money or profits . . . as it turns out, the research has shown it&#39;s actually a good long-term business strategy.&quot;Companies that embrace such a strategy can create stronger connections with their employees, their customers, and their surrounding community.</p> <p> In his book <em>Good to Great</em>, author Jim Collins notes, &ldquo;Enduring great companies don&rsquo;t exist merely to deliver returns to shareholders. Indeed, in a truly great company, profits and cash flow become like blood and water to a healthy body: They are absolutely essential for life, but they are not the very <em>point</em> of life.&rdquo; So what&rsquo;s the formula for lasting endurance of an organization? Collins continues: &ldquo;To make the shift from a company with sustained great results to an enduring great company of iconic stature . . . discover your core values and purpose beyond just making money (core ideology) and combine this with the dynamic of preserve the core/stimulate progress.&rdquo;</p> <p> Companies that strive for this combination can see results in several key areas:</p> <p> <strong><img alt="" class="img-thumbnail img-responsive" src="http://www.zapposinsights.com/files/accounts/zappos/assets/images/Plaza-scaled.JPG" style="width: 400px; height: 266px; float: right; margin: 0px 15px 15px;" /></strong></p> <h2> <strong>Employee engagement</strong></h2> <p> How employees feel about the company they work for is a factor that is often undervalued. Yet there is a distinct difference between those that are just working for a paycheck and those that feel emotionally connected to the company they work for, and studies show a correlation between more engaged employees and higher profits for that organization. When Zappos HQ relocated to Downtown Las Vegas in October 2013, it provided new opportunities for employees to connect with the surrounding community through partnerships with local charities. &ldquo;The ability to do greater good was there when we moved downtown because we were in the heart of the greatest need,&rdquo; says Steven Bautista, Zappos Karma Kommando. Rather than just cutting a check, Zappos focuses on encouraging employees to give their time. &ldquo;It helps people change the community that they&rsquo;re in,&rdquo; Bautista adds. &ldquo;I think that&rsquo;s why people are going more local because they can get engaged and be more involved.&rdquo; Employees that can participate in a company&rsquo;s higher purpose feel a sense of pride for where they work - a priceless commodity.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <h2> <strong>Connecting with the community</strong></h2> <p> While partnering with good causes is always worthwhile, the opportunity for companies to get involved in local charities provides a chance to really feel part of their surrounding community. One example of an event Zappos hosts is Turkey Town. In 2013, Zappos held the 1<sup>st</sup> annual Turkey Town event in the Zappos HQ plaza area. This event provides full Thanksgiving meals to local Las Vegas families in need. Bautista says, &ldquo;When we do community events, we want it to be an experience with a takeaway with it.&rdquo; This year&rsquo;s Turkey Town was held November 19<sup>th</sup> where 632 local families each received all the fixings for an epic holiday spread including six canned foods, bread, stuffing, a 15lb turkey, and a pumpkin pie for dessert. There were also games and fun activities that families could enjoy together. Events like this help employees and companies see firsthand the impact they can have and the difference they can make. &ldquo;Creating connections that last beyond the company itself,&rdquo; notes Bautista, &ldquo;helps employees engage with their community as well as feel a connection to the higher purpose of the company.&rdquo;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <h2> <strong>Customer awareness</strong></h2> <p> It&rsquo;s a growing trend that customers not only want to feel emotionally connected to the companies they do business with, but they also want to see how those companies are giving back. Companies also have a unique opportunity to bring awareness to worthwhile causes that may not get that spotlight otherwise. &ldquo;We try to connect our customers to our higher purpose,&rdquo; says Bautista. Zappos is currently partnering with Feeding America&reg; to donate up to 5,000,000 meals. Check out this link to learn more: <a href="http://www.zappos.com/give-back" target="_self">http://www.zappos.com/give-back</a></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> For companies that want to get more involved, Bautista suggests: &ldquo;Find out what it is your employees want to do and empower them to create ways to engage with the charities. If it doesn&#39;t come from the employees themselves, it tends to not have as much longevity.&rdquo; As far as the effects of such efforts, he adds, &ldquo;&#39;I think it does make employees happier and better connects them to who the company is and gives them a sense of pride for the company they work for.&rdquo; Now what company doesn&rsquo;t want that?</p> <p> For more information on Zappos&rsquo; higher purpose, click here: <a href="http://www.zapposinsights.com/about/zappos/higher-purpose" target="_self">http://www.zapposinsights.com/about/zappos/higher-purpose</a></p> <p> &nbsp;</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">Facebook</a>&nbsp;or <a href="http://www.twitter.com/zapposinsights">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>.&nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> </div> Fri, 21 Nov 2014 00:28:32 GMT http://www.zapposinsights.com/blog/item/how-having-a-higher-purpose-can-strengthen-your-company 5 Benefits of Getting to Know Your Team http://www.zapposinsights.com/blog/item/5-benefits-of-getting-to-know-your-team <p class="date"> 11/05/2014 &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </p> <p class="date"> 11/05/2014 &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> <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> With only so many hours in a day, the concept of a manager spending 20% of their time with team members may seem counterproductive. But investing that small amount of time to build relationships has several benefits that pay off in the long run.</p> </div> <div class="summary"> <p> With only so many hours in a day, the concept of a manager spending 20% of their time with team members may seem counterproductive. But investing that small amount of time to build relationships has several benefits that pay off in the long run.</p> </div> <div class="html clearfix clear"> <p> <img alt="" class="img-thumbnail img-responsive" src="http://www.zapposinsights.com/files/accounts/zappos/assets/images/team-scaled.jpg" style="width: 400px; height: 340px; float: right; margin: 0px 20px 20px;" /></p> <p> An expectation that&rsquo;s passed on organically through their own mentoring relationships, Zappos managers and mentors are encouraged to spend time simply getting to know their team members. With days and weeks crammed with scheduled meetings, impromptu meetings, and a never-ending inbox, it can be tempting to spend that time some other way. But as the <a href="http://www.zapposinsights.com/blog/item/the-8020-rule-and-how-it-can-help-your-business">80/20 rule</a> suggests, that small effort can have a huge ripple effect for the manager, the employee, and the team as a whole.</p> <p> <strong>You start to see an opportunity in every encounter. </strong>With time as precious as it is, looking for opportunities in a hectic schedule helps add a new perspective. It can be really easy for all of us to get into the zone and miss what&rsquo;s going on with each other, so grabbing coffee and connecting with another human being instead of our computer screen can be a welcome break from the daily grind.</p> <p> <strong>The work becomes more efficient. </strong>A manager may already know an employee&rsquo;s strengths, but learning what their passions are can add new meaning and drive. &ldquo;When strengths and passions collide, that&rsquo;s real purpose,&rdquo; says Kelly Wolske, Zappos Insights Trainer.</p> <p> <strong>There&rsquo;s a new level of awareness. </strong>&ldquo;When you&rsquo;ve spent that time together, there&rsquo;s more mindfulness in what we say to one another,&rdquo; notes Wolske. When you get to know each other on a personal level, mutual respect grows. Knowing someone&rsquo;s triggers as well as their strengths can also improve communication. Listening skills will increase as well as picking up on even subtle cues. &ldquo;What&rsquo;s going on outside of work is always going to have an impact inside of work, so it gives you a better understanding,&rdquo; adds Wolske.</p> <p> <strong>You become a more effective coach. </strong>&ldquo;When you get to know your employees, you learn best how your employees receive feedback, which makes you a more effective coach because feedback is all about the receipt,&rdquo; says Wolske.</p> <p> <strong>It dismantles the &lsquo;boss&rsquo; wall. </strong>Breaching that natural division of the manager/employee relationship helps build trust between you and your team member. When your employees can get to know the real you, they&rsquo;ll feel more comfortable with you. By being yourself, you set the tone and encourage others to do the same. When people can be themselves, the energy they&rsquo;d spend maintaining that work version of themselves can be spent doing their job and feeling more relaxed.