What is Amazon’s responsibility to its Employees? Then, what is Amazon’s responsibility to its customers regarding the company’s employees? Does the company have an obligation to its patronage to treat its employees with respect and dignity? What Amazon does not give its customers, in terms of service, is the gratifying experience of doing business with a company that believes in the value and dignity of its employees.
I’ve been an Amazon customer since 2005. I have bought a lot of books, and a lot of other cool stuff from Amazon, for myself, family, and friends. I am on my third Kindle, although, all three have been gifts. (I prefer reading traditional, printed books, although I like the convenience of the Kindle in certain settings.)
As a long-term customer, I, for one, say, yes, Amazon does owe it to me to pay the workers who fill my orders a living wage and provide them with a healthy, secure work environment. As a customer, I am willing to pay an extra $.25 per item to ensure this, and I am willing to remove my business if it is not ensured, even if I suffer a little inconvenience in finding other companies to fill my orders, of which there are many. Or, I can drive downtown to a store. In fact, even though I get a limited ten percent employee discount, I just don’t buy much from Amazon anymore.
Customer-centricity among Tier One workers is a myth. I have never heard a Tier One employee mention the words. Employees care about working, getting paid, and going home to pay a few bills and spend a couple days with their families and friends.
Many SDF8 managers know my name because I am a squeaky wheel. I think one has to be a squeaky wheel at Amazon, or one just has to take what it gives you. Possibly, the only way to resolve these issues is for all of the hundreds of thousands of Amazon employees to squeak together. It is my belief that Amazon has the ability, power, and resources to be an employee-centric company to the very extent that it strives to be a customer-centric company. That is, a no-holds-barred, unfaltering commitment to the employee. It is also my belief that this commitment to the employee can only strengthen the company’s commitment to its customers worldwide. Employee satisfaction and customer satisfaction are not mutually exclusive. Every company chooses how it will manage both.