January 25, 2022
Recent reports suggest that Amazon.com and its divisions have a serious HR issue on their hands. Many of the company’s skilled technical personnel leave the company after determining that the benefits of working for Amazon do not align with their personal and/or professional goals.
Both Bloomberg and Business Intern reported that company staff objected to what they saw as a demanding and unrealistic work environment, combined with personnel policies that benefited Amazon financially while leaving them feeling aggrieved.
Sarah Schnierer, senior program manager at Amazon, recently resigned from the company. Before leaving, Ms. Schnierer, who was part of an internal affinity group known as Momazonians, said she was disappointed with what she sees as Amazon’s lack of progress on issues important to its businesses. workers and their children in recent years.
“Although it has been an incredibly rewarding place to work, the pressure is often relentless and sometimes unnecessary,” she wrote. “Employees are exhausted.”
M/s. Schnierer challenged a company policy that freezes scheduled salary increases and stock distribution when employees are forced to take parental or medical leave. The company has since changed its policy to give workers 26 weeks off before instituting a freeze.
Business Intern reports that Amazon management has reviewed its compensation plans to see if any changes are needed to retain its best employees. People working at Amazon who spoke to the publication said there was “an attrition crisis in the company”, with engineers and senior executives skipping over pay issues and of corporate culture.
Ms Schnierer expressed surprise that she lasted five and a half years working at Amazon.
“I knew many teams whose version of flexibility was to recognize that emails wouldn’t be answered until midnight,” she said.
Bloomberg points out that the stress of working at Amazon may seem even worse given that the company’s compensation strategy hasn’t held up well considering its stock price has fallen 24% since July.
Amazon is capping salaries at $160,000 for its white-collar staff with stock awards added to that vest over four years. The company’s compensation package has become less competitive with falling stock prices, prompting some highly skilled workers to leave for other companies that offer better wages in less pressured environments.
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Is the turnover of skilled workers at Amazon depicted in recent reports consistent with or lower than what is seen at other large companies? What would you advise Amazon or a company in a similar situation to do?
“Is the turnover of skilled workers at Amazon described in recent reports in line with or lower than what is seen at other large companies?”