retail news in context, analysis with attitude

by Kevin Coupe

We do a lot of commenting here on MNB about the importance of front line employees, and how they have the primary responsibility for the efficacy of the shopping experience ... and therefore should be treated as assets, rather than as costs and liabilities. (This is an approach foreign to some retail entities, sad to say.)

So it was with great interest that I happened upon a story in US News and World Report that looked at how Zappos - the Amazon-owned e-tailer that began in shoes and has expanded to a lot of other wardrobe categories - keeps its employees engaged.

Mig Pascual, a content developer for Zappos Insights, wrote the piece, and stresses in it that by creating a culture that "enables employees to live and work according to their personal values," and hiring people whose values align with those of the company, Zappos is able to "increase productivity, communication, and creativity, while reducing sick time and turnover."

Key to this approach. Pascual says, is letting employees be "their most authentic selves," which then enables them to create an authentic experience for the customer; letting employees "explore their passions and express creativity" whenever and wherever possible, an approach which is the opposite of creating boxes and putting people into them; and constantly providing employees with "opportunities for continuous learning," which can inspire them by exposing them to different kinds of thinking.

It is an excellent piece, and can be read in its entirety here.
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