There’s a quiet revolution going on in business today and its poster child is Tony Hsieh, the CEO of Zappos. While a quiet type himself, he’s built an evangelical following in his own culture, and outside of it, teaching others how to use happiness as a business model.click here to read article
Tony’s culture is built on the foundation that happy employees – with a transcending vision to make “WOW” a verb and be the best at customer service – create happy customers and happy customers tell their friends. It’s a simple concept but what makes it even more potent is how Tony has embraced the concepts in the new field of Positive Psychology and put them to work.
Since 1998 millions of dollars have poured into the field of psychology for the research of well-being and happiness. The findings are stunning – proving what so many entrepreneurs knew instinctively to be true. Positive Psychology is validating that when leaders show up in a positive mood, when they are optimistic, employees are more likely to be in a positive mood themselves. Emotions are contagious and good leaders know which ones they want to spread around when they want their customers to be happy!
When leaders increase the “positive capacity” of a company, success is not far behind. Researchers tell us that positive emotions actually make us smarter, healthier and more socially adept. I’d say “more of this please” to that idea.
When people are having fun at work and have a chance to do what they do best and are acknowledged and recognized for that, they are more productive, more creative and build deeper stronger relationships that last. When the focus is continually on creating value, customers come back and bring friends.
Nowhere is that more evident that at the New Pig Corp. Created in the spirit of fun, the passionate pursuit of a “better way”, the Partners in Grime (get it? P.I.G?) who started the company wanted to create passionately happy customers from the start.
They developed a Pig-a-log (their award winning catalog), grabbed the 1-800-HOT-HOGS phone number and changed the name of their street to One Pork Ave and set out to create a staff that was smart, lighthearted and customer-obsessed. Their “Vow to WOW” initiative years ago turned into a way of life and the “Piggers” make customers feel like part of the family. (Ever notice that the word culture and cult sound remarkably alike?)
click here to read the story of New Pig
Their positive upbeat outlook is part of their disciplined hiring process that helps them keep their culture pure by weeding out those who wouldn’t contribute to the high achievement, continuous improvement and hilariously fun culture. They understand well what the magic is and measure on the dimensions that matter to their growth and their customer’s delight.
It’s not unusual to be asked during an interview “Will you oink for me?” If the participant squeals with the delight at the prospect, they pass that part of the interview with flying colors. Positivity powers their every process and fuels their purpose.
At fast growing 10 year old Waste Pro USA, CEO John Jennings is making sure that the “Waste Pro Way” shows through in everything they do. When rapid growth began to threaten the values of this company, one beloved by employees and customers alike, he stepped back and started asking the hard questions.
Is our culture as great as it used to be? Are we teaching all our leaders the very positive principles that fueled our success? Does everyone know what our values are and how we live them? Do all of our employees feel supported and cared about? What do we need to do to continue to offer a “Distinguishable Difference” to all our customers?
He set in place a plan to identify the core values that had been the bedrock of their success and make sure that leaders at all levels knew how to demonstrate them and teach them. He’s using the science of Positive Psychology to give all those leaders tools to create better customer and employee experiences. His own happy employees = happy customers philosophy has served him well, and the evidence based tools now available to support that make teaching what came instinctively to him more systematic and scalable.
That’s good news for a company growing rapidly. His leaders are enthusiastically using the tools and are seeing – as you would guess – positive results. Increased involvement, increased engagement, increased productivity, more creativity, less stress, and more fun are some of the results reported so far.
John recognizes that he has a special, unique culture that requires nurturing to keep vibrant and he knows that when you have employees that feel acknowledged, proud, confident, valued, wanted, needed, challenged and recognized they will go out of their way to take what I call “Exquisite” care of customers and communities. That’s his “Distinguishable” difference. His #1 value is Passionate Customer and Community Service and it’s powered by the devotion and positivity of his people.click here to read the article
What about YOU? Are you powered by positivity? Are your training and development efforts with your staff focused on their strengths and how to build them? Are you looking for things to appreciate and acknowledge every day? Are you helping people understand that in order to create Positive Customer Experiences they must first be positive in their outlook as well? Let’s always remember – no one wants to do business with a grump. What are you doing to nurture a culture that is positive, focused and fun?
Are YOU powered by positivity? Click here to see an inspiring video