Zappos: Passing Optimism Top-Down, Literally to Its Shoes

Zappos is an innovative company that has been on the Fortune’s list of the top 100 companies to work for the last two years. It is an online shoe and clothing shop. Founded in 1999, it has grown to be the largest online shoe store. Zappos did “almost nothing” in sales for 1999 but grossed over $800 million in merchandise sales in 2007 and grossed over $1 billion in 2009. In July 2009, it was acquired by Amazon.com. The acquisition was worth about $1.2 billion. The name Zappos is from the word zapatos, meaning shoes.

Most companies have a different set of goals and a mission statement for their employees and their customers. Zappos commitment has always been to both. Tony Hsieh created Zappos with the commitment to a company culture of great customer service and passionate employees who love their customers and their jobs.  Hsieh believes your culture and your brand should be seamless.

How does Zappos hire new employees?

Zappos does two sets of interviews when it hires an employee.  One interview is about their credentials and qualifications and the second interview is to make sure that the new employee is a part of the company culture. After the first week of training, this company actually offers $2000 for an employee to quit.  They want to make sure all employees are there because of the love of the job, not for a paycheck.

This Mindful Company™ has benefits that include; a family atmosphere for all employees, free daily lunches, free vending machines and it everyone says it is just a fun playful place to work. The company is very transparent and goes out of its way to boast its love of customers and staff. One of the most important practices is that their employees feel respected, empowered and know they have the ability to make decisions on their own.

The emerging science of optimism tells us the great benefit of optimistic happy people; such as health, longevity, productivity, and collaboration.  So it’s wisdom, genius and passion will unlikely continue to make Zappos a powerful force in our Mindful world.