As the economy rebounds businesses are focusing on making their organizations better places to work. They are realizing if employees and managers are unhappy, they are going to leave. Pay and benefits are important, but many people are choosing happiness, meaningful work and job satisfaction as the most important criteria as to whether they stay or go.
Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos and author of Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion and Purpose has created a great place to work. They have no problem attracting and retaining good people. Zappos does not hire just anyone looking for a job. They place emphasis on hiring the right kind of people. By hiring the right people, they reduce turnover, training costs and insure their team of Zapponians stay motivated and passionate about what they do. According to their human resource department, it is harder to get a job at Zappos than to be accepted at Harvard Business School.
The strategies and concepts they apply at Zappos have had a significant impact. Great places to work are more productive and more profitable than their peers. While most organizations have suffered during the recession, Zappos has been growing at a record pace. The Zappos vision statement is, “Delivering happiness to our customers, vendors and employees.” Creating “happiness” is not just an altruistic thing to do. It has a huge impact on the bottom line. Happiness has created unparalleled customer loyalty to the extent 80% of their customers return to purchase again.
In creating a great place to work, consider the following strategies:
1) Give people a higher calling and a purpose for working.
Do your employees feel their job gives them meaning and a purpose for working in your organization? Giving people a higher calling or a purpose makes them passionate about their jobs and is a major reason why they should work for your organization; otherwise it is just a job.
2) Deploy a leadership strategy.
There is unmistakable evidence revealing how leadership is exercised, formally and informally, throughout the organization. It is clear to your employees how key decisions are made, communicated and carried out. There needs to be a system for decision-making and development of leaders and managers as well as the reinforcement of values, directions and performance expectations.
3) Manage your managers and make them lead by example.
People don’t quit their company, they quit their managers. You can’t have a great place to work if you have bad managers….period. Leaders in the organization serve as role models through their ethical behavior and personal involvement in planning, communicating and developing others. Measure their effectiveness and hold them accountable for their actions. No excuses.