Zappos is one of my favorite company regarding HRM and innovation.
Under the leadership of Tony Hsieh, this organisational culture has become a pillar of strength for the company. Zappos has an army of employees who believe in the company’s core values and deliver “WOW” customer service. This is the prime reason for the company’s repeat purchasers (who are about 75% of Zappos’ clients) and word-of-mouth marketing.
Some of their HRM logic:
1. Focus on culture and build something for long term. Tony’s first company, Link Exchange, was sold because it wasn’t fun anymore, he told me. That’s why he focused so much on culture when he got involved with Zappos. I see so many companies who focus on growth and get exactly what they want: an unfun fast growing company that falls apart later.
2. Get rid of assholes. Zappos has a filtering system before, during, and after hiring to make sure they get rid of people who “don’t fit the culture.” That is the nice way of saying they get rid of assholes and they get rid of them quickly. They even pay candidates $2,000 after they go through training if they can admit they don’t fit into the culture.
3. Train, train and train some more. Zappos has a whole department that puts together classes. Your pay goes up the more classes you complete.
4. Enable all employees to be spokespeople. Every single new hire at Zappos is asked to start a Twitter account and post a few times to it during training. After that they don’t care if you keep it up. Why do they do that? They want to rub it in that EVERYONE in the company is a public spokesperson for Zappos, not just the CEO or PR team.
5. Reward greatness. Every employee can give a $50 bonus to any other employee. Does it get misused? Not often and when it does it’s easy to solve.
How do you empower employees?