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Amazon.com, Inc. is an international company which was founded in 1996 in North America. The company offers a variety of products and services through its websites. Its products include electronic devices which it manufactures and sells, and also merchandise and contents that it purchases and resells through third party sellers (Head). Other services offered by the company include database offerings, fulfillment, publishing, advertising, and co-branded credit cards. Currently, the company is ranked as the most valuable online retailer in the United States of America with a valuation of $250 billion as per the publication by The New York Times in 2015. Despite of the high performance, Amazon is being faced with employee performance which is likely to negatively impact on its future performance. One of the job performance problems facing the company is ineffective and harsh leadership style which is threatening the motivation of employees (Fraunheim and Lavering). This essay will discuss how the harsh and poor management and leadership skills as job performance problem in Amazon.com.
Incompetent Leadership and Poor Management in the Amazon Company
In the present world, business performance is highly correlated to employee motivation which can be enhanced by favorable workplace environment. It requires a more competent leader and management team. When there is no proper management and leadership in any company, there is likely to be lack of employee commitment as well as reduced performance. In a report of a case study about the management of Amazon, it was found that the company is more focused on results than its employee welfare (Head). Most of the employees who were interviewed said that the company is harsh and unforgiving, and harasses its employees. For example, the company management came up with the most oppressive state of the art surveillance strategy to monitor performance of its employees (Fraunheim and Lavering). With the device, the company tags its employees with personal satellite navigation which monitor the routes they take to shelve consignment and also set target time for their travel journeys. When these set out targets are not met, employees might face sack without notice or communication (Head). The Amazon employees are also not allowed to question the decision by the management to increase output with unmatched remuneration (Head).
From the above findings from the company about the style of management and leadership, it is crystal clear that as much as Amazon.com is a company which boasts of high performance, its management is still based on scientific management theory where employees are viewed as machines to produce results. However, considering on how both former employees and current ones complain about the management, it is obvious that most of them feel de-motivated and this is a real problem affecting the company.
How the Principles and Concepts of Stress and Motivation Theory Matter on Problem of Inefficient Leadership and Poor Management, and How They can be applied to Offer Solution to the Problem
In an organization like Amazon.com where the management is result oriented rather than balance between employee welfare and production, it is highly likely that the job might turn up to be highly stressful. In the organization for instance, employees are faced with the task of accomplishing unrealistic standards without meaningful appreciation in return from the management (Head). Reports have shown that warehouse jobs in the company have pushed workers to physical limits making the work very stressful. When human beings are not appreciated by the authorities they work for, they suffer from psychological torture which eventually build into stress (Head).
Additionally, harassment of employees by the management brings a scenario where people work without passion which lowers job satisfaction and self-esteem. It is always important for the management to understand that every employee has other life challenges to deal with and proper strategies should be put in place to avoid further stressful environment at workplace (Herein). Stress could also result into depression and substance abuse of the employees which definitely impact negatively on their production efficiency. When a leader or a manager fails to treat employees as professionals, but chooses to act like a small god, it also interferes with effective communication between supervisor and employee which is very dangerous for organization performance (Herein).
Employee motivation also matter when it comes to management and leadership. Under proper management leadership and management, workers always feel part and parcel of the organization they work for. In return they feel satisfied with the work they do and tend to give their best for the company (Hein). A good manager should ensure that his employees are well compensated for the work they do, and that the workers are actively involved in decision making process. Setting realistic goals for employees and effective communication between employee and employer are aspects which are very important in motivating employees. Moreover, a manager with proper management and leadership skills should ensure that the employees are assured of their job security (Hein). Otherwise, the management style experienced by employees in Amazon kills employee morale and job satisfaction.
To provide solution to the problem the concept of stress management in the organization can be applied to help the management adjust their attitude towards employees. For example the human resource management should organize psychology training programs for the management as well as the employees to help them cope with the situations. Trainings should also focus on motivation of employees by designing programs which enhance employee and management relationship as well as proper remuneration programs (Hein).
The first recommendation to solve the problem is to provide training to the management on how to provide servant leadership rather than autocratic style of management. This can be achieved by providing training on how to understand each and every employee’s strengths and weaknesses and appreciate them rather than condemn them. Designing important ways to enhance effective communication as well as being realistic to the fact that people are not machines is very important in enhancing employ commitment towards organizations goals and expectations. One way of achieving this is by organizing open forums where workers share their experiences and challenges without being penalized. Finally there should be proper reward and remuneration structure commensurate to the task performed to enhance employee motivation.
Amazon is ranked as the best online company in USA, but it seems like the management system has not accepted the changing trends in the business world which could affect its employee performance in the long run. It is very important that the organization to consider the employee concerns about the harsh and hyper-competitive management which might affect their market performance and employee turnover.
- Fraunheim, Ed and Robert Lavering. “What Amazon’s workplace controvercy says about the future of work.” Future of work (2015).
- Head, Simon. Worse than Wal-Mart: Amazon’s sick brutality and secret history of ruthlessly intimiating workers. New York, (2014).
- Hein, Helle Hedegaard. “The Motivation and Management of Highly Specialized Creative Employees.” Understanding Organizations in Complex, Emergent and Uncertain Environments (2015)