Earth’s best employer? It can't be solved with money alone.

Earth’s best employer? It can’t be solved with money alone.

Amazon made the news recently for increasing base salaries. They raised the base salary for white collar workers from a maximum of $160K to a potential of $350K. This comes on top of a rise from $15 to $18 per hour for warehouse workers last year. 

As the employer of 1.6m team members with the self stated goal of becoming ”Earth’s Best and Safest Employer”, these are positive signs right? 

Unfortunately not. They are short term responses to a critical issue for Amazon. 

See, no one wants to work for them. 

The average warehouse tenure is eight months. They lost 50 vice presidents last year. 

And without workers, they can’t fulfil orders. Drats.

But when you trap the world’s largest business in a corner, what do they have up their sleeves? Money. Surely, that will solve the problem of The Great Resignation? 

Money is the simple solution. The problems run deeper that. 

Amazon employees are notoriously stressed and strained from the demands of the job – especially in the warehouse. Serious injuries at Amazon warehouses in 2020 was twice that of other US warehouses. There are a number of policies – such as pausing pay increases and vesting stock during maternity leave – that had to be made public to be overturned. 

It’s not a secret culture. It’s public and very well known. 

There are published employee stories from the delivery driver who had to pee into a bottle to hit targets to leadership advice of “if you’re going to succeed at Amazon, you need to be a dick.”

This is a cultural problem not a remuneration one. Amazon are valuing short term results and market growth over treating their team right. 

So what does this have to do with you? 

I think it’s a great chance to take a moment and think about where you work. Is the culture and care for employees consistently good? Or does it waiver depending on what is happening in the market – and the bottom line. 

If it is the former, do a happy dance. 

These organisations have people built into the core. Good or bad market, they treat people right. Your leadership don’t overwork you to the point of exhaustion, they don’t try and strip away crucial benefits and they genuinely care about you as a person. Whether it is big things like matching market salaries or small things like a bit of leniency if your dog gets sick, consistency is a really great sign. 

If it’s the former, be careful. There are many lines on a spreadsheet and you are likely one of them.

It’s not something we might think about everyday but is worth pausing and appreciating if you have a people centric culture. Even the world’s biggest company can’t get it right.

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Author avatar
Nathan Bush
Nathan is a director at eSuite. He is an eCommerce strategist who has operated in the retail trenches as well as being a consultant and agency partner. Nathan has been named Top 50 People in eCommerce four years in a row and hosts the Add To Cart podcast.
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