Christa FoleyCulture Adviser and Director of Insights
Christa wears a few hats at Zappos.com. She oversees the Zappos Insights team and shares a role with Tony Hsieh to guide the Zappos brand vision. In addition to heading up Zappos Insights, she is a culture, people, and brand champion and adviser. Having worked at Zappos since 2004, Christa helped build the recruitment team at Zappos, created the core value interview assessment the company uses to ensure all new hires align with the core values and basically set up the team to scour the planet for people that are fun and a little weird.
Rob SiefkerSenior Director of Customer Loyalty
Rob joined Zappos.com in January of 2004 and has spent his entire career providing the very best service to both customers and employees. Starting his career with the company as a call center employee, he steadily worked his way into increasing levels of leadership until taking the reigns for the entire customer service operations at Zappos. He helped the team grow from 30 to over 500+ employees and has been key in building the loyalty and recognition that Zappos is know for as a company committed to always providing WOW service.
Hollie DelaneyHead of People Operations
Hollie started her Human Resources career in 1996 and joined the Zappos Human Resources team in 2006. She oversees all aspects of HR at Zappos and her passion is in redefining the human resources landscape, moving it away from processes and policies to true care and development of people and culture. She also lead the charge at Zappos to redefine the traditional company structure and replace it with a structure based on trust and distributed authority. Hollie has been pivotal in working to deliver happiness and provide the best place for employees to work.
Develop core values that guide and shape your company and it's culture. Commit to your core values and implement them in all aspects of your business.
Learn best practices to ensure your culture is protected and staged to scale as your company scales.
Understand that your employees are your most valuable resource and how to create a culture that reinforces this fact.
Set a foundation of service across your organization with employees who are empowered to provide the best customer service and connections with your customers.
Best structure your customer service operations, whether at 20 employees or 500 plus.
Provide guidance to continually innovate on culture and customer service, to help drive your organization to the next level.
Great culture leads to employee happiness. The same way a toxic culture leads to unhappiness. Happy employees means higher engagement, profitability, and low turnover.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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?"
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.