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What Fortune Says


No. 10 Camden Property Trust, 1,896 employees: “Good times are built into the business at apartment-manager Camden, whose founders are known for practical jokes and impersonations.”


No. 14 Robert W. Baird & Co., 2,612 employees: “Seventy- eight percent of this financial-services firm is owned by non-senior management.”


No. 31 Zappos.com, 1,243 employees: “CEO Tony Hsieh is spending $350 million to develop the entire neighborhood [surrounding Zappos’ new HQ in downtown Las Vegas] so employees will have access to great places to live and socialize, too.”


No. 75 Microsoft Corporation, 55,455 employees: “The company’s campus outside Seattle has a new health cen- ter with primary care, a pharmacy, a chiropractic clinic, lab tests, and wellness coaching.”


No. 83 Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, 12,763 employ- ees: “Every location of the luxury hotelier has a committee of employees from all departments that meets monthly with the general manager to discuss workplace concerns.”


THEY SPREAD THEIR MESSAGE Although there are some Best Companies to Work For that jealously guard the secrets that make them great, online shoe retailer Zappos is not one of them. Instead, founder and CEO Tony Hsieh wrote a combination memoir and management tome called Delivering Happiness, which shares with the world his company’s philosophical foun- dation — and tells other enterprises how they, too, can be like Zappos. This share-and-share-alike impulse carries


over to three-day “boot camps” that are planned by Emaile Hill, Zappos’ events samurai (her actual title), which other companies travel from all over the world to Zappos’ headquarters in Las Vegas to attend. The boot camps happen alongside Zappos’


quarterly all-hands meetings, and their focus is to teach other companies about the shoe merchant’s business, and how Zappos made it to where it is today, in terms of its successes in both business and company culture. “The biggest piece of it is just the ‘delivering


happiness’ aspect of it, and us wanting to change the world in that regard,” Hill said. “We want to have happier people, especially in the workplace,


50 PCMA CONVENE JULY 2013


because you spend so much time there.” Zappos has been holding its boot camps for


nearly four years now, and has had as many as 38 people from 10 different companies take part at any one time. Attendees get two days in the classroom, hearing from various Zappos depart- ments, and on day three they participate in the 1,500-employee all-hands meeting. “They are totally infused in our culture for


three days,” Hill said. Indeed, culture is the boot camp’s main focus, from the importance of Zap- pos’ culture to its mission and business, to how that culture has had such a positive impact on the company. In a significant validation for this strategy,


several companies whose employees attended a boot camp later went on to be named to a local or industry-specific Best Company to Work For list.


“Any time we get that kind of feedback is definitely a proud moment for the organization,” Hill said,


“as well as for us to know that we’ve been a part of their journey to help get them there.”


. Hunter R. Slaton is a writer and editor based in Brooklyn. PCMA.ORG


ON THE WEB


Learn more about Fortune magazine’s 100 Best Companies to Work For at money.cnn


.com/magazines/ fortune/ best-companies.


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