Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Delivering Happiness - The Zappos Company Culture Example

“Delivering happiness.” That is the brilliantly simple and effective organizational concept developed by Tony Hsieh, founder and CEO of Zappos.com, an online retailer that specializes in “fast, free shipping on all orders.” It also just happens to be the title of his 2010 New York Times best selling book.

In this video presentation hosted by WordOfMouth.org, Tony describes how “delivering happiness” can apply to a company’s customer service priorities as well as its internal company culture. His general point is that if the focus of an organization is on making people happy and not so much on the bottom line, the bottom line will take care of itself.

So, what makes people (employees or customers) happy? According to Hsieh's presentation, happiness is about perceived control, perceived progress, perceived connectedness, and the sense of being a part of something bigger than yourself.

In a nutshell, a great deal of the success of Zappos.com is attributable to the fact that company management attempts to make both employees and customers feel happy. Like they are in control of their careers or their purchases, as if they are making progress towards a promotion or a discount incentive, feel a sense of connection with a company and common community that is greater than themselves.

The company believes so strongly in the concept that they built happiness-related statements into their core values. Taking it a step further, the company makes these core values 50% of their hiring and firing process. According to Hsieh, that is the only way to create true alignment between what a company says it will do and what it actually does.

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