I have been around some business owners and senior leaders of late that have wanted to let some staff go. They have almost given themselves a stomach ulcer trying to work out how to “manage them out” not to mention the negative impact to the customer and toxicity festering in their culture.
I’m sure you are reading this thinking ‘oh yeah I’ve been there before’. To be honest let’s give ourselves a break, we have all made a bad hire at some point – you just never know.

Check out what American company Zappos are doing, it’s kind of awesome. I’m loving exploring the less conventional ways of doing things of late – for all the right intentions of course.

First, some background. As most of you know, Zappos sells shoes online – like a lot of shoes. This company is fanatical about great service, not just satisfying customers, but amazing them. The company promises free, four-day delivery but most of the time it delivers next-day service, a surprise that leaves a lasting impression on customers: “You said four days, but I got them the next morning!”

This is a small example of why they are such a success and will expect to generate sales of more than $1 billion USD this year up from just $70 million five years ago. The other not so small reason why this company is such a success is that the company is bursting with personality.

Most of the job roles for the 1,600 employees is; answering phones and talking to customers for hours at a time. So when Zappos hires new employees, it provides a four-week training period that immerses them in the company’s strategy, culture, and obsession with customers. People get paid their full salary during this period and Wait for it… this is the cool bit: After a week or so in this immersive experience, it’s time for what Zappos calls “The Offer.” They say: “If you quit today, we will pay you for the amount of time you’ve worked, plus we will offer you a $1,000 bonus.” Zappos actually bribes its new employees to quit. Why? Because if you’re willing to take the company up on The Offer, you obviously don’t have the sense of commitment they are looking for – Boom!!

Upon reflection:

  1. You’re under pressure to continue to financially perform.
  2. You’re constantly seeking loyal staff that will create loyal customers.
  3. You spend a truckload of time and money on recruitment processes and it’s hard work…

Maybe it’s time to change the rules, after all remember, “It’s all about them!” Come along to the February Q Cocktail and learn some strategies on how to keep your staff aligned to your business and not to their twitter account!