How Amazon’s ‘no warning’ policy may make life difficult for its employees

How Amazons no warning policy may make life difficult for its employees

Performance improvement plans (or Pips) are one of the most dreaded things for any employee. If you are ‘put in Pip’ then it is usually a sign that you may have to start looking for a new job. But for people working at Amazon things are scarier. As part of Amazon’s ‘Focus’ performance management tool, your manager is not supposed to warn you if your performance is being monitored, as per a report by The Seattle Times.

Amazon doesn’t want its employees to know that their performance is not up to the mark and their work is under scrutiny. In other words, you won’t even get to know if you are already ‘put in Pip’. And before you officially get to know that you have been a low performing employee, you may lose your job at Amazon.

As per Amazon’s policy, the employee will get to know whether or not their performance is under scrutiny only when he or she asks the manager.

When employees face the Focus tool at Amazon, there’s a chance that he or she may be “pressured” to quit. “Amazon tracks the number of employees in Focus in the context of meeting its goal for “unregretted attrition,” the roughly 6% of office employees Amazon hopes to pressure out of the company each year, according to internal Amazon human resources documents,” as per the report by The Seattle Times.

The report added that Amazon wants over one-third of low performing employees tracked by the Focus tool to “fail the program” and leave the company. The only thing is that employees will never get to know that the Focus tool is tracking their performance.

The report also mentioned that some employees got to know that they are in Focus “by accident” after they had applied for a transfer to another team. “They described the experience of not knowing whether they were on Focus, or how to get off, as emotionally draining,” it added.


Top Comment

Very poor policy making by Amazon. In order to have a winning team it’s important to not treat your employees as adversaries but as fellow team members. There may be a lot of employees with plenty of potential but who, for various reasons, may be performing below par. Add to this factors such as office politics, nepotism etc. and it’ll make the current policy unproductive for Amazon.

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