Recently I was reading Success Magazine, as I do each month. It is always filled with great content. The August issue was no different, and on the cover is a business leader I greatly admire, Richard Branson. But the article that grabbed my attention was the article on Zappos. The shoe company that customers, but more importantly employees have fallen in love with. The company works overtime to create a culture where employees love to come to work.
Imagine a place where employees, volunteers, members or even students love to come. Who's job is it to create this type of environment? Shouldn't employee's be happy they have a job in this economy? Students shouldn't expect to enjoy school right? Most leaders display the attitude that those that follow should be grateful to serve and shouldn't expect anything other than their pay check.
But studies have proven, happy employees produce more. They are willing to go the extra mile and look out for the company. For Zappos's CEO Tony Hsieh, creating and maintaining the proper company culture is a passion.
New employees are taking through a four-week indoctrination of the Zappos's culture. The training helps develop the Zappos's mindset in each new hire. If a person feels they will not be a good fit for the company they can opt out of the training and receive $2000 for their time. Hsieh says only about 1% opt for the payout. So what has Zappo's done to create this culture, and how can you create a culture where people want to be a part of what you are doing.
BE UP FRONT
Let people know what your organization stands for, what is the big picture. What is expected, and how it should be performed. Zappos accomplishes this during their four-week training.
INSPECT WHAT YOU EXPECT
You cannot expect something from someone you have not instructed them on. But once you have laid out the expectations, you need to come back and review and correct if the person is not on track. Zappos accomplishes this by conducting annual reviews.
ASK YOUR EMPLOYEES
In my observation, most leaders fail big time in this area. Many leaders speak, tell, order, but few listen. Being more concerned in how they want the job down, rather than what would be the best way to accomplish the task. When I read the interview with Richard Branson in the magazine, he told of an instance where one of his leadership teams let him know, they preferred to wear ties to work. Branson had a no tie policy in place, Branson made the change for that team. Hsieh sent out an email request to all employees, asking them to tell him, what the Zappos culture means to them. The result was a 10 point core value statement and a Zappos Culture Book (the pic is a picture of my Zappos Culture Book).
Here are the 10 point core values for Zappos....
So what's your company, organization, school or churches culture. Start with asking yourself what you want the culture to be, then ask those inside the culture do they feel the same way. Make the necessary adjustments if you want a team that loves to come to work.
Author, Genius Potential
America's #1 Leadership Life Trainer
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Dr. Will is an author, speaker and leadership consultant....