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culture happiness

Building a High-Functioning Culture Takes Planning

Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos, famously said, “If you get the culture right, most of the other stuff will just take care of itself.” It’s apparent that they’ve gotten something right.

Recently, Eric Chester, who is described as “The Expert on Finding, Engaging, and Keeping Great Employees” visited Zappos headquarters in downtown Las Vegas. Here’s what he discovered –– aside from what he describes as an atmosphere that “radiates individuality and personality with a spattering of controlled chaos thrown in for good measure,” which he wrote in his blog I Got Zapped!  3 Surprising Facts About the Culture of Zappos.”

  1. There are no walls or silos. Top executives are accessible and sit at the same style of desks as employees in the call center –– even Hsieh himself.
  2. Feeling depleted and need a nap? Rather than sitting at a desk, employees are encouraged to slip off to a hammock. That way they’ll be refreshed and bring the best to the customer experience.
  3. The “Customer Loyalty Team is encouraged to transform a faceless point-and-click sale into a warm and friendly experience.” How? By sending handwritten, personalized notes to customers –– a novel idea in this digital age.

Chester says, “It’s what you do for your people that goes beyond what they expect that ultimately determines the level of their engagement. Great cultures never stop evolving.”

Essentially, it takes an intentional leader to create a strong culture –– one with vision and the ability to share that vision across the board –– and one who is always willing to change what needs to be changed. Read more