Amazon’s Work Culture – A Classic Case of Mismanagement of ‘Human Resource Data’?

Amazon work culture Mismanagement of HR Data

HR on Cloud

Last weekend, an inside story of Amazon, published by The New York Times, stormed the Internet. The story led to a huge outcry on social media. The outcry was so loud that Amazon’s PR team could not handle it. Mr. Jeff Bezos, CEO of the company, immediately issued a memo. He urged his employees to report such “shockingly callous management practices” (as and when, they come across) to HR department, and reiterated that the company doesn’t encourage the “bruising” and “Darwinian” culture, as described in the said story.

But, how a technology company let it happen?

Everyone acknowledges, and admires Amazon not only as an e-commerce website, but also as a leading TECH GIANT, that has used innovation as a benchmark for customer satisfaction. At a first glance, it appears as if the company did not manage and analyze its human resource data smartly. However, data-driven staff management is a very common practice in the USA. Tushar Bhatia, President of empxtrack, states, “Data-driven human resource management is transforming American workplace. Everyday, I receive hundreds of queries about how to use data to gain better insights about top performers and non-performers in companies. With this data, the companies try to decode the formula that makes an employee perform to the best of their abilities. In Amazon, HR technology solutions are definitely in place. The reason behind the said goof-up appears to be just a human-error”.

How can one avoid such a situation?

Instead of rating employees only once in an year, experts suggest that more frequent internal feedback, and performance ratings by managers (at every level) may help HR department and companies, avoid such embarrassing situations. Lately, Deloitte had conducted a public survey, which revealed that more than half of the executives (58%) are not happy with the existing performance management approach of evaluating an employee just once an year. These executives mentioned that the current approach neither engages employee nor encourages them to improve their performance.

Author’s take

Almost every year, Google bags the award of most popular workplace. What makes it so popular? The company doesn’t have Harry Potter’s magic wand. It just depends on the enormous power of human resource data. Every new employee at Google’s People Analytics department gets a laptop sticker with the slogan: “I have charts and graphs to back me up. So f*** off.” You can achieve this too – all you need to do is ‘study and assess your human resource data’ more seriously.

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