The company that stood out the most among those listed was Zappos. Having some personal experience with this company, it seemed to be the best choice for me. After using Zappos on several occasions for purchases, this assignment would allow me to further research it and get an even greater understanding of the company’s culture, its climate and what it stands for.
At Zappos, their belief is “If you get the culture right, most of the other stuff – like great customer service, or building a great long brand, or passionate employees and customers – will happen naturally on its own (Burkus). Zappos feels that their relationship with other companies is a two sided coin, with the culture of Zappos on one side and the other company’s brand on the other. The brand of a company may lag behind the culture of Zappos, but it is felt that eventually brand will catch up to the culture.
At Zappos their culture is their brand. For the company, culture starts from the point that an employee is going through the hiring process. This occurs with two different sets of interviews for a perspective employee. The first interview is conducted by the hiring manager and his team where they perform a standard set of questions looking for relevant experience, technical ability, and fit within the team. After which, the Human Resource Department then conducts a different set of interviews, where they are looking primarily for a cultural fit. Before being a hired a perspective employee must pass both sets of interviews. This process has caused a lot of highly qualified individuals to be turned down for positions within the company. Although these candidates could have helped the company with its’ bottom line, they did not fit culturally with the company.
After the interview process and being hired an employee must then be trained on the culture of Zappos. Anyone hired by Zappos must go through the same training that the Customer Loyalty Team, call center representatives, go through. Regardless of position title, whether an accountant, a lawyer, or software developer, everyone goes through the exact same training. This is a four week program that covers the company’s history, the importance of customer service, the long term vision of the company, the philosophy about company culture, and then they must work as a call representative for two weeks (Heathfield). The company believes that customer service is not just a department, it is the entire company.
Along with being trained as a call representative, all employees learn the ten Family Core Values of Zappos, but only five will be discussed while the other five will be listed. The first core value is “Deliver WOW through service.” In order to do this an employee must do something to differentiate the company from others, this means to do something unconventional and innovative. Zappos feels that its employees must do something that is above and beyond what the customer normally expects, and whatever it is it must have an emotional impact on the receiver (Kerr). Delivering the “WOW” just does not mean working with customers, it also means delivering internally with partners and work associates.
The next core value that is taught in training is “Embrace and Drive Change.” Zappos believes that most large companies do not like and are not prepared for constant change in the market place. Zappos employees are taught not to fear change but embrace it and even encourage it. That change is encrouged to take place from the bottom up, from employees who are on the front lines and who work with customers directly. Who better understands and comes in constant contact with the issues and concerns communicated by customers in that changing market place.
“Create Fun and A Little Weirdness,” is the next core value instilled at training for Zappos employees. Zappos differentiates itself from a lot of other companies by valuing fun and allowing its employees to be a little...
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