Employee Engagement – Is the Grass Starting to Look Greener for Amazon Employees?

A giraffe is looking over a fence at an expanse of green grass which might be a better place to work

On the face of it, you might think the grass is greener on the other side of the fence at Amazon than where you are currently. It is the largest Internet-based retailer in the United States. It began as an online bookstore but, in the 20 years since it first went online, it has surpassed even retail giant Walmart in the United States 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?

The answer is not so simple. It seems 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 an environment where confrontation is common, hours are long and late, and expectations are unreasonably high.

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.

Connections is an effort at Amazon to learn just what its workers are feeling. Amazon has launched this program to try to get confidential feedback from its workforce on such issues as leadership and development opportunities and satisfaction with their jobs. Assessment of employee engagement is the first step toward 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.  Actively disengaged workers are up to 10 times more likely to under-perform and look for other opportunities than engaged staff.

And employee engagement is far more than a simple retention issue.

According to four recent studies, organizations with lower employee engagement scores have 12% smaller profits, 19% less operating income and 28% lower earnings per share than their higher engaged peers.  Organizations with high employee engagement have 18% greater productivity, 12% higher customer satisfaction and 51% less attrition.

The good news for Amazon and everyone else is that employee engagement can be measured and improved.  And if leaders take the right actions to improve employee engagement, business performance can improve dramatically.

Make sure you are on the right side of the fence when it comes to employee engagement. It can make the difference between success and failure for your desired high performance culture.

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LSA’s Employee Engagement Consulting and Survey work has provided critical visibility into: how well our people are holding up under the general economic environment, as well as, the specific challenges that face biotechnology companies in their efforts to discover and develop new medicines; their level of alignment and commitment to XOMA’s Vision and mission critical strategies; how leadership practices and management systems support an environment that engender commitment, and the specific actions that our leaders can take to improve on areas that are important to our people. I highly recommend LSA’s employee engagement solutions.

Chris Wells
Vice President, HR and IT

LSA Global’s consultant brought a fresh perspective to our behavioral based interviewing strategy for two key executive positions we needed to fill, and their consultant helped us develop questions that produced a much deeper understanding of candidates’ capabilities. I am confident that the two new executives joining our organization have the right skills to add significant value. Throughout the process LSA was also very responsive in dealing with short lead time requests.

Because of the unique nature of our business, Excel is a core application in our accounting organization. After three attempts to find an Excel consultant who is capable of helping our finance team integrate advanced applications into our work processes we found LSA and Alex. He was not only a “Real” Excel expert but was masterful in helping us identify where to use Excel applications in our processes to increase our group’s efficiency.

SPO Partners & Co
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What a personal and professional pleasure it has been to Partner with LSA. They are truly a strategic partner with Wyse. For more than 5 years, LSA has been engaged in delivering various training and development solutions for Wyse, from custom on-site programs targeting specific core competencies, to working individually with clients to build job skills, and offering invaluable services to me and my team as we continue to build our learning programs. LSA’s representatives do more than sell a product, they offer a full service solution: they understand our business, our strategic initiatives, and the needs of our customers.

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The refreshing thing about LSA is that they focus on understanding our business situation and helping me succeed instead of selling a product. With over 150 experts, they are an invaluable resource that helps me deliver higher quality results faster. I recommend them to anyone looking to improve the performance of their workforce.

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We signed up with LSA early on–as their 22nd Member! Since then, our organization’s learning needs have increased and decreased and increased again with the changing times. The beauty of the LSA business model is its flexibility…when we needed to supplement our own internal resources, we used LSA services knowing that we could depend on the outstanding quality of the leadership development and management training programs they provide.

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Over the years, both at 3Com and now at Redback, I’ve found LSA Global to be a valuable resource. The recent compliance program that they delivered for Redback’s executive and management team was the right solution, of the highest of quality, and customized to our business and culture. I would highly recommend LSA to any company looking for top quality solutions.

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Understanding and conforming to legal compliance was very important to our company. We turned to LSA Global to provide a quality and cost effective way to ensure that we were AB 1825 compliant. Their interactive eLearning program was top-notch. It allowed our managers to learn at their own pace, and on their own time. The program was tailored to include our logo and our internal harassment policies. It was interactive and met all federal and state legal requirements. I would highly recommend LSA Global to any company looking for an efficient and effective and top quality way to train their managers to be in compliance.

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Thank you to LSA Global for their partnership and support in helping us to design and roll-out our valuable management development training program. I personally have partnered with LSA Global at four of my previous companies. It continues to be a delight working with LSA. We look forward to partnering with them at Blackhawk Networks for future training and consulting needs.

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On behalf of Roche and my staff I would like to sincerely thank you for your help with this. The English as a Second Language (ESL) assessment and coaching that you provided for our team was a great success.

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