</p> <p> Finding ways to connect with employees can be as simple as grabbing lunch with them or taking a 15-minute walk together. Ping pong challenges are pretty popular around Zappos HQ! Wolske suggests at least a change in venue away from your desks, even if it can&rsquo;t be offsite. Doing so removes some of that &lsquo;boss wall&rsquo; and deference that can come with it.</p> <p> &lsquo;But what if I don&rsquo;t have exactly 20% of every day/week to do this?&rsquo; you may be asking yourself. Hollie Delaney, Lead Link of People Ops at Zappos, offers the following suggestions. &ldquo;It&rsquo;s less literal and more of a guiding principle. It&rsquo;s the encouragement to get to know your employees in not only how they work but who they are as people, and strengthening the emotional connections within those groups.&rdquo; On the benefits she&rsquo;s personally seen from the practice, Delaney says, &ldquo;it helps me know how to communicate with employees and understand employees. It creates a different level of the relationship; it&rsquo;s supporting each other to move something forward, not doing the work because I said so.&rdquo; When people feel like they&rsquo;re working with friends, they feel more accountable to each other and that there&rsquo;s a team effort working towards a common goal, and that&rsquo;s something any organization can benefit from.</p> <p> &nbsp;</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">Facebook</a>or <a href="http://www.twitter.com/zapposinsights">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>.&nbsp;</p> </div> <div class="html clearfix clear"> <p> <img alt="" class="img-thumbnail img-responsive" src="http://www.zapposinsights.com/files/accounts/zappos/assets/images/team-scaled.jpg" style="width: 400px; height: 340px; float: right; margin: 0px 20px 20px;" /></p> <p> An expectation that&rsquo;s passed on organically through their own mentoring relationships, Zappos managers and mentors are encouraged to spend time simply getting to know their team members. With days and weeks crammed with scheduled meetings, impromptu meetings, and a never-ending inbox, it can be tempting to spend that time some other way. But as the <a href="http://www.zapposinsights.com/blog/item/the-8020-rule-and-how-it-can-help-your-business">80/20 rule</a> suggests, that small effort can have a huge ripple effect for the manager, the employee, and the team as a whole.</p> <p> <strong>You start to see an opportunity in every encounter. </strong>With time as precious as it is, looking for opportunities in a hectic schedule helps add a new perspective. It can be really easy for all of us to get into the zone and miss what&rsquo;s going on with each other, so grabbing coffee and connecting with another human being instead of our computer screen can be a welcome break from the daily grind.</p> <p> <strong>The work becomes more efficient. </strong>A manager may already know an employee&rsquo;s strengths, but learning what their passions are can add new meaning and drive. &ldquo;When strengths and passions collide, that&rsquo;s real purpose,&rdquo; says Kelly Wolske, Zappos Insights Trainer.</p> <p> <strong>There&rsquo;s a new level of awareness. </strong>&ldquo;When you&rsquo;ve spent that time together, there&rsquo;s more mindfulness in what we say to one another,&rdquo; notes Wolske. When you get to know each other on a personal level, mutual respect grows. Knowing someone&rsquo;s triggers as well as their strengths can also improve communication. Listening skills will increase as well as picking up on even subtle cues. &ldquo;What&rsquo;s going on outside of work is always going to have an impact inside of work, so it gives you a better understanding,&rdquo; adds Wolske.</p> <p> <strong>You become a more effective coach. </strong>&ldquo;When you get to know your employees, you learn best how your employees receive feedback, which makes you a more effective coach because feedback is all about the receipt,&rdquo; says Wolske.</p> <p> <strong>It dismantles the &lsquo;boss&rsquo; wall. </strong>Breaching that natural division of the manager/employee relationship helps build trust between you and your team member. When your employees can get to know the real you, they&rsquo;ll feel more comfortable with you. By being yourself, you set the tone and encourage others to do the same. When people can be themselves, the energy they&rsquo;d spend maintaining that work version of themselves can be spent doing their job and feeling more relaxed.</p> <p> Finding ways to connect with employees can be as simple as grabbing lunch with them or taking a 15-minute walk together. Ping pong challenges are pretty popular around Zappos HQ! Wolske suggests at least a change in venue away from your desks, even if it can&rsquo;t be offsite. Doing so removes some of that &lsquo;boss wall&rsquo; and deference that can come with it.</p> <p> &lsquo;But what if I don&rsquo;t have exactly 20% of every day/week to do this?&rsquo; you may be asking yourself. Hollie Delaney, Lead Link of People Ops at Zappos, offers the following suggestions. &ldquo;It&rsquo;s less literal and more of a guiding principle. It&rsquo;s the encouragement to get to know your employees in not only how they work but who they are as people, and strengthening the emotional connections within those groups.&rdquo; On the benefits she&rsquo;s personally seen from the practice, Delaney says, &ldquo;it helps me know how to communicate with employees and understand employees. It creates a different level of the relationship; it&rsquo;s supporting each other to move something forward, not doing the work because I said so.&rdquo; When people feel like they&rsquo;re working with friends, they feel more accountable to each other and that there&rsquo;s a team effort working towards a common goal, and that&rsquo;s something any organization can benefit from.</p> <p> &nbsp;</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">Facebook</a>or <a href="http://www.twitter.com/zapposinsights">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>.&nbsp;</p> </div> Thu, 06 Nov 2014 00:16:27 GMT http://www.zapposinsights.com/blog/item/5-benefits-of-getting-to-know-your-team How Does Zappos Encourage Employee Development? http://www.zapposinsights.com/blog/item/how-does-zappos-encourage-employee-development <p class="date"> 10/23/2014 &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </p> <p class="date"> 10/23/2014 &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> <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> While recruiting top talent is always front of mind for most companies, focusing on employee development can often fall to the wayside. Offering training resources for employees to grow and hone their skills can be an invaluable asset to any organization. Zappos Core Value #5, Pursue Growth and Learning, encourages Zappos employees to always be growing, both personally and professionally. One way that Zappos helps them do this is through a department created specifically for employee development, ZapposU.</p> </div> <div class="summary"> <p> While recruiting top talent is always front of mind for most companies, focusing on employee development can often fall to the wayside. Offering training resources for employees to grow and hone their skills can be an invaluable asset to any organization. Zappos Core Value #5, Pursue Growth and Learning, encourages Zappos employees to always be growing, both personally and professionally. One way that Zappos helps them do this is through a department created specifically for employee development, ZapposU.</p> </div> <div class="html clearfix clear"> <p> In 2008, the concept of ZapposU started with the launch of two classes, Project Culture and Communication. The goal was to offer classes that focused on helping employees develop soft skills and characteristics that a strong leader would embody. Soon classes like Finance and Public Speaking followed. Before long, departments were requesting training tools and department-specific classes. &ldquo;It really evolved organically,&rdquo; says Diana Guido, ZapposU Trainer. Department-specific classes are taught by department experts on those topics and often supplement certain progression paths.</p> <p> <img alt="" class="img-thumbnail " src="http://www.zapposinsights.com/files/accounts/zappos/assets/images/pursuegrowth.jpeg" style="width: 350px; height: 467px; float: right; margin: 0px 15px 15px;" />A sampling of classes offered today includes The Art of Storytelling, Excel, Pimp My PowerPoint, and The Science of Happiness. Employees can also get a glimpse of other departments with classes like Intro to Merchandising or Intro to Social Media. ZapposU classes aren&rsquo;t limited to certain departments, either. &ldquo;Our classes are taken by employees from all different departments so it facilitates an interdepartmental conversation,&rdquo; says Beverly St. John, ZapposU Trainer. &ldquo;Our classes are different in that they are discussion-based rather than a lecture model,&rdquo; adds Guido.