Magazine article Workforce Management

Sharing 'Insights' on Happiness

Magazine article Workforce Management

Sharing 'Insights' on Happiness

Article excerpt

ZAPPOS' BUDDING effort to share its management gospel is slated to continue despite Amazon's planned takeover of the eclectic, fast-growing retailer.

In December, Zappos began an experimental program designed to broadcast its wisdom about customers, employees and company culture. The program, called Zappos Insights, centers on a Web site with articles, video interviews with Zappos' leaders and a discussion forum. The online retailer also offers visits to its Henderson, Nevada, headquarters for an upclose look at the firm's offbeat, service-obsessed, employeefriendly approach.

Amazon's pending acquisition of shoe specialist Zappos will not interrupt the program, says Aaron Magness, who is the firm's director of brand marketing and business development and oversees Zappos Insights. "Our business will continue to run as is," Magness says.

Amazon has promised to let Zappos remain independent, with the current management team staying in place.

Amid growing requests for tours and time with Zappos leaders, the firm came up with the Insights initiative. A subscription to the online program, where members also can submit questions to Zappos, costs $39.95 a month. Among the most popular articles on the site are items on Zappos' core values, its call center training and how Zappos balances mind and body while embracing technology.

But, as Magness notes, some people find it hard to believe that what sounds like a dot-com holdover can be a high-performance culture. "It's difficult to trust our answers," he says.

For those wanting firsthand proof combined with leadership training, Zappos has begun to hold Zappos Insights Live events. In July, 22 participants spent two days at the Las Vegas-area head- quarters, paying $5,000 per per- son. They got to spend time with Zappos executives, observe quirky features such as the room where employees can sit on a throne while chatting with a life coach, and listen in as customer service representatives fielded calls without scripts. …

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