Amazon is an innovative tech giant. Working there must be incredibly exciting. But according to some reports, it’s also pretty brutal. The New York Times recently published an exposé, to which Amazon’s CEO responded. A key question has to do with the extent to which employees opt in to Amazon’s unique workplace culture. If some people love it, is that good enough? Or does the fact that some people hate it mean that the company must change? >>>
LINK: Inside Amazon: Wrestling Big Ideas in a Bruising Workplace (by Jodi Kantor & David Streitfeld in NY Times)
At Amazon, workers are encouraged to tear apart one another’s ideas in meetings, toil long and late (emails arrive past midnight, followed by text messages asking why they were not answered), and held to standards that the company boasts are “unreasonably high.” The internal phone directory instructs colleagues on how to send secret feedback to one another’s bosses. Employees say it is frequently used to sabotage others. (The tool offers sample texts, including this: “I felt concerned about his inflexibility and openly complaining about minor tasks.”)
[According to one former employee] “You walk out of a conference room and you’ll see a grown man covering his face,” he said. “Nearly every person I worked with, I saw cry at their desk….”
Then, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos responded:
LINK: Jeff Bezos says Amazon won’t tolerate ‘callous’ management practices (by Jodi Kantor & David Streitfeld in Globe & Mail)
…Jeff Bezos, the retail giant’s founder and chief executive, said he did not recognize the workplace portrayed in the article and urged any employees who knew of “stories like those reported” to contact him directly.
“Even if it’s rare or isolated, our tolerance for any such lack of empathy needs to be zero,” Bezos said in an email circulated to all the retailer’s employees….
What do you think?