</p> <p> One unique resource that ZapposU also offers to all Zappos employees is ZapposU For Hire. Departments and teams can request custom-built training that can focus on more than just work-related skills. For example, say two teams are merged into one. They can request a team-building activity centered around getting to know new team members. ZapposU For Hire can also facilitate activities that help teams build upon their strengths.</p> <p> Rather than use external trainers and training materials, ZapposU consists of in-house trainers and content developers that all share a unique glimpse and offer particular insight into Zappos departments and the company as a whole. Any course content that is created must align with the Zappos culture in order for it to be implemented.</p> <p> One of the biggest challenges ZapposU faces is class participation from employees that have been at Zappos longer than 2-3 years. While there is an uptick when new classes are launched or new system trainings are offered, St. John observes that overall &ldquo;we&rsquo;ve noticed percentages go down, and whether people don&rsquo;t take as many because they have more on their plate, people still need to realize there&rsquo;s more to learn.&rdquo; Finding more hours in the day is a challenge all employees can relate with. ZapposU sees a lot of success with teams taking classes together, especially when a team suggests it over a manager forcing it. Voluntary participation always works better than mandatory. Company leaders and seasoned employees are encouraged to be role models by pursuing growth and learning through available classes. ZapposU also hosts frequent open houses explaining all the different offerings and answering questions employees may have.</p> <p> Not only does ZapposU serve as a source of learning, they also act as a hub for mandatory training such as security awareness, payroll, or specific department progression paths. Outside of those courses, ZapposU classes are voluntary. The team has found that delivery of the message is also important. &ldquo;It&rsquo;s all about the mentality and how it&rsquo;s presented. We want employees to approach it with an open mind,&rdquo; says St. John. Rather than seeing it as a checklist to run through, employees are encouraged to see the classes as a continuous source of learning. To further empower employees to take initiative in their own professional development, ZapposU offers a sign-up portal for classes called ULearn. Employees can access it anytime to sign up on their own, see current offerings, and access online content and training aids. ZapposU classes are offered on-site during the work day and Zappos employees must be on the clock while attending a class. Getting paid to learn? Score!</p> <p> What began as a suggestion from Zappos&rsquo; first employee, Fred Mossler, has grown into a valuable resource from which all Zappos employees can benefit. Employee development doesn&rsquo;t just help employees. Organizations that invest in their employees&rsquo; learning can see an uptick in both productivity and employee retention. Excellent dividends, indeed. &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</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">Facebook</a>or <a href="http://www.twitter.com/zapposinsights">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>.&nbsp;</p> </div> <div class="html clearfix clear"> <p> In 2008, the concept of ZapposU started with the launch of two classes, Project Culture and Communication. The goal was to offer classes that focused on helping employees develop soft skills and characteristics that a strong leader would embody. Soon classes like Finance and Public Speaking followed. Before long, departments were requesting training tools and department-specific classes. &ldquo;It really evolved organically,&rdquo; says Diana Guido, ZapposU Trainer. Department-specific classes are taught by department experts on those topics and often supplement certain progression paths.</p> <p> <img alt="" class="img-thumbnail " src="http://www.zapposinsights.com/files/accounts/zappos/assets/images/pursuegrowth.jpeg" style="width: 350px; height: 467px; float: right; margin: 0px 15px 15px;" />A sampling of classes offered today includes The Art of Storytelling, Excel, Pimp My PowerPoint, and The Science of Happiness. Employees can also get a glimpse of other departments with classes like Intro to Merchandising or Intro to Social Media. ZapposU classes aren&rsquo;t limited to certain departments, either. &ldquo;Our classes are taken by employees from all different departments so it facilitates an interdepartmental conversation,&rdquo; says Beverly St. John, ZapposU Trainer. &ldquo;Our classes are different in that they are discussion-based rather than a lecture model,&rdquo; adds Guido.</p> <p> One unique resource that ZapposU also offers to all Zappos employees is ZapposU For Hire. Departments and teams can request custom-built training that can focus on more than just work-related skills. For example, say two teams are merged into one. They can request a team-building activity centered around getting to know new team members. ZapposU For Hire can also facilitate activities that help teams build upon their strengths.</p> <p> Rather than use external trainers and training materials, ZapposU consists of in-house trainers and content developers that all share a unique glimpse and offer particular insight into Zappos departments and the company as a whole. Any course content that is created must align with the Zappos culture in order for it to be implemented.</p> <p> One of the biggest challenges ZapposU faces is class participation from employees that have been at Zappos longer than 2-3 years. While there is an uptick when new classes are launched or new system trainings are offered, St. John observes that overall &ldquo;we&rsquo;ve noticed percentages go down, and whether people don&rsquo;t take as many because they have more on their plate, people still need to realize there&rsquo;s more to learn.&rdquo; Finding more hours in the day is a challenge all employees can relate with. ZapposU sees a lot of success with teams taking classes together, especially when a team suggests it over a manager forcing it. Voluntary participation always works better than mandatory. Company leaders and seasoned employees are encouraged to be role models by pursuing growth and learning through available classes. ZapposU also hosts frequent open houses explaining all the different offerings and answering questions employees may have.</p> <p> Not only does ZapposU serve as a source of learning, they also act as a hub for mandatory training such as security awareness, payroll, or specific department progression paths. Outside of those courses, ZapposU classes are voluntary. The team has found that delivery of the message is also important. &ldquo;It&rsquo;s all about the mentality and how it&rsquo;s presented. We want employees to approach it with an open mind,&rdquo; says St. John. Rather than seeing it as a checklist to run through, employees are encouraged to see the classes as a continuous source of learning. To further empower employees to take initiative in their own professional development, ZapposU offers a sign-up portal for classes called ULearn. Employees can access it anytime to sign up on their own, see current offerings, and access online content and training aids. ZapposU classes are offered on-site during the work day and Zappos employees must be on the clock while attending a class. Getting paid to learn? Score!</p> <p> What began as a suggestion from Zappos&rsquo; first employee, Fred Mossler, has grown into a valuable resource from which all Zappos employees can benefit. Employee development doesn&rsquo;t just help employees. Organizations that invest in their employees&rsquo; learning can see an uptick in both productivity and employee retention. Excellent dividends, indeed. &nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</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">Facebook</a>or <a href="http://www.twitter.com/zapposinsights">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>.&nbsp;</p> </div> Thu, 23 Oct 2014 05:00:00 GMT http://www.zapposinsights.com/blog/item/how-does-zappos-encourage-employee-development What Does Leadership in Self-Organization Look Like? http://www.zapposinsights.com/blog/item/what-does-leadership-in-selforganization-look-like <p class="date"> 10/08/2014 &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </p> <p class="date"> 10/08/2014 &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> <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> Leadership within a traditional hierarchical structure is the one with which most organizations are familiar: a top-down format within a triangle where managers are the main decision makers. So what happens when that structure becomes a hierarchy of work rather than a hierarchy of people? How is leadership in self-organization different?</p> </div> <div class="summary"> <p> Leadership within a traditional hierarchical structure is the one with which most organizations are familiar: a top-down format within a triangle where managers are the main decision makers. So what happens when that structure becomes a hierarchy of work rather than a hierarchy of people? How is leadership in self-organization different?