How Zappos’ Unlikely Partnership With Fender Is Boosting Employee Morale

Zappos has long been recognized for job perks and out-of-the-box amenities at its Las Vegas corporate headquarters. Today, the company has announced yet another improvement to the company’s workplace offerings.

In an unlikely partnership with popular guitar manufacturer Fender, Zappos has launched its “Strum for the Sole” program — a wellness benefit that encourages employees to learn to play an instrument.

Zappos' "jam room" as part of its "Strum for the Sole" program with Fender.
Zappos employees in the “jam room” as part of the company’s “Strum for the Sole” program with Fender.
CREDIT: Zappos

As part of the new initiative, workers who opt in will be taught how to use a guitar or bass with the Fender Play digital app. They also have access to the company’s “jam room,” a space outfitted with the storied guitar brand’s instruments, amps and accessories. (Zappos will also give employees discounts to purchase select items on Fender.com.)

“Practicing and learning a musical instrument is proven to reduce stress, develop patience and creativity, and build confidence and concentration,” said Bhawna Provenzano, director of employee benefits and diversity at Zappos. “These are skills that we feel will better the lives of our employees both at the workplace and at home.”

As one of the country’s largest online shoe and apparel retailers, Zappos has earned a reputation for going the extra mile for customers as well as employees. (Among the facilities found in the company’s headquarters are a rooftop basketball court, napping rooms surrounded by fish tanks and a dog park.) In a statement, the retailer shared that the “Strum for the Sole” program aims to reduce stress and promote creativity while encouraging a work-life balance for employees.

“We’re proud to have developed a product that people can use to positively impact their everyday life in a myriad ways, spanning physical, mental and emotional wellbeing,” said Mary Keenan, Fender Play director of product.

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