Working Relationships Discussion: Why is Zappos such a great company to work for?

January 15, 2014 No Comments

Tony Hsieh in 2009Today, to review concepts of good working relationships, my Teen Insights students watched a Nightline clip about Zappos and its awesome work environment.

I am a long-time fan of Zappos and have been impressed many times over by their amazing customer service. When I saw this news story I was even more happy to shop at Zappos and promote such a great company. This is a great example for my students about working together in groups, motivating others, the impact of a friendly attitude, relating to authority, and most every other objective from our Working Relationships unit.

I prepared the following discussion questions and distributed one to each student before showing the clip.

  1. What is foresight? How does the leader of Zappos demonstrate foresight?
  2. What does motivation mean? How does the leader of Zappos motivate others?
  3. What type of leadership does the leader of Zappos demonstrate? How do you know?
  4. What is diplomacy? How does the leader of Zappos demonstrate diplomacy?
  5. What are the two major tasks of group leaders? How does the leader of Zappos demonstrate these?
  6. What are ways in which people obtain their authority position? How did the leader of Zappos obtain his authority position?
  7. How can teenagers learn to cooperate with authority? How do employees of Zappos work to get along with authority?
After the clip, students shared their answers. The Zappos energy was contagious and my students were excited to discuss. (Seriously. I’m not being cheesy here.) They even added their own points (referencing class concepts, no less) like how the CEO demonstrates humbleness, how the CEO can run a successful business while still taking good care of their employees, and how a friendly disposition is important to a good work environment.
I have a lot of future Zappos employees on my hands.  Surprisingly enough, it isn’t even for the free food that Zappos offers their employees everyday.


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