Let’s Work Happily Ever After: The Business Case for Culture (Guest Post)

03/19/2015     

1 comment

Workers want to be engaged. Companies want workers to be engaged. So what’s the problem? Just like with wedding engagements, there’s a lot to more to do. It’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. 

Getting Creative with Employee Benefits and Engagement

07/28/2014     

1 comment

Sometimes wanting to improve company culture can be a double-edged sword. It’s safe to say that both companies and employees alike want to strengthen their culture, but adding benefits can be expensive and take resources that may not be readily available. So how can a company get creative without breaking the bank? One example is the Zappos WISHEZ program.

Signal Snowboards - Revolutionizing the Business One Board at a Time

02/16/2012     

4 comments

A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of meeting the Signal Snowboard team when they came for a tour of Zappos. I was truly amazed by their laid back but professional attitude. Signal Snowboards started up in 2004 over a bottle of wine and an idea to recreate the traditional snowboard company. Dave Lee and Marc Wierenga co-founded the company with the idea that it would be more about art and passion, rather than just cranking out boards to turn a profit.

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Culture is

Happiness

Great culture leads to employee happiness. The same way a toxic culture leads to unhappiness. Happy employees means higher engagement, profitability, and low turnover.

Culture is

People

Our culture would not be what is it today without the people, past and present. We are all protectors and cultivators of the Zappos Culture; it's what makes it unique and something that changes every day.

Culture is

Being Yourself

I love that I get to be me all day. The culture encourages you to be the same person you are at work as you are at home. I don't have to pretend to be something I'm not, which makes Zappos a comfortable place to be.

Culture is

Unique

Every company has a unique culture that's all their own. Just like every person has their own personality, every company has their own culture. Building a culture is a special process that can't be taken lightly. It's the responsibility of every employee to represent and foster culture.

Culture is

Fun

Work can be fun! We have 2 annual parties at Zappos. Our Vendor Party where we invite all of our brands to thank them and celebrate our partnership. And, our employee holiday party. Past epic party themes have ranged from Mardi Gras and old-school hip-hop to a Hawaiian luau at a waterpark. Each has had its own twists and tricks to surprise and delight partygoers. This year, we invited our vendors to run away with us to the “Untamed Circus."

Culture is

Perpetual

Your culture doesn't stay the same, it will continue to evolve. Having a defined set of values will serve as your guide to continue your culture's growth and evolution in a positive direction.

Culture is

Not Always Measured

A strong culture means lower employee burnout and therefore, lower turnover. It leads to higher employee engagement and higher profitability. But really, companies should focus on their culture because it matters. Because it's just the right thing to do. To quote Tony Hsieh, "Just because you can’t measure the ROI of something doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do it. What’s the ROI on hugging your mom?"

Culture is

Work-Life Integration

Companies and employees worry about work-life separation or work-life balance. But why? Wouldn't you rather be a company where your employees easily combine their full self into everything they do? Wouldn't you rather work for a company whose focus on culture allows your job to integrate with your life? It shouldn't be a struggle to find a balance between life and work where you are truly fulfilled and happy.

Culture is

Partnerships

Your vendors have the same objective as you: to sell their product, be successful in their work, and maybe have some fun while doing it. Something unique that Zappos does is allow brand representatives access to all the same sales and inventory information on their products that Zappos has. By working as a team, by partnering, you are setting the stage for success!