5 ways Zappos emphasizes its corporate culture

The online retailer’s ‘speaker of the house’ says culture is the company’s No. 1 priority, so it does some things that may seem a little unusual for a corporate environment.

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“Everything we do comes down to our culture,” Jamie Naughton, Zappos’ so-called “speaker of the house” told an audience at Ragan Communications’ social media for PR and communications conference at Walt Disney World Resort.

Why is culture so vital? For one thing, it’s a reflection of the brand. If your employees don’t reflect your messaging, customers will notice.

It all comes down to happiness, Naughton said. Employees should be inspired, not just motivated. They should want to do their jobs, and go beyond them, without thinking about whether a task fits their job descriptions. To get there, employees need to feel that they’re in control, that they’re making progress, that they’re connected, and that what they do has meaning.

Finding that meaning through culture is so important that Zappos does a few things that sound downright odd. Naughton shared a few of those methods with the crowd.

Slow to hire and quick to fire

Lots of businesses rush to fill open positions and hesitate to cut problematic employees loose. Zappos does the opposite.

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