</p> </div> <div class="html clearfix clear"> <h2> <strong>Distribution of Authority</strong></h2> <p> Holacracy, one of the most well-known systems of self-organization, is often referred to as a flat structure rather than a hierarchy, which is misleading. It is a hierarchy, but one of size. Think of Russian nesting dolls as an analogy: each doll taking a piece that aligns with the company purpose and rolls up into the higher purpose of the organization. Circles are created to house the different areas of work a business has, with each circle still fitting into the main goals of the company.</p> <p> Unlike a traditional management system, Holacracy distributes authority as well as accountability. &ldquo;What is unique about Holacracy is that the power that managers had is now distributed to every single employee,&rdquo; says Alexis Gonzales-Black, Lead Link of Holacracy Implementation at Zappos. &ldquo;Everyone&rsquo;s now responsible for taking their experiences in their job to drive the company forward.&rdquo; So what does that look like?</p> <h2> <strong>Freeing up the Pipeline</strong></h2> <p> <img alt="" class="img-responsive img-thumbnail" src="http://www.zapposinsights.com/files/accounts/zappos/assets/images/serendipidous.jpg" style="width: 300px; height: 200px; float: right; margin: 0px 15px 15px;" />Finding and developing good managers is a universal struggle for most organizations. The list of responsibilities that falls under the title of manager are vast, and at times may seem endless. From performance reviews to resource allocation, prioritization to mentorship, the hats a manager wears can add up. But within Holacracy, Zappos is exploring ways of freeing up that pipeline. One possibility is splitting out the accountabilities of a traditional manager into 3 separate roles, the work becomes more focused and more efficient. A Lead Link focuses mainly on the resource allocation and prioritization of the work within their team, or circle. A #Mentor&rsquo;s main strengths live within the world of mentorship and role of advisor. A Contribution Appraiser has the responsibility of performance reviews and assessing job titles. So what once fell on the shoulders of one person is now distributed throughout several channels, alleviating the pressures and pitfalls that can stem from such an all-inclusive role as manager.</p> <h2> <strong>Everyone Is a Sensor</strong></h2> <p> Just as the traditional sense of manager gets turned on its head, so too does that of the employee. Self-organization allows each person to adopt a start-up view of their work. &nbsp;Gonzales-Black&nbsp;offers, &ldquo;The filter I try to run through is, &lsquo;If it was my company, what would I do?&rsquo; I think it&rsquo;s important for people to embody that.&rdquo; Holacracy&rsquo;s structure allows the freedom and puts the responsibility on each employee to create solutions when faced with obstacles. Instead of mounting frustrations and dead ends, employees are able to find and connect with the right people and circles to move an idea forward or surface a tension they&rsquo;re sensing. It&rsquo;s no longer about giving those concerns to someone else; it&rsquo;s now about owning those concerns and finding solutions.</p> <h2> <strong>Transparency</strong></h2> <p> One of the other benefits of self-organization is that of transparency. While Zappos always aims for transparency, this new structure offers even more access and understanding now. Upon returning to Zappos after several months, Arun Rajan, Lead Link of Flywheel Strategy at Zappos made the following observation: &ldquo;I know more about the organization now than I did compared to when I left 8 months ago. The whole organization is cataloged.&rdquo; Whereas connecting with the right people on a project or staying updated on key developments can sometimes be a wild goose chase in a large company, under Holacracy, anyone can look someone up and see their accountabilities and how they contribute, or identify the right circle where a particular project lives.</p> <p> Like any huge mindshift, Holacracy is not without its challenges. &ldquo;It&rsquo;s training managers to step back and people to step forward that&rsquo;s really difficult,&rdquo; says Gonzales-Black.&nbsp;Fortune favors the bold, the saying goes. The same can be said of self-organization. It encourages every employee to adopt an entrepreneurial mindset that not only senses tensions, but that takes the initiative and seeks solutions, as well.</p> <h2> <strong>We want to hear from you!</strong></h2> <p> Post your response below, or respond to us on <a href="http://www.facebook.com/zapposinsights">Facebook</a> or <a href="http://www.twitter.com/zapposinsights">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>.&nbsp;</p> </div> <div class="html clearfix clear"> <h2> <strong>Distribution of Authority</strong></h2> <p> Holacracy, one of the most well-known systems of self-organization, is often referred to as a flat structure rather than a hierarchy, which is misleading. It is a hierarchy, but one of size. Think of Russian nesting dolls as an analogy: each doll taking a piece that aligns with the company purpose and rolls up into the higher purpose of the organization. Circles are created to house the different areas of work a business has, with each circle still fitting into the main goals of the company.</p> <p> Unlike a traditional management system, Holacracy distributes authority as well as accountability. &ldquo;What is unique about Holacracy is that the power that managers had is now distributed to every single employee,&rdquo; says Alexis Gonzales-Black, Lead Link of Holacracy Implementation at Zappos. &ldquo;Everyone&rsquo;s now responsible for taking their experiences in their job to drive the company forward.&rdquo; So what does that look like?</p> <h2> <strong>Freeing up the Pipeline</strong></h2> <p> <img alt="" class="img-responsive img-thumbnail" src="http://www.zapposinsights.com/files/accounts/zappos/assets/images/serendipidous.jpg" style="width: 300px; height: 200px; float: right; margin: 0px 15px 15px;" />Finding and developing good managers is a universal struggle for most organizations. The list of responsibilities that falls under the title of manager are vast, and at times may seem endless. From performance reviews to resource allocation, prioritization to mentorship, the hats a manager wears can add up. But within Holacracy, Zappos is exploring ways of freeing up that pipeline. One possibility is splitting out the accountabilities of a traditional manager into 3 separate roles, the work becomes more focused and more efficient. A Lead Link focuses mainly on the resource allocation and prioritization of the work within their team, or circle. A #Mentor&rsquo;s main strengths live within the world of mentorship and role of advisor. A Contribution Appraiser has the responsibility of performance reviews and assessing job titles. So what once fell on the shoulders of one person is now distributed throughout several channels, alleviating the pressures and pitfalls that can stem from such an all-inclusive role as manager.</p> <h2> <strong>Everyone Is a Sensor</strong></h2> <p> Just as the traditional sense of manager gets turned on its head, so too does that of the employee. Self-organization allows each person to adopt a start-up view of their work. &nbsp;Gonzales-Black&nbsp;offers, &ldquo;The filter I try to run through is, &lsquo;If it was my company, what would I do?&rsquo; I think it&rsquo;s important for people to embody that.&rdquo; Holacracy&rsquo;s structure allows the freedom and puts the responsibility on each employee to create solutions when faced with obstacles. Instead of mounting frustrations and dead ends, employees are able to find and connect with the right people and circles to move an idea forward or surface a tension they&rsquo;re sensing. It&rsquo;s no longer about giving those concerns to someone else; it&rsquo;s now about owning those concerns and finding solutions.</p> <h2> <strong>Transparency</strong></h2> <p> One of the other benefits of self-organization is that of transparency. While Zappos always aims for transparency, this new structure offers even more access and understanding now. Upon returning to Zappos after several months, Arun Rajan, Lead Link of Flywheel Strategy at Zappos made the following observation: &ldquo;I know more about the organization now than I did compared to when I left 8 months ago. The whole organization is cataloged.&rdquo; Whereas connecting with the right people on a project or staying updated on key developments can sometimes be a wild goose chase in a large company, under Holacracy, anyone can look someone up and see their accountabilities and how they contribute, or identify the right circle where a particular project lives.</p> <p> Like any huge mindshift, Holacracy is not without its challenges. &ldquo;It&rsquo;s training managers to step back and people to step forward that&rsquo;s really difficult,&rdquo; says Gonzales-Black.&nbsp;Fortune favors the bold, the saying goes. The same can be said of self-organization. It encourages every employee to adopt an entrepreneurial mindset that not only senses tensions, but that takes the initiative and seeks solutions, as well.</p> <h2> <strong>We want to hear from you!