For some time now, we’ve been noticing that Zappos, a Las Vegas based e-commerce company with 1500 employees, keeps surfacing on blogs and in news reports for being both a remarkable example of customer service and an excellent place to work. We’ve been meaning to write about the company and are prompted to do so after seeing Chief Happiness Officer post about Zappos as a genuinely happy place to work. Others agree. The company earned spot #23 on Fortune’s 100 Best Companies to Work For 2009 list, the highest-ranking newcomer on the list.
In Zappos Knows How To Kick It, Fortune writes about how “the quirky retailer” made the list by “… providing a model of how to manicure culture and treat staffers like adults, while simultaneously reassuring them that sometimes it’s okay to behave like children.” Zappos encourages “weirdness” and fosters creativity, fun and employee empowerment – particularly when it comes to service – employees don’t work from a script and are encouraged to go to great lengths to delight cutomers and solve problems.
After visiting Zappos recently to make a presentation, blogger Brian Solis posts about Zappos’ Core Values. He talks about the culture of empowerment “…Zappos as represented by its hundreds of employees, is driven by dignity, personal and professional fulfillment, sincerity, empathy, and the aspiration of always being helpful to not only customers, but each other. At Zappos, employees are royalty. They’re encouraged to be themselves. They’re rewarded for adding personality to their job and responsibilities. They’re promoted for contributions and collaboration. It’s this empowerment that powers everything.”
Zappos also fully embraces social media as a way for employees to interact with the market and their customers… from blogs to twitter. Besides being a bold and transparent marketing approach, social media also provide a way for employees to share “inside” info about events and happenings, to keep current on trends that affect their business, to provide health, fitness and wellness info, and to share parenting and work-life tips. We like that their CEO and COO maintain a blog which they use to communicate to both employees and the public at large – instead of being a “sell piece” it’s a forum where they talk about company values – see Your Company Is Your Brand and a post about moving on after a layoff.


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