Most businesses operate in essentially the same way. There may be little differences, but the flow of work and organization of employees vary little. Zappos never accepted this concept, however. If you take a look at their corporate culture, you will find that they do things very differently. You may also find that Zappos operates very successfully. It almost seems that they have discovered a winning corporate culture that emanates throughout their entire business and attributes to their improved success. They may just be an online shoe and clothing company, but they are one of the most unique businesses out there.
Do Not Take Everything Too Seriously
This is the single largest aspect that sets Zappos apart from any other company, and it is also what makes their winning corporate culture so unique. Everyone that works in that environment is always having fun. Employees are friends and that friendship does not have to wait until break time to show itself. If you walk around the Zappos offices, you will see employees laughing with each other and excited about what they are doing. You will also see work getting done. There seems to be a preconceived idea that fun has no place in a business because it fosters laziness. Zappos is here to prove that notion wrong. They may be an extreme example, which of course will not work for every company, but they also demonstrate that a permanently serious attitude leads to decreased work flow more than having a little fun ever does.
Consider Cultural Fit When Hiring
At Zappos, the winning corporate culture is one of fun and enjoyment. They want every employee to be a little on the weird side and take this into consideration when they are looking for new recruits. There is something to be learned by this practice, but it might not be what you expect. Zappos is not affirming that you should only hire the nuttiest people you can find. Rather, you should decide exactly what the core values of your business are and hire around them. For Zappos, they decided they were all about happiness, so they decided to create an office culture about having fun. That is why they hire the way they do. For your company, you may decide it is all about making an impact in the surrounding community or offering top tier customer service. It does not matter what your core values are, but it is important that you have an intimate understanding of them when hiring. You should only hire like-minded individuals that will create a corporate culture that reflects your values.
Family and Trust
No matter what corporate culture you are trying to build, all the employees should be able to work together. At Zappos, they make an effort for the entire team to be like a family. They treat each other with respect, but more, they treat each other with a sense of intimacy. Because of this, their team is more than the sum of its parts. More importantly, however, this feeling is contagious. When coworkers treat each other like family, it is only natural to treat the clients like family as well, and that will really impress those interacting with the company. Secondly, Zappos leaders trust their employees like family. They do not have practices set up to ensure workers are doing their jobs. Everyone enjoys working there and that is what drives them to work harder. This culture opens up the door for more communication as well. At Zappos, all information is openly shared. Everything from sales to performance statistics is freely available. Management trusts their employees to use this information to do a better job, instead of making an initiative to force better efficiency.
An Evangelical Team
What is the result of Zappos’ winning corporate culture? If you ever have the opportunity to speak with a Zappos employee, no matter what their position is, it will become clear very quickly. Every single person involved with that company is their biggest advocate. Everyone is excited about the business and is happy to share their excitement with those around them. This is a difficult aspect to replicate, but if you are able to foster excitement for your company among the employees, you will see the benefits, both internally and as workers share their experiences with the public.
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