</strong></h2> <p> Post your response below, or respond to us on <a href="http://www.facebook.com/zapposinsights">Facebook</a> or <a href="http://www.twitter.com/zapposinsights">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>.&nbsp;</p> </div> Wed, 08 Oct 2014 23:33:13 GMT http://www.zapposinsights.com/blog/item/what-does-leadership-in-selforganization-look-like Can You Quantify Company Culture? http://www.zapposinsights.com/blog/item/can-you-quantify-company-culture <p class="date"> 09/24/2014 &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </p> <p class="date"> 09/24/2014 &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> <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> E.M. Forster wrote, &ldquo;Only connect.&rdquo; One trait of a strong company culture is how connected its employees are to each other. Some even say a company is only as strong as its culture, but can you use metrics to define connectedness? How does a company quantify culture?</p> </div> <div class="summary"> <p> E.M. Forster wrote, &ldquo;Only connect.&rdquo; One trait of a strong company culture is how connected its employees are to each other. Some even say a company is only as strong as its culture, but can you use metrics to define connectedness? How does a company quantify culture?</p> </div> <div class="html clearfix clear"> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> In his book <em>The Tipping Point</em>, Malcolm Gladwell discusses Dunbar&rsquo;s Number which suggests that the larger a company becomes, the less accountability coworkers feel toward each other. If in a company of 100 people, John asks you to finish a task, you are more likely to complete it because you know John. But replace the same situation with a company of 1,000 people, and John with someone you&rsquo;ve never met in person, and watch the sense of urgency go <em>wayyy</em> down. It&rsquo;s the interconnectedness within a company and the strength of its relationships that help drive its culture, and one of the most common challenges companies face as they grow is how to scale culture. Over the years, Zappos continues to explore new ways to measure the seemingly immeasurable.&nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <h2> The Face Game</h2> <p> Naturally, as Zappos grew, more unfamiliar faces began to appear around the office. The Face Game was created as a fun way to mitigate that challenge. Every time you logged into the internal system, you would see a face of a coworker and guess their name and select from a drop down of options on how well you did or didn&rsquo;t know them. The Face Game would then tell you their name as well as a short description so you could learn something about them. Simple yet effective, the Face Game is one way that Zappos keeps the topic of connectedness top of mind.</p> <h2> &nbsp;</h2> <h2> FaceMail</h2> <p> <img alt="" class="img-thumbnail img-responsive" src="http://www.zapposinsights.com/files/accounts/zappos/assets/images/Connected.png" style="width: 350px; height: 197px; float: right; margin: 15px;" />While helpful, the Face Game&rsquo;s results only covered one data point. FaceMail was created to measure not only if employees know each other, but how well. Similar to the Face Game, FaceMail added five questions to look at different dimensions of connectivity, trust, and frequency of connections. Sent as an email, an employee is shown the picture of another employee and asked:</p> <p> How much do they like them?</p> <p> How well do they know them?</p> <p> How much do they trust them?</p> <p> How many different ways do they know them?</p> <p> How often do they interact with this person?</p> <p> Each question has a series of answers to choose from, and any employee can also send out their own FaceMail to anyone they choose for evaluation. The answers are anonymous and employees can then check their own profile as a gauge on each topic and compare it to the Zappos average. FaceMail is an easy way for each employee to check their pulse anytime they want.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <h2> <strong>Core Value Assessments</strong></h2> <p> In 2013, Zappos launched a new way to measure culture: the z60 review. The z60 shows how Zappos as a whole is living its core values. Derived from &lsquo;360&rsquo;, or a full perspective, the z60 review is the only company-wide core value assessment at Zappos. Crafted using questions that vet a certain set of behaviors, the results can be broken out by core value and give a measurement/percentage of how an employee is energizing each core value. This not only helps employees know their strengths, but also helps identify core values they can improve upon. Each z60 review ends with a meeting with one&rsquo;s mentor and an employee picking one core value to work on. They get to pick whatever they want, and then pick one person in the company they feel they can learn from or emulate.</p> <p> The z60 was derived from a core values workshop created at Zappos in 2010. The core values workshop was developed as a way to bring the Zappos core values to life and ensure that they were never just buzzwords. Brainstorming sessions were held to identify what kind of behaviors were associated with each core value so that employees could put an action to the value.</p> <p> Some other key things to note about the z60 are:</p> <p> -&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; In addition to their direct team, employees also choose who they want to fill it out. It is suggested to be sent to at least five coworkers, and the average amount sent out in 2013 was ten.</p> <p> -&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; It is peer driven vs. manager/employee only.</p> <p> -&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; The entire company&rsquo;s results can be compiled to figure out the company&rsquo;s identity as a whole.</p> <p> The key parameter that the z60 hinges on is that of relationships. Employees are encouraged to send it to coworkers that they feel they have a good working relationship with who can give them a fair assessment.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <h2> <strong>Meet Krunky</strong></h2> <p> One day, a cute blue smiley face appeared on the screen every time you finished playing the Zappos Face Game. His name was Krunky. Today, that friendly little avatar is now depicted through ten different characters that each epitomize a Zappos core value. For example, the first one is WOWzer, who corresponds with Core Value #1, Deliver WOW Through Service.</p> <p> <img alt="" class="img-thumbnail img-responsive" src="http://www.zapposinsights.com/files/accounts/zappos/assets/images/krunky.jpg" style="width: 350px; height: 313px; float: right; margin: 15px;" /></p> <p> Each employee, team, and even the company has its own character based on their z60 results. Another facet is that it will show you other employees that share your &lsquo;character&rsquo;. Any employee can also see the &lsquo;characters&rsquo; of top leaders. The Krunky characters are another creative example of how to keep culture and relationships top of mind.</p> <p> A chain is only as strong as its weakest link, the saying goes. Because connectedness is a key component in measuring the health of a company&rsquo;s culture, it can only be as strong as its weakest relationship. Trying to measure the strength of a company&rsquo;s culture provides fresh insights into an organization as well as reminds us that our working relationships are often the biggest untapped resource a company has.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <h2> <strong>We want to hear from you!</strong></h2> <p> Post your response below, or respond to us on <a href="http://www.facebook.com/zapposinsights"><u>Facebook</u></a> or <a href="http://www.twitter.com/zapposinsights"><u>Twitter</u></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>.&nbsp;</p> </div> <div class="html clearfix clear"> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> In his book <em>The Tipping Point</em>, Malcolm Gladwell discusses Dunbar&rsquo;s Number which suggests that the larger a company becomes, the less accountability coworkers feel toward each other. If in a company of 100 people, John asks you to finish a task, you are more likely to complete it because you know John. But replace the same situation with a company of 1,000 people, and John with someone you&rsquo;ve never met in person, and watch the sense of urgency go <em>wayyy</em> down. It&rsquo;s the interconnectedness within a company and the strength of its relationships that help drive its culture, and one of the most common challenges companies face as they grow is how to scale culture. Over the years, Zappos continues to explore new ways to measure the seemingly immeasurable.&nbsp;</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <h2> The Face Game</h2> <p> Naturally, as Zappos grew, more unfamiliar faces began to appear around the office. The Face Game was created as a fun way to mitigate that challenge. Every time you logged into the internal system, you would see a face of a coworker and guess their name and select from a drop down of options on how well you did or didn&rsquo;t know them. The Face Game would then tell you their name as well as a short description so you could learn something about them. Simple yet effective, the Face Game is one way that Zappos keeps the topic of connectedness top of mind.