Zappos Logo


Have you ever wondered what it might be like to work without a boss? Zappos has you covered.

The billion-dollar online shoe company is testing a "holacracy" system, an environment where employees manage themselves. Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh decided to do away with the traditional corporate-management hierarchy in order to increase self-organization among employees. A holacracy divides employees into multiple groups, called circles, which revolve around their skills and interests, per the Today show

However, if you have an image of running around the office or taking hours-long lunch breaks, that's not quite how it works. While employees have more freedom in their job, they're expected to focus their actions for the good and goals of the shoe company.

"A lot of people think you can do whatever you want," Zappos employee Kelly Wolske said on Today. "And, you can do what you want, as long at what you want to do intersects with the needs of the business and also your skills."

As you can imagine, Zappos has created a circle specifically dedicated to working out the kinks the company might experience while transitioning into this new model. While this new system might sound like a dream for some, others were quick to flee the company. When it was first announced in March, Hsieh offered three months' severance to those who didn't want to make the transition with the company and about 210 workers accepted the deal (Zappos has more than 1,000 employees).

But without managers and bosses, how do employees get promoted? Don't worry, Zappos has figured it all out.

"Employees are given what we call badges based on the skills that they're using in their day-to-day work," said John Bunch, an employee who is part of the transition circle. "As you acquire skills and use them at work, you get promoted."

Would you want to work at a company without bosses? Sound off in the comments below, and watch TV stars grill their own bosses about what's to come on their hit shows!

(E! and NBC are both part of the NBCUniversal family.)

  • Share
  • Tweet
  • Share

We and our partners use cookies on this site to improve our service, perform analytics, personalize advertising, measure advertising performance, and remember website preferences. By using the site, you consent to these cookies. For more information on cookies including how to manage your consent visit our Cookie Policy.