The Zappos Culture Book

View the Zappos Culture Book

What is

The Zappos Culture Book?

"In my book 'Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose', I write about how a company's culture and a company's brand are really just two sides of the same coin. The brand is simply a lagging indicator of the culture.

Over the past 13+ years, we've continuously experienced rapid growth. As we continue to grow and hire new people, we need to make sure that they understand and become a part of our culture. That is the purpose of this culture book - - to provide a glimpse of what the Zappos culture is all about to new hires prospective new hires, our vendors and partners, and anyone else who might be interested.

Of course, the Zappos culture means different things to different people, so I thought the best way for people to learn what the Zappos culture was all about was to hear from our employees directly."

-Tony Hsieh

What Does the Culture Mean to You?

Zappos culture is holding the door open for someone, helping out on the phones during the holidays, 1500 employees embracing the downtown move, wearing a costume on a Wednesday for the hell of it, wrapping an entire team’s desks in plastic wrap, having a meeting in a bedazzled spaceship, calling your coworkers family, taking a Science of Happiness class and then walking over to listen to Sir Ken Robinson speak. The list goes on and on b/c this company is always changing; however, the culture stays tried-and-true.

- Kara O.

Zappos culture, to me, is not being afraid to express oneself. By itself this doesn’t seem like much, but when compared to equivalent environments at different companies, it’s the difference between going to work and loving to go to work.

- Charles A.

Zappos culture is contagious. It’s something that you feel the second you walk through the door and sticks with you long after you leave. You’d really have to try to not be in a good mood at work, and that’s what makes it such a fun place to work. The culture at Zappos just comes naturally. I love being able to work in an environment where you don’t have to try to make relationships, they just happen.

- Danielle K.

"To me, the Zappos culture embodies many different elements. It's about always looking for new ways to WOW everyone we come in contact with. It's about building relationships where we treat each other like family. It's about teamwork and having fun and not taking ourselves too seriously. It's about growth, both personal and professional. It's about achieving the impossible with fewer people. It's about openness, taking risks, and not being afraid to make mistakes. It's about being part of a story that never stops unfolding. And it's about having faith that if we do the right thing, then in the long run we will be a part of building something great.

Our culture is based on our 10 core values.

Unlike most companies, where core values are just a plaque on the wall, our core values play a big part in how we hire, train, and develop our employees.

In addition to trying to WOW our customers, we also try to WOW our employees and the vendors and business partners that we work with. We believe that it creates a virtuous cycle, and in our own way, we're making the world a better place and improving people's lives. It's all part of our long term vision to deliver happiness to the world."

-Tony Hsieh

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!

Culture is

Real

Your company has a culture. You may not have "planned" it. You may not like it. Or maybe you love it. But it's there. It is real. You can choose to be thoughtful about your company culture. You can set values and identify the behaviors that you want to be the core of your culture. That part is fairly easy. The hard part, is committing to the values once they are set. Living them.

Culture is

Core Values

Values are more than just words, they're a way of life. They are the foundation of your company culture. We know that companies with a strong culture and a higher purpose perform better in the long run. As we continue to grow, we strive to ensure that our culture remains alive and well.

Culture is

Your Brand

A company’s culture and a company’s brand are really just two sides of the same coin. The brand is just a lagging indicator of the culture.