Amazon Turns Its Focus Towards Employee Satisfaction (NASDAQ: AMZN)

Amazon has launched a new initiative to get regular feedback from its employees about their work environments. A new internal system, named Amazon Connections, sends daily questions to employees to collect responses on a wide variety of topics, including job satisfaction, leadership and training opportunities. The company started the program last year at its fulfillment centers and is gradually rolling it out to other departments.

The feedback obtained through Amazon Connections is confidential and is assessed by a team who compiles the answers in daily reports for the company, according to people with knowledge of the initiative. Individual employee responses aren’t anonymous, but the reports contain only aggregated data. Some of the employees submitting responses may be contacted by the team for additional details.

The effort comes two months after a newspaper report revealed that some employees believe the company has become a venue where back-stabbing is encouraged and worker hardships are ignored. In August, a report by the New York Times showed a high level of dissatisfaction within Amazon’s workforce. Based on interviews with more than 100 Amazon employees, the report claimed that workers are held to impossible standards, are encouraged to tear down each other’s ideas, and are expected to work ridiculously long hours.

Amazon’s treatment of warehouse workers has also been roundly criticized by many labor groups. These workers, who are typically on temporary assignments, are under a great deal of pressure to move quickly to get customer orders out the door. There are even reports of workers falling ill or dying on the warehouse floor due to the working pace demanded by Amazon and the staffing agencies that fill the warehouses with workers. However in many of these incidents, the cause of death cannot be conclusively linked to Amazon’s business practices.

The online retailer has pushed back against its portrayal as a pressure cooker that grinds down the weak until they quit. In response to the report, Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos, sent an email to his employees saying,“I don’t recognize this Amazon and I very much hope you don’t, either. More broadly, I don’t think any company adopting the approach portrayed could survive, much less thrive, in today’s highly competitive tech hiring market.”

Receive News & Ratings Via Email - Enter your email address below to receive a concise daily summary of the latest news and analysts' ratings with our FREE daily email newsletter.