Happy companies - culture innovators going back to the roots (superdry draft)

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If you are looking for a great place to spend your working hours, pay attention to the few ones focusing on happiness. Collected inspiration, food for thought 8-D

Text of Happy companies - culture innovators going back to the roots (superdry draft)

  • Happy companies culture innovators going back to the roots
  • This is a story about workplace happiness Main point of this story: If you are looking for a great place to spend your working hours, pay attention to the few ones focusing on happiness. In 1917, the founder of Forbes magazine wrote Business was originated to produce happiness, not to pile up millions. Too many so-called "successful" men are making business an end and aim in itself. Dalai Lama sais: I believe that the very purpose of life is to be happy. From the very core of our being, we desire contentment. In my own very limited experience I have found that the more we care for the happiness of others, the greater our own sense of well-being. http://upload. wikimedia.org /wikipedia/co mmons/e/ec/ Bertie_Charle s_Forbes.jpg http://upload. wikimedia.org /wikipedia/en /e/ee/The_Art _of_Happines s.jpg
  • Lets look at happy companies, having both success and radical culture Google. Founded 1998 by Larry Page and Sergey Brin. 52,000 thousand employees. Fortune magazine names Google the 2014 Best company to work for Zappos. Shoes online. Founded 1999 with Tony Hsieh as CEO since early days. 1400 employees. Culture advisor for HP, Hilton, Patagonia. Outdoor clothes and gear. Founded 1972 by Yvon Chouinard. 1300 employees. CSR advisor for Walmart, Levis, SAS. Business analytics software. Founded 1976 by Jim Goodnight. 14,000 employees. SAS ranks No. 2 on 2014 Fortune list of Best Companies to Work For in the US, after Google. 37 consecutive years of record earnings, with no layoffs during downturn. Logo Logo Logo Logo
  • Googles history and intentions Larry Page and Sergey Brin did not want the traditional culture of greed is good of 1980s. Envisioned Googleplex, a college campus where the brightest could brainstorm and collaborate on ideas that would change the world. To attract the best talents, needed to provide environment where you had fun, could dram big and get rewarded for hard work. Larry Page: By tackling big ideas that could really change the world, you attract incredible smart people and achieve something worthwhile. (Google Faculty Summit, 2009) Mission: Organize the worlds information and make it universally accessible and useful Values, or 10 things we know to be true, examples: Focus on the user and all else will follow. You can make money without doing evil. You can be serious without a suit. Work should be challenging, and the challenge should be fun Eric Schmitt, former CEO: fun is good. We realize and celebrate that our employees have diverse needs, requiring flexible and individual support. A customized program. Programmers want to program, not do laundry Chief Culture Czar, Stacy Sullivan, is devoted to one thing: making Googlers happy
  • Googles happiness activities Innovative benefits Can bring pets to work. Free on-site: doctor, child care, bike repair, laundry, gym, massage, haircuts, carwash Free food Napping pods Death benefit Offices with themes. Eco-friendly HQ Flexibility: Allows 20% to be spent on own projects. Opportunity to pursue ideas. Feels freedom to explore. Employees operate with freedom, controlling own time Teamwork is central. No hierarchy, tiny independent work groups
  • Googles happiness activities Transparent: Weekly all-hands meeting, Googlers can ask Larry and Sergey questions. Social: Offices and cafees are designed to encourage interaction Ethical: Only relevant ads. Text ads, to not interfere. Ads labeled Sponsored link. Not possible to buy search results. Google.org: Philantropic organization aimed at finding solutions to some of the global problems facing the world today. 97% of employees feel good about how google gives back to ghe community. Same number say management is honest and ethical Gift matching program up to 3000 USD per year, for non-profit organizations Donates USD50 for every five hours a Googler volunteer. Gave 100 MUSD in grants 2012 Gave 1 BUSD in free and discounted ads in 2012 Search Inside Yourself, a mindfulness meditation program, has been attended by thousands of employees
