Grant a wish at work

I’ve previously blogged about the American company Zappos and how happy they are. I’ve had the opportunity to visit them several times and their energy, vision and culture blows me away every time.

My good friend Jamie Naughton who works for Zappos recently sent me this video from one of their all-hands meetings. This clip is from the Zappos Wishez part of the program:

Here’s a video that explains the program a little more and shows some examples of previously granted wishes:

I love this program because it ties into two of the most important things that make us happy. First of all, the happiness research shows that the best way to become happier yourself is to make someone else happy. I think it says something incredibly positive about us human beings as a species, that we gain the most happiness from increasing the happiness of others.

Also, this program builds positive relationships inside the organization, again one of the most important drivers of happiness in the workplace.

Your take

What do you think? Does your workplace have something like this? Could it work? What would it mean to you be able to make a wish or grant one? Please write a comment, I’d love to hear your take.

9 thoughts on “Grant a wish at work”

  1. I totally agree with you on this one Alex. Focusing on other people forces us to stop thinking about our troubles. The problem starts when we start whining and worrying about what isn’t going right in our own lives. If we started (and ended) each day by counting our blessings, we’d be much happier human beings. I think that being in the position of granting someone’s wish (there are non-profits in Vancouver, BC – such as the Make A Wish Foundation – created expressly for this purpose) is really powerful and magical. I think we should take the opportunity to do so (grant someone else’s wish) whenever possible.

  2. I think that is a pretty cool fact about humans as well. That is why when we lost our youngest son Ricky in a car wreck two years ago, we started promoting teen driving safety. The more people we save, the better we feel.

  3. You know, I read your blog on and off. This was an outstanding post. I love the Zappos model and the people of Zappos seem really cool as well.

    One thing I really try to teach at the company I work for is B.I.G. The concept of BIG says:

    Build relationships first.
    Improve the business second.
    Get the right results third.

    Sometimes we forget the importance of the genuine connection. When I invest time getting to know someone else from a real perspective I always wind up with a friend, better trust, and ultimately it makes my job easier as a change agent in a fortune 500 company.

    Thank you for an outstanding blog and post.

  4. Love this! As I watched the videos I couldn’t help but think that “Wishez” could be a fun way to connect and build relationships among people within all different kinds of communities: schools, associations, clubs, churches, etc.

  5. Alexander,

    I hope you are well! I have to say that most all of the wishez that are granted are pretty cool, but this particular one hit me like a truck. I went through the process of Green card- to – Citizenship here in the US and I know what it takes (a lot of time and a lot of money). I don’t know if there were any dry eyes in that theater.

    The program is great, because it lets you see what you can do for others, and as you mentioned, that helps us to see the big picture and become happier! (as a disclaimer to those who don’t know me, I work for Zappos Insights)

    Keep up the good work helping people become happier! Next time you are in town be sure to stop by, we’d love to see you again!

  6. This is cutting edge stuff! It couldn’t be simpler! I agree so much but so few companies do this… it’s a pity. This type of companies promote a good relation between boss-employee. But if your companie’ s culture is not like Zappos you may want to take a look at this and get a clearer picture of your job environment.

  7. I think this approach will definitely work in any organization where employers are making an effort to nurture happiness. It’s contagious once you start reaching out and putting a smile on the faces of others.


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