Each “Zalando” is actively writing the success story of our company, every day. We want to offer our current and future employees attractive opportunities and a variety of development possibilities. For us, it is particularly important that every employee has the chance to shape the Zalando story with their own ideas. At the same time, the rapid rate of change in our company and the industry can be very challenging. It is precisely this that motivates us all the more to create a work atmosphere, in which employees can reach their full potential.
What do we need to achieve this? First, we need to create transparency and mutual trust. Only in this way can everybody be empowered to independently make positive and courageous decisions, which contribute to our shared objectives. Equally important is the appreciation of every person as well as their diverse and creative ideas and opinions. At Zalando, everybody has a voice regardless of hierarchies. We want to reimagine fashion – and this is exactly what we aim to enable our team to do. We therefore create a flexible and innovative work environment, which allows us to promote dialogue and constructive feedback, and to maintain our agile and dynamic mode of operation.
Zalandos Are Diverse
At Zalando, inclusion and diversity (I&D) are enshrined in the corporate culture. We employ people from more than 130 nations, of every age and in equal proportions of men and women. We see this diversity as a clear driver of innovation. We are convinced that the more employees with different ideas, attitudes and backgrounds discuss a topic, the better the end result will be. The key is good integration. To succeed in this, we promote active initiatives and develop them further.
One example is cultural awareness training at our logistics centers in Erfurt, Mönchengladbach and Brieselang. We regularly get involved in local social projects, so the knowledge gained is not only deepened in everyday life, but also during voluntary work. Our commitment to I&D is part of our standards. We established these standards to ensure that our employees are provided with good working conditions and attractive development opportunities.
Source: Zalando employee survey (fall 2016, about 2,500 participants)
At Zalando there is a demand for entrepreneurial spirit, the courage to implement one’s own ideas and thereby have an impact on the success of the company. For this, employees need an overview of the required knowledge and the right context to be able to classify information and opportunities, as well as platforms to express their ideas and opinions. One example of how we provide this is in the format of TED talks, in which the Management Board or different teams regularly present specific projects. Employees can openly ask their questions in person or via a system online, and are then answered directly. At Zalando, we also use other formats such as our interactive network zLive or regular “pulse checks,” which are used to conduct assessments of our staff on key issues, such as well-being or the feedback culture itself.
Zalando Thrives on Feedback
Feedback helps us constantly improve our abilities and mode of operation. It is the only way that we will progress. Therefore, Zalando requires and encourages active 360-degree feedback in all areas of the company and across all hierarchies. Our culture is not only based on the fact that we provide our employees with regular feedback, this feedback is also actively requested by every employee and utilized for their personal development. We think that discussions should be constructive and respectful. Smart systems, regular employee and management training, and feedback experts in individual teams all help us ensure this and provide our colleagues with support.