Susy Roberts, 19th October 2015
In July this year Amazon outstripped giant Walmart to become the USA’s most valuable retailer at $250 billion. The company is the perfect example of the modern business ideal, what organisations in the digital age aspire to: disruptive, fast-moving, constantly innovating, and rooted in a core of high-performing staff.
From an HR perspective, it’s easy to sell the positives of being an employee. You join an exciting organisation, with opportunities for promotion, for monetary rewards, for your ideas to be recognised. It’s dynamic and funky, the future of work.
The reality of this kind of environment can be very different – as highlighted by the New York Times in an article which gained worldwide attention and started a debate about the way ‘new’ firms like Amazon operate. Journalists broke through the walls of the highly familiar but also highly remote brand, and spoke with 100 employees about what it really meant to work at Amazon’s HQ in Seattle. The result was a picture of relentless pressures from metrics, the stark divide between winners and losers, managers regularly crying at their desks, a culture of unflinching criticism.