Preserving a Culture People Love As Your Company Grows: Lessons from Zappos

By Chris Cancialosi

Jamie Naughton Zappos

Being intentional about your company’s core values from day one can help to build a solid foundation to guide behavior as your organization grows; few leaders understand this as well as Zappos’ Tony Hsieh.

Zappos has long been an example of the power that company culture has on behavior and business performance. But what’s behind the curtain? What is the team at Zappos doing, specifically, that is driving their admirable levels of employee engagement and retention? 2016 was Zappos’ lowest turnover rate since its founding more than 18 years ago — and I wanted to know the how and the why.

To find out, I asked Jamie Naughton, Zappos’ Chief of Staff, to share her insights.

Jamie Naughton of Zappos

For Jamie, it all starts with her personal journey to Zappos which, she believes, is a testament to the way the organization is run. Having initially worked as an external staffing professional to Zappos, Jamie realized early on that it was a place she’d like to be. “It was more than 12 years ago when I first knew I wanted to be a part of the Zappos team,” Naughton shares. “The people I would send to work there always came back telling me how much Zappos cared about their culture and how great it was to work in an environment like that.”

Today, Naughton focuses her efforts on building myriad efficiencies within the organization for its 1,500+ employees.

When Tony Hsieh took over as CEO at Zappos, he knew he wanted to create an organization where people genuinely enjoyed working. By paying close attention to every single new hire, he was able to ensure his vision became reality. Several years later, the team at Zappos formalized what they held near and dear by creating Zappos’ 10 Core Values. Doing so helped provide a clearly articulated beacon for members of the team to evolve all of their processes and ensure their unique culture was able to scale as the company grew.

Getting clear and explicit about the company’s core values gave all members of the organization a common language and understanding of what “right” looks like at Zappos. “There isn’t a day that goes by where there isn’t a mention of our Core Values in some way,” says Naughton. “They allow everyone to easily prioritize what’s really most important.”

Because the process was so intentional, the results weren’t all that surprising. “We knew as we were building the company that focusing on culture was paramount,” Naughton adds. “In order to provide amazing service to our customers, we knew we had to provide that same level of service to our employees and vendors.”

To fully embed this value of service in all members of the team, each and every new employee, regardless of position, attends a full four-week call center training program, including dozens of hours on the phones supporting live customers. And to reinforce this message, every employee spends a minimum of ten hours during the holidays on the phones as well.

Surprisingly, these mandatory trainings have helped Go to the full article.

Source:: Business 2 Community

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