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Zappos Human Resources Model

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on 14 March 2015

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Transcript of Zappos Human Resources Model

1. Deliver WOW Through Service
2. Embrace and Drive Change
3. Create Fun and A Little Weirdness
4. Be Adventurous, Creative, and Open-Minded
5. Pursue Growth and Learning
6. Build Open and Honest Relationships With Communication
7. Build a Positive Team and Family Spirit
8. Do More With Less
9. Be Passionate and Determined
10. Be Humble

Ten Core Values:
Zappos Approach to Human Resources
Zappos Philosophy
Consumer Journey
Human Resource Management
Sustained Growth
Compared to Theory X
Compared to Theory Y
Compared to Linkert's
Zappos aligned the entire organization around one mission: to provide the best customer service possible.
"The WOW philosophy"
Review and Confirm
It’s unique, “fun and a little weird” culture drives the WOW. In January 2011, Zappos earned #6 on the 2010 Fortune: 100 Best Companies to Work For List, and sales exceeded 1 billion dollars a year (About Zappos, 2014)
Mumby, Dennis K. (2013). Organizational Communication. A Critical Approach. United States of America: Sage Publications

(2014). Retrieved from www.about.zappos.com: http://about.zappos.com/

Zappos Corporate Culture Presentation. (2010). Retrieved from www.youtube.com:
Theory X
Average worker inherently dislikes work
So most workers must be coerced to work
Average worker wants to avoid responsibility and prefers to be directed
Theory Y
Effort in work is as natural as play
Workers will exercise self-direction when committed to goals
Commitment to goals is a function of rewards
The average worker seeks responsibility under the right conditions
Creativity is widely dispersed among workers
Modern industry only partially utilizes the potential of workers
McGregor advocates theory Y as an “invitation to innovation”
Need to carefully develop sense of autonomy and responsibility among employees
Goal of higher degree of participation in decision-making among employees
Managers, not workers, are responsible for poor organizational performance; they fail to get the best out of their human resources
1. Exploitive Authoritative
Motivation through fear and coercion
Information flows down the hierarchy
Workers view management with suspicion
High employee turnover/low productivity
2. Benevolent Authoritative
Motivation through both threats and rewards
Communication mostly downward
Limited feedback from lower levels
Fair to good productivity
3. Consultative
Motivation through rewards
Some low-level participation in decisions
Goals set after consultation with subordinates
Moderate turnover/good productivity
4. Participative
Motivation through rewards
Communication downward, upward, across
Decision-making throughout organization
Low turnover/excellent productivity

"As we grow as a company, it has become more and more important to explicitly define the core values from which we develop our culture, our brand, and our business strategies. "
by Sara Higuera
• 1999: Almost nothing
• 2000: $ 1.6 mm
• 2001: $ 8.6 mm
• 2002: $ 32 mm
• 2003: $ 70 mm
• 2004: $184 mm
• 2005: $370 mm
• 2006: $597 mm
• 2007: $840 mm
• 2008: Over $1 billion

driven primarily by repeat customers and word of mouth. Zappos.com's gross merchandise sales have been:
Douglas McGregor’s Theory X and Theory Y:

Critique of traditional managerial authority
Model framed in terms of control and influence

Rensis Likert’s Four Systems of Organization:
• A training team trains employees in each core value. So, every employee hears the same message, learns the values, and learns the behavior that is expected to live the values every day at work. The trainers are available for training value gaps.

• The hiring process at Zappos is more like a courtship than a traditional recruitment. Ms. Henry, for example, attended a merchandising team recognition meeting at a bar and interacted with Zappos' employees in a variety of social settings for four months before they agreed to the relationship.

While the courtship may not be as rigorous for every job, before an employee is hired, he or she will meet with multiple employees and normally attend some type of department or company event. This allows the employees who are not participating in interviews to meet the prospective employee informally.

• Zappos takes cultural fit seriously and hires slowly. Months can pass between an initial cultural fit interview with an HR recruiter and an actual job offer. If a potential employee fails to pass the cultural fit interview (50% of the weight in hiring), he or she is not invited to meet the hiring manager and other employees. While not all hires wend this slow road, Zappos hires for cultural fit first.

• Interviewers have developed five or six behaviorally based questions that illuminate a candidate's congruence with each of the Zappos core values cited earlier. This approach to interviewing allows interviewers to assess a candidate's potential ability to fit within the culture and to exhibit the necessary skills.

"fun workplace that is a tiny bit weird"

Focus on providing the absolute best service and the absolute best shopping experience, to continue to grow as a company. Desire focus on service to WOW customers, employees, vendors, and investors. Zappos.com wants to be known as a service company that happens to sell shoes, handbags, and anything and everything.
Zappos Culture
Classifying Zappos
Zappos was Established in 1999. Its corporate headquarters are located in Las Vegas, NV & Shepherdsville, KY. It is a subsidiary of Amazon.com and a leader in online apparel and footwear sales by striving to provide shoppers the best possible service and selection. They carry millions of products from over 1000 footwear and apparel brands.

Theory X fails to realize the full potential of workers as human beings (Mumby p. 98)
"Zappos is an example of an organization that tries to integrate employee happiness, customer happiness, and e-commerce" (Mumby p. 88)
Theory X - Power to influence workers is a function of coercive authority
Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh states "his entire business philosophy is built on the principle of happiness for both customers and employees" (Mumby p. 88)
**Zappos not classified as a Theory X model**
Theory Y believes that work is as natural as play (Mumby p. 99)
"Zappos' has a unique, “fun and a little weird” culture that drives them
Theory Y - gives a sense of autonomy and responsability amongst employees (Mumby p.99)
Zappos the company's "pipeline" program which prepares entry level employees for promotion to management positions within three years (About Zappos, 2014)
**Zappos models Theory Y the closest**
**Zappos is best classified under leadership style #4 Participative, of Likert's Four System Approach**
company's hiring policy and steps taken by the company to hire employees who are a good fit
employees love coming to work, are happy and engaged, and whose customers are raving fans
A training team trains employees in each core value. So, every employee hears the same message, learns the values, and learns the behavior that is expected to live the values every day at work.
Each manager is expected to spend 10-20% of the department’s time on employee team building activities. This makes employees feel comfortable with the culture, with each other, and they develop relationships that live the core values that Zappos espouses (About Zappos 2014)

• "Create Fun and A Little Weirdness
• "Be Adventurous, Creative, and Open- Minded
• "Pursue Growth and Learning
• "Build Open and Honest Relationships With Communication
• "Build a Positive Team and Family Spirit

Zappos Matching Core Values
united w/organizaital goals
most productive system
taps into human resources
formal & informal communication not at odds
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