Zillow, the online real estate site, launched in 2005 with the goal of giving consumers a better way to buy and sell real estate via data access. At the same time, its co-founders wanted to create a successful, empowering workplace culture, especially one that didn't burn people out. Based on the company's current status as a success, both objectives have been met, according to a GeekWire profile.
Today, Zillow Group employs nearly 3,000 people and last month posted quarterly revenue of $208.4 million, a 31% boost from 2015, GeekWire reports.
- The article attributes the company's secret for its phenomenal growth and success to culture, especially its six core values, which are: Act with Integrity; Move Fast, Think Big; Own It; Zillow Group is a Team Sport; Turn on the Lights, and, finally, Winning is Fun.
Dan Spaulding, named as the company's first vice president of people and culture last May, told participants at a conference in downtown Seattle earlier this week that his transition was very smooth because Zillow workers already knew how the company "makes decisions.” Apart from its six core values, Zillow also "comes back to treating people like adults, giving them choice, and living with the outcomes of treating people like adults," he said.
Judging by Zillow's overall experience in creating its company culture, one thing really stands out: the company has continued to keep its eye on the prize during the 11 years since it first launched. Employers and HR leaders often say they want to create a great culture – one that will attract the best talent and keep turnover at bay. But these efforts are sometimes lost in translation; for instance, research shows that employers often have one view of culture, while employees have a completely different perspective.
That doesn't seem to be the case at Zillow, whose Glassdoor reviews are typically in the 4-5 star range. HR leaders may want to dig a bit deeper into the Zillow experience as a case study. Organizations might also improve their learning processes with an eye toward increasing employee engagement.