Learning from Employee Disengagement at Amazon

Learning from Employee Disengagement at Amazon
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Learning from Employee Disengagement Can Be a Critical Ingredient to Talent Management
Believe it or not, Amazon is learning from employee disengagement.  On the face of it, you might think that working at Amazon would be better than where you are currently.  It is the largest Internet-based retailer in the United States and has surpassed retail giant Walmart in terms of market capitalization.

Who wouldn’t want to be part of a winning organization that has a global reach, an internationally recognized brand, and a success story that is unmatched?

Surprisingly, Amazon May Not be Such a Great Place to Work
Several stories of poor working conditions have come to light in recent years.  Amazon has been criticized for the way it treats their warehouse workers by pressuring them to work faster. Their white-collar workers have complained, too, about a performance environment where confrontation is common, hours are long and late, and expectations are unreasonably high.

Amazon Connections
No company wants this kind of black eye. Jeff Bezos, the founder and CEO tried to counter the bad publicity with an email to Amazon employees saying, “I don’t recognize this Amazon, and I very much hope you don’t, either.” But he understood this was not enough to address the issue of employee dissatisfaction.

He knows that, without the support of the workforce and their commitment to the company goals, Amazon’s business results will suffer. And so “Connections” was born with the goal of learning from employee disengagement.  Amazon has launched the employee feedback program to try to get confidential feedback from its workforce on such issues as leadership, career development opportunities, and satisfaction with their jobs.

Employee engagement surveys are certainly a smart first step toward the goal of earning from employee disengagement and resolving any issues that keep Amazon from being a great place to work.

What is the State of Employee Engagement at Your Workplace?
If you are uncertain, you should waste no time in finding out.  While every organization has a unique strategy and culture, studies show levels of disengagement to be between 50-89%.  This is a huge problem for leaders whose success is almost by definition dependent upon the success of those around them.

The Cost of a Disengaged Workforce
When we assess organizational culture, we find that actively disengaged workers are up to 10 times more likely to underperform and look for other opportunities than engaged staff.  And employee engagement is far more than a simple employee retention issue.  According to four recent studies, organizations with lower employee engagement scores have:

  • 12% smaller profits
  • 19% less operating income
  • 28% lower earnings per share

As you might expect, organizations with high employee engagement have 18% greater productivity, 12% higher customer satisfaction, and 51% less attrition.

The Bottom Line
The good news for Amazon and everyone else is that employee engagement can be measured and improved.  If leaders take the right actions to improve employee engagement, business performance can improve dramatically.  Do you know what matters most to your top talent?

To learn more about how to measure employee engagement, download Employee Engagement Mistakes: Are You Aimlessly Engaging Your Employees? 

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