Amazon, a renowned online retailer, has gained a positive reputation in the global market. Despite its positive reputation that is known to its clients around the world, little is known about the internal activities or what may be termed as “behind-the-scenes operations” that are conducted in the company. This paper provides a report of the ethical problems and challenges that employees have been undergoing while working at Amazon, all in the name of ensuring quality customer service. In addition, the report will also provide recommendations and their implications. Companies should adhere to ethical employment practices and promote employee welfare.
While it is regarded as one of the best online retailers globally, Amazon has experienced several human resource problems related to compensation and benefits, recruitment and selection, and occupational safety.
The analysis of the problems experienced at amazon is discussed below. The problems are related to issues such as recruitment and selection, occupational safety, performance management, and compensation and benefits.
There have been several reports regarding the nature of the environment in which employees at Amazon have had to work for a long period of time. For instance, the employees have secretly reported in interviews that they have been forced to work in a highly heated environment while being pressured to be more productive (Soper 1). Other reports, also reported that Amazon employees at the warehouse in eastern Pennsylvania had to work in an environment with over 100-degrees of heat (Kantor and Streitfeld 7). Indeed, the employees at the company have been undergoing difficulty working in such harsh conditions.
At Amazon, employees are forced to review lengthy printouts within a limited time, and random questions are asked while they are expected to answer correctly (Kantor and Streitfeld 7). Additionally, Kantor and Streitfeld (7) report that answers like “I’m not sure” are regarded as stupid. In addition, workers are also threatened with termination of employment before they begin their shifts as a way of motivation (Soper 10). As a result, there has been increased work pressure at the company.
Compensation and Benefits
Over the recent past, employees at Amazon have raised complaints of receiving less compensation as compared to what offer by the company. According to Soper (2), the company has been limiting its liability when it comes to unemployment and insurance by contracting an external company to get temporary workers. For this reason, Amazon has been paying its employees lower wages than usual.
Recruitment and Selection
Recruitment has been a recurrent problem at Amazon. The company has been employing temporary workers with the help of an external human resource firm known as Integrity Staffing Solution (ISS) (Soper 1). As a result, the company has not been hiring permanent staff in order to evade employee benefits, such as insurance covers.
In order to solve the above organizational problems, the following recommendations can be put in place:
Installment of Safety Equipment
The installation of safety equipment like air conditioners will help in the reduction of heat levels experienced by employees at Amazon warehouses. Also, the company can establish a clinic to treat employees who are overwhelmed with high heat levels.
Establishment of a Functional HR Department
A functional HR department will ensure an effective and appropriate appraisal of employee performance. Consequently, Amazon can promote its employees based on performance and competence instead of continuous replacement of staff members. By doing so, employees can experience satisfaction and fairness in terms of job promotion.
Payment of Appropriate Salaries and Incentives
Salaries and incentives are some of the effective motivational factors for an employee. Therefore, if Amazon can pay its workers’ salaries that match the level of work they do, the company can reduce the rate of employee turnover. Additionally, the company will be able to reduce the expense of having to employ new employees from ISS.
Development of an Internal Recruitment Team
The establishment of an internal recruitment team will ensure the appropriate recruitment of temporary laborers based on certain competencies that could be reviewed to employ them permanently. In this case, the managers will not have to make empty promises of permanent employment to their employees.
Consequently, the recommendations will have short and long-term implications for the company, as discussed below.
By implementing the recommendations, they will experience an influx in the number of employees who will be willing to work on a permanent basis. This means that it will no longer have to employ workers on a regular basis. Furthermore, Amazon will also be able to hire temporary but qualified personnel who could be considered for permanent employment.
Subsequently, with an increased number of qualified employees, Amazon will be able to cut down on the cost of hiring new workers. In addition, the company will also experience low levels of employee turnover as a result of enhanced customer satisfaction. Another long-term implication is that the company will enhance its reputation based on how it is perceived by the employees. For this reason, Amazon workers will have a lot of positive statements to say about the company.
Overall, Amazon has had a long-term reputation in the online market. However, most of its employees have had different views about how they are treated at work. Consequently, there have been several internal problems experienced by the company related to occupational safety, performance management, compensation, and benefits, as well as recruitment and selection of workers. Nevertheless, recommendations, including installation of safety equipment and payment of appropriate salary and incentives, can be ensured to resolve the problems at the company. By doing so, the company can save on extra costs involved in the recruitment of workers.
Jodi Kantor and David Streitfeld. “Inside Amazon: Wrestling Big Ideas in a Bruising Workplace”. The New York Times, 2021. Web.
Soper, Spencer. “Inside Amazon’s Warehouse”. The Morning Call, 2015. Web.