Inside Amazon’s Worst Human Resources Problem

“Inadequate service levels,” “deficient processes,” and systems “prone to delay and error” were all warned about in company memos.

Amazon’s current predicament is a stark reminder of how the company’s employees were routinely neglected as the company grew to dominate retail. As a result of customers’ desire for fast delivery, Amazon built cutting-edge package processing facilities that far outpaced its competitors. However, many long-term employees claim that the company did not devote enough resources and attention to the way it served their needs.

According to Bethany Reyes, who was recently given the task of overhauling the company’s leave policy, “We’ve been focused on that a lot because we’ve optimised for the customer experience. She made it clear that the company was making great efforts to re-arrange its priorities in this regard.

Increasing scrutiny is being directed at the company’s treatment of its massive workforce, which currently numbers over 1.3 million and is growing rapidly. It is claimed that the company does not adequately protect warehouse workers’ safety and that it unfairly punishes employees who speak out against the company. Angry at the minute-by-minute tracking of their productivity, workers in Alabama staged a unionisation threat against the company this year.

An investigation by The Times in June found that the company’s leave process was clogged during the pandemic, one of a number of employment lapses that occurred at a time of financial success. A promise to become “Earth’s best employer” has been emphasised by Amazon since then. New CEO Andy Jassy recently cited the company’s leave policy as an area where it can show its commitment to improvement. At a recent event, he admitted that the process “didn’t work the way we wanted it to.”

A few days ago, Amazon responded in detail to the most recent findings about the problems with their leave programme, which Ms. Reyes described as the “pain points” and the “pay issues.” “The most dire issue you could have,” she said of the erroneous terminations. Hundreds of new employees are being hired, systems are being streamlined and connected, communication is being clarified, and HR staff members are being trained to be more empathetic.

However, there are still many problems that have led to catastrophic breakdowns. During the spring of this year, a Tennessee warehouse worker abruptly stopped receiving disability payments, leaving his family unable to afford food, transportation, or medical care.