There’s a time and place for everything. When you’re at work, is that the time and place to have fun and be happy?
It is if you want to stay ahead of the competition, according to Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos.com. In fact, the head of the billion-dollar online shoe retailer prefers to call himself CHO — Chief Happiness Officer.
Hsieh is also the author of New York Times bestseller Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose. And with Zappos rated as a top place to work in the US, he moonlights as a consultant to companies wanting to make their offices a place people want to be.
At The Bagg Group, we’ve interviewed thousands of high achievers over the years. Whether seeking full-time positions, contract work, or temporary placements, top talent are attracted to companies where the workplace is something to enjoy, not endure.
It makes perfect sense. Employers want positive, optimistic employees. It’s only to be expected that positive people want uplifting workplaces.
That’s why at The Bagg Group, we champion the happiness factor. We believe, as Hsieh does, that a happy culture does more than attract and retain great employees, it also boosts productivity.
Here are some best practices that Zappos uses to attract the right candidates for their culture.
- Orientation for managers includes time spent having fun with the team.
New managers are encouraged to spend 10% to 20% of their time away from their desk, getting to know their team. Time bowling or at happy hour with the team is considered time well spent. Hshieh says the strategy leads to a 20% to 100 % in team productivity and efficiency.
In an interview with American Public Media, Hshieh added, “there’s a higher level of trust, communication is better, people are willing to do favours for each other because they are doing favours for friends not just coworkers.”
- The company differentiates between motivation and inspiration.
There are many ways to motivate employees, from money to bonuses to threats of job loss. But people are inspired when they have a goal that is bigger than making a profit. At Zappos, employees share a vision to deliver happiness – to staff and all others who interact with Zappos.com
The workplace even looks happy. Largely a call center, cubicles are arranged in pods decorated according to themes. For example, there’s a surfer’s pod, a space alien one, a tribute to the 1950s, etc.
- Zappos hires based on 10 core values that define its culture. Interview questions evaluate applicants on how much they agree with these values.
Zappos has created a mascot, a frog, that embodies its core values. Hshieh explains, “To help us along, every day, in every situation, we ask ourselves: ‘What would Core Values Frog do?’”
On the Zappos career site, the Core Value Frog explains the 10 values and their rational. Here’s an abbreviated sampling:
Embrace And Drive Change
Core Values Frog (CVF) can not only handle constant change but expects it and embraces it with open arms. CVF never accepts or becomes comfortable with the status quo but is always thinking of ways to change processes, perspectives, and opinions, hopefully for the better… .
Create Fun And A Little Weirdness
CVF has a sense of humor: he knows that it’s good to laugh at himself every once in a while. Work shouldn’t be synonymous with drudgery. CVF can find fun and weirdness even when the rubber meets the road, and we’re getting lots done. Being a little weird requires being a little innovative … .
Build Open And Honest Relationships With Communication
CVF is an open book. His honesty when interacting with others leads to strong relationships built on trust and faith. He can use these strong relationships to accomplish so much more than he could otherwise… .
According to Hsieh, “Businesses often forget about the culture, and ultimately, they suffer for it because you can’t deliver good service from unhappy employees.”
At The Bagg Group we agree. We’ve been able to place more than 58,000 happy people over 40 years because we put much importance on finding the right fit between clients and candidates. We know that to be happy and successful, you can’t just do the work, you have got to care about it.
Finally, we echo Hsieh’s view when he urges, “Have fun. The game is a lot more enjoyable when you’re trying to do more than just make money.”