Dianne Crampton, founder of TIGERS Success Series, includes several business case studies in the book about leaders who built their successful “bottom-up” companies with principles of collaboration. Zappos.com was Founded in 1999, the company sold in 2009 to Amazon.com for $850 million.

Zappos.com business culture conforms closely to the six principles of collaboration described in Crampton’s book. These principles or values are trust, interdependence,genuineness, empathy, risk and success. Crampton’s simple and pragmatic approach teaches that any company with 2 to thousands of employees will benefit from the principles that serve as a foundation for the book.

One specific value, empathy, is formally displayed in Zappo.com‘s work culture. Here is how.

  • The company gives a weekly Random Acts of Kindness Award to employees who have shown compassion or friendship in helping other team members.
  • Customer service policies are developed from the perspective of what would make the customer most satisfied.
  • Reasoning through what employees need to be better thinkers and more comfortable during the work day, the company provides complimentary bottled water and food.
  • The company subscribes to services such as laundry pick-up and delivery, massage, and other personal services, and passes along cost savings to employees to help them with chores during work hours so that days off can be for rest and renewal.

Zappos leaders believe that empathy drives their objective of building positive relationships through open and honest team communications. If employees truly desire to understand others, they are less likely to think in terms of “Us” and “Them.” They believe that this attitude helps resolve conflict and builds kindness and happiness in the workplace.