</p> <h2> &nbsp;</h2> <h2> FaceMail</h2> <p> <img alt="" class="img-thumbnail img-responsive" src="http://www.zapposinsights.com/files/accounts/zappos/assets/images/Connected.png" style="width: 350px; height: 197px; float: right; margin: 15px;" />While helpful, the Face Game&rsquo;s results only covered one data point. FaceMail was created to measure not only if employees know each other, but how well. Similar to the Face Game, FaceMail added five questions to look at different dimensions of connectivity, trust, and frequency of connections. Sent as an email, an employee is shown the picture of another employee and asked:</p> <p> How much do they like them?</p> <p> How well do they know them?</p> <p> How much do they trust them?</p> <p> How many different ways do they know them?</p> <p> How often do they interact with this person?</p> <p> Each question has a series of answers to choose from, and any employee can also send out their own FaceMail to anyone they choose for evaluation. The answers are anonymous and employees can then check their own profile as a gauge on each topic and compare it to the Zappos average. FaceMail is an easy way for each employee to check their pulse anytime they want.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <h2> <strong>Core Value Assessments</strong></h2> <p> In 2013, Zappos launched a new way to measure culture: the z60 review. The z60 shows how Zappos as a whole is living its core values. Derived from &lsquo;360&rsquo;, or a full perspective, the z60 review is the only company-wide core value assessment at Zappos. Crafted using questions that vet a certain set of behaviors, the results can be broken out by core value and give a measurement/percentage of how an employee is energizing each core value. This not only helps employees know their strengths, but also helps identify core values they can improve upon. Each z60 review ends with a meeting with one&rsquo;s mentor and an employee picking one core value to work on. They get to pick whatever they want, and then pick one person in the company they feel they can learn from or emulate.</p> <p> The z60 was derived from a core values workshop created at Zappos in 2010. The core values workshop was developed as a way to bring the Zappos core values to life and ensure that they were never just buzzwords. Brainstorming sessions were held to identify what kind of behaviors were associated with each core value so that employees could put an action to the value.</p> <p> Some other key things to note about the z60 are:</p> <p> -&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; In addition to their direct team, employees also choose who they want to fill it out. It is suggested to be sent to at least five coworkers, and the average amount sent out in 2013 was ten.</p> <p> -&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; It is peer driven vs. manager/employee only.</p> <p> -&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; The entire company&rsquo;s results can be compiled to figure out the company&rsquo;s identity as a whole.</p> <p> The key parameter that the z60 hinges on is that of relationships. Employees are encouraged to send it to coworkers that they feel they have a good working relationship with who can give them a fair assessment.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <h2> <strong>Meet Krunky</strong></h2> <p> One day, a cute blue smiley face appeared on the screen every time you finished playing the Zappos Face Game. His name was Krunky. Today, that friendly little avatar is now depicted through ten different characters that each epitomize a Zappos core value. For example, the first one is WOWzer, who corresponds with Core Value #1, Deliver WOW Through Service.</p> <p> <img alt="" class="img-thumbnail img-responsive" src="http://www.zapposinsights.com/files/accounts/zappos/assets/images/krunky.jpg" style="width: 350px; height: 313px; float: right; margin: 15px;" /></p> <p> Each employee, team, and even the company has its own character based on their z60 results. Another facet is that it will show you other employees that share your &lsquo;character&rsquo;. Any employee can also see the &lsquo;characters&rsquo; of top leaders. The Krunky characters are another creative example of how to keep culture and relationships top of mind.</p> <p> A chain is only as strong as its weakest link, the saying goes. Because connectedness is a key component in measuring the health of a company&rsquo;s culture, it can only be as strong as its weakest relationship. Trying to measure the strength of a company&rsquo;s culture provides fresh insights into an organization as well as reminds us that our working relationships are often the biggest untapped resource a company has.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <h2> <strong>We want to hear from you!</strong></h2> <p> Post your response below, or respond to us on <a href="http://www.facebook.com/zapposinsights"><u>Facebook</u></a> or <a href="http://www.twitter.com/zapposinsights"><u>Twitter</u></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>.&nbsp;</p> </div> Wed, 24 Sep 2014 22:54:59 GMT http://www.zapposinsights.com/blog/item/can-you-quantify-company-culture Loving Your Job http://www.zapposinsights.com/blog/item/loving-your-job <p class="date"> 09/10/2014 &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </p> <p class="date"> 09/10/2014 &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> <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> If you are just doing&nbsp;<em>what</em>&nbsp;you love, you are doing it wrong!<br /> &nbsp;<br /> Okay, I apologize, that was kind of for shock value, but please let me explain it a little more by sharing my journey with you. A long time ago, I heard about the Confucius saying,&nbsp;<em>&ldquo;Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.&rdquo;</em>&nbsp;So I thought that if someone paid me to do what I love (programming), I would have a job I loved.&nbsp;<em>Do what you love. Simple, right? Wrong!</em></p> </div> <div class="summary"> <p> If you are just doing&nbsp;<em>what</em>&nbsp;you love, you are doing it wrong!<br /> &nbsp;<br /> Okay, I apologize, that was kind of for shock value, but please let me explain it a little more by sharing my journey with you. A long time ago, I heard about the Confucius saying,&nbsp;<em>&ldquo;Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.&rdquo;</em>&nbsp;So I thought that if someone paid me to do what I love (programming), I would have a job I loved.&nbsp;<em>Do what you love. Simple, right? Wrong!</em></p> </div> <div class="html clearfix clear"> <style type="text/css"> h3{ font-weight: 500; font-size: 2.4em !important; }</style> <h3> Just 1 of the 7</h3> <p> Wrong because I have experienced first-hand what it feels like to hate doing what you love. The first time it happened, I convinced myself it was because of the pay and the outdated technology. Surely, if I found a job with better pay and newer technologies, I would love it!</p> <p> The second time it happened, it left me frustrated and made me question whether I truly loved coding. How is it possible to hate two different jobs that paid me to do what I thought I loved? I talked to some of my friends and realized I wasn&rsquo;t alone. In fact, according to&nbsp;Gallup, &ldquo;70% of American workers are &lsquo;not engaged&rsquo; or &lsquo;actively disengaged&rsquo;.&rdquo;&nbsp;<em>Why are 7 out of 10 Americans not engaged? More importantly, how could I be one of the other three?</em><br /> &nbsp;<br /> <strong><img alt="" class="img-thumbnail" src="http://www.zapposinsights.com/files/accounts/zappos/assets/images/content/blog-summary/CSWPhotoBooth.jpg" style="float: right; width: 381px; height: 381px; margin: 0px 15px 15px;" /></strong></p> <h3> Not Even Zappos</h3> <p> Moving on, I decided to apply for a job at Zappos because of their culture. I figured, if I didn&rsquo;t love working there, I probably didn&rsquo;t truly love software engineering. I was pretty excited to get an offer from them to work on their Enterprise Data Warehouse team. I learned quite a bit on that team and worked with some really smart people,&nbsp;<em>but still, I didn&rsquo;t&nbsp;<u>love</u>&nbsp;what I was doing. Not even at Zappos!&nbsp;</em><br /> &nbsp;</p> <h3> Serendipity and Culture</h3> <p> I didn&rsquo;t hate working at Zappos, but I didn&rsquo;t love it either. I found that I enjoyed collaborating with fellow Zapponians and also liked the culture, but the work didn&rsquo;t speak to me. I tried many different things working on various projects, then one day it clicked. Many random events led to me focusing all my efforts to quantify &ldquo;culture&rdquo; at Zappos,&nbsp;<em>but how the heck does one measure culture?&nbsp;</em><br /> &nbsp;</p> <h3> Relationships</h3> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> The question really piqued my interest. I started working with a small group of people who asked themselves the same question. Going into it, I had no idea how we would measure culture. Thankfully, I was working with some pretty smart people and they knew where to look first. We started by asking Zapponians &ldquo;why do you like working at Zappos?