  • Zappos history and intentions I just didnt look forward to going to the office. The passion and excitement were no longer there. Thats kind of a weird feeling for me because this was a company I co-founded, and if I was feeling that way, how must the other employees feel? Thats actually why we ended up selling the company. Financially, it meant I didnt have to work again if I didnt want to. So that was the lens through which I was looking at things. Its basically asking the question, what would you want to do if you won the lottery? For me, I didnt want to be part of a company where I dreaded going into the office. So when I joined Zappos about a year later, I wanted to make sure that I didnt make the same mistake that I had made at LinkExchange, in terms of the company culture going downhill. So for us, at Zappos, we really view culture as our No. 1 priority. About five years ago, we formalized the definition of our culture into 10 core values. We wanted to come up with committable core values, meaning that we would actually be willing to hire and fire people based on those values, regardless of their individual job performance. Given that criteria, its actually pretty tough to come up with core values. I think of myself less as a leader, and more of being almost an architect of an environment that enables employees to come up with their own ideas, and where employees can grow the culture and evolve it over time, so its not me having a vision of This is our culture. Maybe an analogy is, if you think of the employees and culture as plants growing, Im not trying to be the biggest plant for them to aspire to. Im more trying to architect the greenhouse where they can all flourish and grow. For example, for our offices in Las Vegas, its a big building. Weve probably got 700 employees in Vegas. The previous tenants had multiple doors where you can exit, and the parking lot is in the back. We made the decision to actually lock all the doors so everyone has to go through the front-entrance reception area, even though that means you might have to walk all the way around the building. The reason for that is to create this kind of central hub that everyone has to pass through to help build community and culture. And the free lunch we provide for employees is really meant less as a benefit in terms of a free lunch, and more to get employees to interact with each other. But most of the stuff that happens in our office is really about some employee coming up with an idea and, whether its me or other managers, saying, If youre passionate about it, just run with it. At some point, it kind of just snowballs, because once employees see other employees just doing stuff, then that lets them feel like they have more permission to run with their ideas. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/10/business/10corner.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0
  • Zappos history and intentions When Zappos first started, the main idea was, "Let's sell a lot of shoes and be number one in that market." We did that for the first few years, and then we all sat around one day and asked ourselves, "What do we want to be when we grow up? Do we just want to be about shoes or do we want to be about something more meaningful? We decided that we wanted the Zappos brand to be about the best customer service. The initial motivation was that we could sell more items beyond shoes, but a funny thing happened. We learned that having a higher purpose, which is not just about making the most profit, is actually good for business. Employees were happier and vendors came to visit more. We also went through a process of asking our employees what our core ten committable values should be, and we developed them through a yearlong process. We actually hire and fire people based on these core values. As an example, one of our core values is to be humble. If someone applies who is really smart, talented and experienced, even if they could make an immediate impact to our bottom line, if the person is egotistical, we will not hire him or her; it's not even a question. Pretty much all the research shows that people are bad at predicting what will actually make them happy. They tend to think, "when I get x" or "when I achieve x" then I will be happy. The research shows that the most enduring happiness comes when you are a part of something bigger than yourself. What ties everything together and really helps us achieve our greater purpose is that Zappos is about delivering happiness, whether it is to customers, employees, or spreading the gospel of the science of happiness. And that can exist within a large corporate, growing organization? Yeah, and I would say that is our greater purpose. It is not just about Zappos or our employees being happy; it is really about spreading happiness throughout the world. And was there something in your life that initiated this interest or was it a gradual process of coming to this? I think that it was a combination of a gradual process and after selling LinkExchange, I didn't have to work any more, which forced me to think, "What do I really want to do?" Because it seemed kind of pointless to start another company just to make money. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/soren-gordhamer/my-interview-with-zappos_b_308852.html
  • Zappos history and intentions If you really just think about how to make customers happy and how to make employees happy, that actually in todays world ends up being good for business. Zappos is a customer service company that just happens to sell shoes. There are companies that focus on work-life separation or work-life balance and at Zappos we really focus on work-life integration and at the end of the day its just life..and especially if you spend so much time at work you better enjoy the time that youre spending there and