What Zappos Taught Me About Company Culture

What Zappos Taught Me About Company Culture

Having the opportunity to visit the Zappos office in Las Vegas was incredible! Like many of you reading this blog, my memory of Corporate America culture was rigid, autocratic, and conventional. Zappos culture on the other hand embodies a new work trend that makes employees want to participate and stay engaged.


As soon as you enter the building, you are overtaken in a positive way by the environment. It displays a fun, entertaining, and exciting atmosphere. When you enter, it does not feel like you are going to work. The mood represents a place to have fun while helping others with benefits.

Working Life Integration

In Tony’s book, Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion and Purpose, he comments on the constant journey for life and work separation (or having a work-life balance). “It’s just life. And so, the idea would be if you can be the same person at home as you are in the office, and vice versa. And when people actually feel comfortable being themselves, so much creativity comes out of that.”

Hiring Practice

Zappos’ hiring and training process definitely represents Zappos’ Core Values:

  • Build a Positive Team and Family Spirit (Core Value 7)
  • Be Humble (Core Value 10)

It typically takes Zappos four months before they hire a new team member. I learned during my tour they do two sets of interviews. The first interview is done by the hiring manager and his or her team will interview to see if the candidate is a good fit for the team (i.e., experience, technical ability, and other areas). A second interview is done by the HR department purely to make sure the candidate fits into the company culture.

As we all know, sometimes the wrong person may become a part of the team, or the employee’s mission and goals have changed. Zappos pays for an employee that no longer fits within the culture to leave the company.

Be Humble (Core Value 10)

Being humble is sometimes difficult since we all have different experiences. They come from different backgrounds and have different beliefs. Unless they have made a conscious decision to try and understand different perspectives, they relate to things from their perspective. Zappos’ creativity policy states that every new hire, no matter the position, including C-level executives have to attend the same four-week training, which consummates their core value of being humble.


Zappos definitely has a competitive advantage with their culture that has created a top-rate team that is committed to the happiness of their customer, coworkers, and the success of Zappos. However, Zappos is very generous in sharing information about how other companies can also achieve success. They truly have an abundant mindset, which is also representative of the benefits package for their employees.

Zappos Core Family Value:

  • Deliver WOW Through Services
  • Embrace and Drive Change
  • Create Fun and a Little Weirdness
  • Be Adventurous, Creative, and Open-Minded
  • Pursue Growth and Learning
  • Build Open and Honest Relationships with Communications
  • Build a Positive Team and Family Spirit
  • Do More With Less
  • Be Passionate and Determined
  • Be Humble


About the author, Sheles Wallace

Sheles is an award-winning business coach who gets results for her clients.

For over 15 years, she has helped business owners achieve their goals and

take their businesses to the next level. If you're ready to take the next

step in your business evolution and go from an owner who wears all hats to

creating a commercial, profitable enterprise that runs without you, find out

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