The Amazon Experience
Every organization has its distinct way of operations. The operations are guided by the organization’s rules, regulations, and policies towards the achievement of set goals. Counteractively, this changes the way consumers view an organization, either in good or bad light. The consumer population has various demographics in which, one can find family, friends, and relatives of an employee in an organization. The mentioned people can influence the other consumers’ perception because they have close people who they care for, working as employees in an organization. The New York Times featured Amazon’s way of working and ignited a lot of controversy between the two companies as well as consumers. In this paper, I seek to find the advantages the Amazon culture brings along with it, and whether it affects future purchases regarding the factors that led to the existent organizational culture at Amazon.
Several merits can be realized in Amazon’s working culture. The merits are as a result of the strict, aggressive, and aggressive policies that Amazon sets for its workers with an overall purpose of quality output. The merits include sharpening of skills, increasing of production potential, quality production, consumer satisfaction, and increases profit margins. At Amazon, an employee is bound to sharpen his or her skills beyond levels he or she thought would be impossible. Although the company sharpens one’s skills, it only hires the best, which means it brings the best out of the best. I find it motivational being an expert and still being pushed further beyond your limits to achieve more. This means new ways of an individual’s job description will be innovated through the much commitment and performance required. That can be seen in the Amazon employee interviews “Some said they thrived at Amazon precisely because it pushed them past what they thought they were their limits” (Kantor and Streitfield 1). The end result is that an employee will accrue a lot of experience over a short time as his her skills are sharpened.
Production potential is increased and driven to the maximum. The maximum working hours provide more time for production, which means more output. The company believes in commitment and “deep diving” according to its chief executive officer, Jeff Bezos. Commitment and deep diving are elements of work that require passion, self-drive, and vision. If I have passion, as an employee I will not mind extra hours as long as they are compensated for in terms of benefits or more wages. As a self-driven person, I expect minimum to no supervision because I know what is required of me by the organization and is much of discipline. I, will therefore, become organized and determined to do better. Vision relates to the alignment of an employee’s work with the organization’s goals. As such, employees at Amazon increase their performance, which in turn increases production potential.
The company’s competitive edge dictates quality production. Amazon stresses that it strives to be ahead of its competitors. Therefore, the company engages its resources for innovations that grant it an appropriate place in its industry. The company employs top talent, which includes excellent engineers. “Within Amazon the employees are often described as “athletes” with endurance, speed, and performance that can be measured.” The employees are therefore needed to engage their knowledge in research and come up with innovative ways for quality production. Given that the best talents and intellectuals are at Amazon, the brainstorming of the people there is highly resourceful. Although, the employees are overstretched to meet the company’s ambitions and quality, informed ideas are brought forward. The company is able to use the results of the research in secrecy and maintain a way ahead its competitors in its industry. Notably, the company expects every employee to sign a lengthy agreement, which prioritizes secrecy of the organization’s information. The agreement is inclusive of every employee in the organization; it also encompasses the junior level employees doing casual work. All this in a bid to maintain a competitive edge.
Consumer satisfaction has much relatedness with increasing profit margins. Amazon is all about making the consumer satisfied and making more profits. This is seen through the company’s improved efforts in requiring each employee to become more innovative and committed to delivering excellent service to the customers. Critics have argued that Amazon takes much care of its customers more than its employees. This is because employees are always working even during lunch hour. Some employees even cite difficulties in finding a balance between work and family because of the demands the work at Amazon wants to be fulfilled. The two entities that benefit from this paragraph’s context are consumers and the organization in general. Consumers are able to get products and services that are exemplary, which ensures their continued customer satisfaction and continued loyalty. Moreover, the company is able to make more profits through increased consumerism and loyalty. Despite the fact that the company provides little free time for its employees, more profits are being made by reducing expenses such as tea and lunch for the employees. This leads this me to ethical questions about Amazon.
As earlier said, how a company treats its employees might affect purchasing choices from its customers. Apart from good salary proposition and rewards, employees need to be given, time for their families, time to relax and prepare for the next day for work, and incentives that show the company cares. Amazon does not consider these ethical considerations for work. This is the reason why the company has seen high employee turnover over years. Nonetheless, the company continues binding employees with strict policies, which are meant to make them stay by signing agreements “. As such, I find company selfish and does not treat its employees ethically right, making the company a good target for any rival company that intends to poach Amazon’s employees. The company lacks integrity through discriminating employees. Employees who have terminal illnesses such as cancer are considered not fit to work. If I were a cancer patient, this would be discriminatory and disheartening showing how unethical Amazon is. Employees who have worked at Amazon say that finding a balance between work and family is the last entity in their priority list. This is because the work is very demanding and leaves petite free time, for an employee to rest and wake up for another workday. Amazon does not take care of its employee’s small necessities or rather treats at work. Tea and lunch breaks are seemingly unavailable due to the much workload. There are no provisions for tea and lunch in such busy schedules as Amazon employee interviews denote “Amazon, though, offers no pretense that catering to employees is a priority.” As a human would like to operate in an environment that I feel comfortable and free to have a balance between work and life or family.
As a consumer, I will be affected by the review of Amazon while making purchases. People have an emotional connection with others in different forms. Seeing other people being overworked to present a consumer with a quality product can be a turnoff. Personally, as a consumer I can get emotional and choose a substitute for an Amazon product. Worse yet is when, the consumer is a family member of one of the employees at Amazon. The consumer is most likely not to purchase an Amazon product; if possible, the buyer will try to convince as many as possible consumers not to purchase and Amazon product.
Conclusively, the Amazon work culture is developmental, visionary and innovative but unethical. Striking a balance between work and life is important. If an organization does not give a window for getting such a balance, high employee turnover is likely to take place as is with Amazon’s case. However much an employee is committed and has passion, overworking will result to stress, fatigue and demotivation that is detrimental to the company and consumer population.
Kantor, Jodi and David Streitfield. “Inside Amazon: Wrestling Big Ideas in a Bruising Workplace.” The New York Times 15 August 2015: 1. Article. 3 December 2015. <http://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/16/technology/inside-amazon-wrestling-big-ideas-in-a-bruising-workplace.html?_r=0>.