SHRM11: Passion Is The Word


June 29, 2011

Each time I attend a conference, there seems to be a theme that I hear emerging.  At SHRM 11 Annual Conference, the theme I’m hearing is passion.


Interesting word to throw around at a HR conference, right?  Even so, we talk about having passionate employees, passionate customers, passionate leaders.  The compelling emotion that can connect a person to an organization is the magic ingredient that companies are looking for.  It’s what I heard in two very different sessions.

Delivering Happiness

I began yesterday morning with a keynote presentation by Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos.  As leader of one of the most touted, highly innovative, customer service organizations, he did not disappoint.  Tony shared personal stories, recollections, jokes and challenges he and his company have tackled over the last few years.

The way Zappos actually delivers happiness sounds quite simple.  They view themselves as a, “service company that just happens to sell shoes.”  They take that and focus themselves on being the very best at listening to and serving their customer base.  What are some tactics they employ?

  • They don’t use scripts or have time limits to their calls.
  • They accept returns for 365 days and offer free shipping, both ways.
  • They hire only people who are a true culture fit.  Even if the candidate is highly qualified in other areas, if they are not a culture fit, they do not receive an offer.
  • All company employees go through call center training and man the phones for two weeks.  They must understand how to take calls from real customers in order to be better engaged in the business.
  • Their social media policy is “Be real and use your best judgement”.

By focusing on customer service and then delivering it consistently, they hope that their customers will actually be their marketing evangelists.  It’s a great strategy and is working well for them.  So, the customers show their passion.  The employees too seem to love the work and the company and are certainly passionate about why they are working there.

The real question is how do we capture that and apply it in our own organizations? I’ve heard more than a few people say it sounds so simple but yet it’s seems complex to actually execute.

Stay tuned for my next post where we dive into the application.  I heard some great info from the Ryan Estis session that ties it nicely together.

More soon from SHRM 11…..


Comments are closed.

Screen Shot 2019-12-01 at 17.20.39

About Trish

A former HR executive and HCM product leader with over 20 years of experience.



Related posts

Considerations When Implementing A New HR Technology Strategy

The City of Memphis is going through a HR transformation journey and it is being supported by the technology they are putting in place. Ms. Smith shared some of the challenges, their approaches to those challenges, and some of the early results.

Read More

Ten Conference Commandments for #HRTechConf

Remember, there are many reasons professionals attend conferences.  The reason with the most benefit is networking.  By trying new ways to boost your networking skills and opportunities you will come home knowing you had a successful event!

Read More

Partner with me


Get in touch today to find out more about how I can help your organization leverage HR and HCM technology to attract, onboard, retain and manage top talent.