&rdquo; The overwhelming response was other Zapponians, more specifically the&nbsp;<em>relationships&nbsp;</em>that they had within Zappos. Furthermore, we dug a little deeper, did some research, and found that there are actually three types of relationships that people have at work.</p> <ol> <li> <span style="font-size:16px;">The relationship you have with other people in your company.</span></li> <li> <span style="font-size:16px;">The relationship you have with your company and its higher purpose.</span></li> <li> <span style="font-size:16px;">The relationship you have with yourself and your passion.</span></li> </ol> <p> That&rsquo;s great, relationships and culture, so what?&nbsp;<em>What do relationships have to do with loving your job?</em><br /> &nbsp;</p> <h3> Finding Love</h3> <p> While trying to quantify culture, I really started enjoying my job. In fact, I came to love my job. Amazingly, it wasn&rsquo;t just the coding that I enjoyed, I began to like doing things I normally dreaded. Things like reading lengthy research papers, giving presentations, sifting through spreadsheets&hellip;I loved all of it! Looking back, I realized the problem was that I spent way too much time looking for a job based on &ldquo;what&rdquo; I would be doing. When I should have been thinking about &ldquo;who&rdquo; I would be doing it with and &ldquo;why&rdquo; I would be doing it.&nbsp;<em>Uh duh, or ah ha!</em><br /> &nbsp;</p> <h3> The 4 P&rsquo;s</h3> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> To summarize what I learned, I have distilled &ldquo;loving your job&rdquo; into 4 P&rsquo;s and some related questions. I would be lying if I said this is the end-all-be-all of finding a job you love, but it would have helped me get there sooner.</p> <ol> <li> <span style="font-size:16px;"><strong>People</strong>: does the company create a&nbsp;<em>trust-</em>building environment?</span></li> <li> <span style="font-size:16px;"><strong>Purpose</strong>: what is the company&rsquo;s&nbsp;<em>higher purpose</em>?</span></li> <li> <span style="font-size:16px;"><strong>Passion</strong>: does the company&rsquo;s purpose speak to you? Or, does the company help you&nbsp;<em>understand yourself</em>&nbsp;by creating a space for you to explore and get meaningful feedback?</span></li> <li> <span style="font-size:16px;"><strong>Power</strong>: does the company allow you to&nbsp;<em>contribute</em>&nbsp;to its higher purpose by doing what you love with people you trust?</span></li> </ol> <h3> <em>What questions do you consider during interviews?</em><br /> &nbsp;<br /> The Zappos Insider Program</h3> <p> We believe that you shouldn&rsquo;t wait to create the first two relationships (people and purpose). We believe that before you even start at Zappos, you should know the people that you will be working with and what we are all about. We also want to get to know you and see where your passions align with ours. This is why we have created the <a href="http://jobs.zappos.com" target="_blank">Zappos Insider</a> program. We want to help you answer questions like:</p> <ul> <li> <span style="font-size:16px;">Will I be working with like-minded people?</span></li> <li> <span style="font-size:16px;">Will I be working with people I can trust?</span></li> <li> <span style="font-size:16px;">What is the company&rsquo;s higher purpose?</span></li> <li> <span style="font-size:16px;">Am I passionate about the higher purpose?</span></li> <li> <span style="font-size:16px;">Will I be able to contribute to the purpose?</span></li> </ul> <p> &nbsp;</p> <h3> Still Learning</h3> <p> So does Zappos have the &ldquo;secret sauce&rdquo; all figured out? Nope. We are still experimenting and learning how to make Zappos a place people <em>love</em> to &ldquo;work&rdquo;.</p> <p> &nbsp;</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>&nbsp;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=Love-Your-Job">Training Events</a>.</p> </div> <div class="html clearfix clear"> <style type="text/css"> h3{ font-weight: 500; font-size: 2.4em !important; }</style> <h3> Just 1 of the 7</h3> <p> Wrong because I have experienced first-hand what it feels like to hate doing what you love. The first time it happened, I convinced myself it was because of the pay and the outdated technology. Surely, if I found a job with better pay and newer technologies, I would love it!</p> <p> The second time it happened, it left me frustrated and made me question whether I truly loved coding. How is it possible to hate two different jobs that paid me to do what I thought I loved? I talked to some of my friends and realized I wasn&rsquo;t alone. In fact, according to&nbsp;Gallup, &ldquo;70% of American workers are &lsquo;not engaged&rsquo; or &lsquo;actively disengaged&rsquo;.&rdquo;&nbsp;<em>Why are 7 out of 10 Americans not engaged? More importantly, how could I be one of the other three?</em><br /> &nbsp;<br /> <strong><img alt="" class="img-thumbnail" src="http://www.zapposinsights.com/files/accounts/zappos/assets/images/content/blog-summary/CSWPhotoBooth.jpg" style="float: right; width: 381px; height: 381px; margin: 0px 15px 15px;" /></strong></p> <h3> Not Even Zappos</h3> <p> Moving on, I decided to apply for a job at Zappos because of their culture. I figured, if I didn&rsquo;t love working there, I probably didn&rsquo;t truly love software engineering. I was pretty excited to get an offer from them to work on their Enterprise Data Warehouse team. I learned quite a bit on that team and worked with some really smart people,&nbsp;<em>but still, I didn&rsquo;t&nbsp;<u>love</u>&nbsp;what I was doing. Not even at Zappos!&nbsp;</em><br /> &nbsp;</p> <h3> Serendipity and Culture</h3> <p> I didn&rsquo;t hate working at Zappos, but I didn&rsquo;t love it either. I found that I enjoyed collaborating with fellow Zapponians and also liked the culture, but the work didn&rsquo;t speak to me. I tried many different things working on various projects, then one day it clicked. Many random events led to me focusing all my efforts to quantify &ldquo;culture&rdquo; at Zappos,&nbsp;<em>but how the heck does one measure culture?&nbsp;</em><br /> &nbsp;</p> <h3> Relationships</h3> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> The question really piqued my interest. I started working with a small group of people who asked themselves the same question. Going into it, I had no idea how we would measure culture. Thankfully, I was working with some pretty smart people and they knew where to look first. We started by asking Zapponians &ldquo;why do you like working at Zappos?&rdquo; The overwhelming response was other Zapponians, more specifically the&nbsp;<em>relationships&nbsp;</em>that they had within Zappos. Furthermore, we dug a little deeper, did some research, and found that there are actually three types of relationships that people have at work.</p> <ol> <li> <span style="font-size:16px;">The relationship you have with other people in your company.</span></li> <li> <span style="font-size:16px;">The relationship you have with your company and its higher purpose.</span></li> <li> <span style="font-size:16px;">The relationship you have with yourself and your passion.</span></li> </ol> <p> That&rsquo;s great, relationships and culture, so what?&nbsp;<em>What do relationships have to do with loving your job?</em><br /> &nbsp;</p> <h3> Finding Love</h3> <p> While trying to quantify culture, I really started enjoying my job. In fact, I came to love my job. Amazingly, it wasn&rsquo;t just the coding that I enjoyed, I began to like doing things I normally dreaded. Things like reading lengthy research papers, giving presentations, sifting through spreadsheets&hellip;I loved all of it! Looking back, I realized the problem was that I spent way too much time looking for a job based on &ldquo;what&rdquo; I would be doing. When I should have been thinking about &ldquo;who&rdquo; I would be doing it with and &ldquo;why&rdquo; I would be doing it.&nbsp;<em>Uh duh, or ah ha!</em><br /> &nbsp;</p> <h3> The 4 P&rsquo;s</h3> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> To summarize what I learned, I have distilled &ldquo;loving your job&rdquo; into 4 P&rsquo;s and some related questions. I would be lying if I said this is the end-all-be-all of finding a job you love, but it would have helped me get there sooner.</p> <ol> <li> <span style="font-size:16px;"><strong>People</strong>: does the company create a&nbsp;<em>trust-</em>building environment?</span></li> <li> <span style="font-size:16px;"><strong>Purpose</strong>: what is the company&rsquo;s&nbsp;<em>higher purpose</em>?</span></li> <li> <span style="font-size:16px;"><strong>Passion</strong>: does the company&rsquo;s purpose speak to you? Or, does the company help you&nbsp;<em>understand yourself</em>&nbsp;by creating a space for you to explore and get meaningful feedback?</span></li> <li> <span style="font-size:16px;"><strong>Power</strong>: does the company allow you to&nbsp;<em>contribute</em>&nbsp;to its higher purpose by doing what you love with people you trust?</span></li> </ol> <h3> <em>What questions do you consider during interviews?