You've almost certainly heard of the online shoe retailer Zappos.com and their amazing customer service. They have an impressive 5 out of 5 rating on Epinions.com with over 16,000 customers posting reviews. Their "secret sauce" is actually a very simple employee engagement strategy, but they execute it far better than 99% of the companies out there. Zappos has built its core values around outstanding customer service and everything they do is connected to those values.
Here are just a few examples:
They'll pay you $2,000 to quit now.
Zappos has a well-defined on-boarding program that trains new employees on both the skills they need to do their jobs and the Zappos company culture. At the end of the on-board process, Zappos makes new employees "the offer": Quit now and receive $2,000 in addition to any wages owed.
This may seem like financial suicide to many business leaders but it is actually a genius engagement strategy. There's a lot of power in asking people to consciously turn down a $2,000 payout to stay with your company, especially in low-wage jobs. Zappos estimates that only 2 - 3% accept the offer, meaning 97% of new employees would rather not take the money and run. Read more in a BusinessWeek article.
The Culture Book
Check out this short video on the inventive way Zappos ensures every employee is connected to their company culture.
Not afraid to share
Zappos clearly knows that their core values don't equal competitive advantage; it's the execution of their core values that sets them apart. Check out their core values page to learn more.