</em><br /> &nbsp;<br /> The Zappos Insider Program</h3> <p> We believe that you shouldn&rsquo;t wait to create the first two relationships (people and purpose). We believe that before you even start at Zappos, you should know the people that you will be working with and what we are all about. We also want to get to know you and see where your passions align with ours. This is why we have created the <a href="http://jobs.zappos.com" target="_blank">Zappos Insider</a> program. We want to help you answer questions like:</p> <ul> <li> <span style="font-size:16px;">Will I be working with like-minded people?</span></li> <li> <span style="font-size:16px;">Will I be working with people I can trust?</span></li> <li> <span style="font-size:16px;">What is the company&rsquo;s higher purpose?</span></li> <li> <span style="font-size:16px;">Am I passionate about the higher purpose?</span></li> <li> <span style="font-size:16px;">Will I be able to contribute to the purpose?</span></li> </ul> <p> &nbsp;</p> <h3> Still Learning</h3> <p> So does Zappos have the &ldquo;secret sauce&rdquo; all figured out? Nope. We are still experimenting and learning how to make Zappos a place people <em>love</em> to &ldquo;work&rdquo;.</p> <p> &nbsp;</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>&nbsp;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=Love-Your-Job">Training Events</a>.</p> </div> Wed, 10 Sep 2014 21:52:56 GMT http://www.zapposinsights.com/blog/item/loving-your-job All Hands Meeting - What It Is and Why You (May) Want One http://www.zapposinsights.com/blog/item/all-hands-meeting-what-it-is-and-why-you-may-want-one <p class="date"> 09/03/2014 &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </p> <p class="date"> 09/03/2014 &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> <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> Maybe you&rsquo;re a company of two; maybe you&rsquo;re a company of thousands. Regardless of the size, All Hands meetings yield several immediate benefits for any organization that holds them.</p> </div> <div class="summary"> <p> Maybe you&rsquo;re a company of two; maybe you&rsquo;re a company of thousands. Regardless of the size, All Hands meetings yield several immediate benefits for any organization that holds them.</p> </div> <div class="html clearfix clear"> <p> If you&rsquo;ve ever called into Zappos.com on a certain day, you might have gotten a voicemail message rather than the usual cheerful Zapponian. Don&rsquo;t be alarmed, though! It&rsquo;s because once a quarter, all of Zappos shuts down and every employee meets off-site for our quarterly All Hands meeting. Just the act of booking an All Hands meeting sends a powerful message: It says that it is important enough for everyone to attend, and for everyone to step away from work for a few hours to do so. All Hands meetings create a unique space for companies to accomplish many different things:</p> <p> <strong><img alt="" class="img-thumbnail img-responsive" src="http://www.zapposinsights.com/files/accounts/zappos/assets/images/photos/allhands.jpg" style="width: 350px; height: 233px; float: right; margin-right: 15px; margin-left: 15px;" />Clear communication and transparency:&nbsp;</strong>Scalability is one of the best reasons to have an All Hands meeting. Information is really easy to share when your entire company can fit in one room. But once that room starts bursting at the seams, keeping everyone on the same page can become a corporate version of the telephone game - which as we all know, is a great source for misinformation. The first few All Hands at Zappos were for large announcements; it was in 2010 when they began to evolve into quarterly meetings that had not only announcements, but speakers, as well. Today they are a balance of sharing information like financial updates, showcasing inspiring speakers, and connecting the company.</p> <p> <strong>Talent outlet: </strong>All Hands meetings are an excellent chance for employees to showcase their talents, whether it&rsquo;s performing in some way or using artistic skills to create collateral. For example, employees at Zappos who are passionate about singing and dancing regularly have opportunities to perform during All Hands. Companies that create avenues for employees to express themselves and share their talents often see higher retention rates with those employees.</p> <p> <strong><img alt="" class="img-thumbnail img-responsive" src="http://www.zapposinsights.com/files/accounts/zappos/assets/images/photos/tony4cs.jpg" style="width: 350px; height: 233px; float: right; margin: 0px 15px 15px;" />Celebrate wins: </strong>Meetings can get a bad rap and are often the fall guy for bad news, boring news, and more boring news. Using an All Hands meeting to share wins as well as losses from across the company boosts morale and reminds everyone what&rsquo;s working well.</p> <p> <strong>Increased employee engagement: </strong>A change of scenery and happy hour never hurt anybody (that we know of, anyway). Creating an atmosphere that lets coworkers mingle and leave the meeting on a high note gives people something to look forward to and encourages interaction for employees and departments that may not see each other as much.</p> <p> <strong>Visible leadership:&nbsp;</strong>Whether it&rsquo;s addressing a challenge the company is facing, reporting successes, or just touching base, any message from leadership is more powerful when delivered in person as opposed to an email.</p> <p> <strong>To inspire: </strong>Overall, an All Hands meeting&rsquo;s biggest opportunity lies in encouraging and inspiring the company. It offers a place to introduce new ideas, refocus on common goals and learn from each other in ways that last long after the meeting is over.</p> <p> &nbsp;</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> <div class="html clearfix clear"> <p> If you&rsquo;ve ever called into Zappos.com on a certain day, you might have gotten a voicemail message rather than the usual cheerful Zapponian. Don&rsquo;t be alarmed, though! It&rsquo;s because once a quarter, all of Zappos shuts down and every employee meets off-site for our quarterly All Hands meeting. Just the act of booking an All Hands meeting sends a powerful message: It says that it is important enough for everyone to attend, and for everyone to step away from work for a few hours to do so. All Hands meetings create a unique space for companies to accomplish many different things:</p> <p> <strong><img alt="" class="img-thumbnail img-responsive" src="http://www.zapposinsights.com/files/accounts/zappos/assets/images/photos/allhands.jpg" style="width: 350px; height: 233px; float: right; margin-right: 15px; margin-left: 15px;" />Clear communication and transparency:&nbsp;</strong>Scalability is one of the best reasons to have an All Hands meeting. Information is really easy to share when your entire company can fit in one room. But once that room starts bursting at the seams, keeping everyone on the same page can become a corporate version of the telephone game - which as we all know, is a great source for misinformation. The first few All Hands at Zappos were for large announcements; it was in 2010 when they began to evolve into quarterly meetings that had not only announcements, but speakers, as well. Today they are a balance of sharing information like financial updates, showcasing inspiring speakers, and connecting the company.</p> <p> <strong>Talent outlet: </strong>All Hands meetings are an excellent chance for employees to showcase their talents, whether it&rsquo;s performing in some way or using artistic skills to create collateral. For example, employees at Zappos who are passionate about singing and dancing regularly have opportunities to perform during All Hands. Companies that create avenues for employees to express themselves and share their talents often see higher retention rates with those employees.</p> <p> <strong><img alt="" class="img-thumbnail img-responsive" src="http://www.zapposinsights.com/files/accounts/zappos/assets/images/photos/tony4cs.jpg" style="width: 350px; height: 233px; float: right; margin: 0px 15px 15px;" />Celebrate wins: </strong>Meetings can get a bad rap and are often the fall guy for bad news, boring news, and more boring news. Using an All Hands meeting to share wins as well as losses from across the company boosts morale and reminds everyone what&rsquo;s working well.</p> <p> <strong>Increased employee engagement: </strong>A change of scenery and happy hour never hurt anybody (that we know of, anyway). Creating an atmosphere that lets coworkers mingle and leave the meeting on a high note gives people something to look forward to and encourages interaction for employees and departments that may not see each other as much.</p> <p> <strong>Visible leadership:&nbsp;</strong>Whether it&rsquo;s addressing a challenge the company is facing, reporting successes, or just touching base, any message from leadership is more powerful when delivered in person as opposed to an email.</p> <p> <strong>To inspire: </strong>Overall, an All Hands meeting&rsquo;s biggest opportunity lies in encouraging and inspiring the company. It offers a place to introduce new ideas, refocus on common goals and learn from each other in ways that last long after the meeting is over.</p> <p> &nbsp;</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, 03 Sep 2014 21:47:47 GMT http://www.zapposinsights.com/blog/item/all-hands-meeting-what-it-is-and-why-you-may-want-one