Amazon: Employee Work Engagement

Topic: HR Management
Words: 3123 Pages: 11

Work engagement refers to how an employee expresses an inclination or preference of themselves in the discharge of tasks in their places of work to enhance the relationships between work and themselves, which can boost self-productivity in the emotional, physical, and cognitive dimensions of a person. The definition of work engagement cannot be complete without a clear understanding of the three dimensions or constructs. Cognitive work engagement is founded on effectiveness: for effectiveness to be achieved in the workplace, employees need to exercise rationality and consciousness. Emotional work engagement is based on the idea of psychological activity in the workplace; it involves the ability of an employee to control their feelings when exercising their duties. Physical work engagement is founded on physical engagement in whichever type of activity; employees apply their bodily vigor to finish specific tasks.

Proper work engagement ensures a reduction in absenteeism in the workplace. If employees are happy with what they do and satisfied with the benefits attached to their efforts, they will constantly fulfill their duties in the place of work. Good work engagement enhances the productivity and efficiency of employees. If employees feel appreciated and valued in the workplace, they develop a positive attitude towards work. They work tirelessly, knowing that their efforts will not go unrewarded or unrecognized, their productivity is optimized. Effective work engagement improves the safety of employees. When employees exercise their duties in the right state of their minds, they are likely to make fewer mistakes and cause minimal accidents hence promoting safety.

Good working engagement ensures that employees experience minimal stress levels, hence improving their health and performance. Proper work engagement provides a low turnover rate of employees. If employees relate well with their jobs in the workplace, they are likely to be more motivated and satisfied, hence less likely to look for jobs in other places of work. Effective work engagement improves customer satisfaction because if employees work in an excellent emotional and cognitive status, they will engage well with the workers in ensuring they are well served. Efficient work engagement provides the development of an exemplary network within the workplace. Employees become comfortable engaging with one another when sharing information and ideas, ensuring improved productivity.

Amazon: The Selected Organization

Amazon is an electronic commerce enterprise specializing in manufacturing and retailing electronic products worldwide. The headquarters of Amazon is in Seattle, Washington. Amazon’s operations are founded on the internet; it sells electronic goods such as household appliances, movies, music, and books. Notably, the company sells these electronic products directly or acts as a link between retailers of the same goods and their interested customers.The online enterprise also provides Web services such as data storage and computing assets to its wide range of clients at a particular fee or cost. According to Amazon, more than one million clients use their web services (Lindsay et al., 2021). The users include technological companies, television networks, some governments, food manufacturers, individual shoppers and organizations that develop mobile applications. Such companies include Netflix, Twitter, LinkedIn, BBC, Adobe, and Facebook, to mention a few. The mission of Amazon is to become the world’s client-centered company, to set up a place that is sufficient in electronic goods and services, where any person can look for and get what they want in the online space. Amazon has experienced various trends in the recent past, particularly in 2020 and 2021.

Recent Trends in Amazon

Development and increase in online purchasing of various items is a trend on Amazon. Many customers have preferably switched to online shopping due to the many benefits. The features of online shopping considered beneficial by clients include accessibility, minimal physical energy spent in the process, the convenience of shopping, availability of a wide range of products, and the diversity of retailers from which a person can buy goods or services. The introduction of private label products on Amazon is another trend (Lindsay et al., 2021). Amazon promoted this business model since private labels are considerably cheaper than established brands, ensuring that customers get wellness and self-care products at affordable prices.

Artificial intelligence is another fundamental trend in Amazon, designed to help shoppers have a “touch or feel” of the product before buying. Artificial Intelligence in augmented reality and virtual reality is applied in Amazon to ensure proper client service and satisfaction, especially if they are shopping for clothes. Artificial intelligence allows customers to fit clothes virtually and provides customers with product suggestions based on their browsing history. Additionally, the use of voice search is another trend on Amazon. Voice shopping is a hands-free technology that allows shoppers to buy food and groceries and pay utility bills through simple voice commands.

Challenges Facing Amazon

Amazon faces regulatory pushbacks from the Federal Trade Commission investigating Amazon’s affairs. Amazon is a big company, and therefore scrutiny from the government is inevitable. The online enterprise is fighting legal battles due to the complaints put across by global regulators. The protests against the company include taxation issues and data collection of its users. There are accusations about the company’s conflict of interest since the company is a merchant of its goods, which contest against those of intermediary companies using the enterprise for their businesses (Lindsay et al., 2021). The online enterprise is further accused of using the exclusive data of third-party retailers for manufacturing cheap and private-label versions of their goods.

Methodology

The research paper aimed to analyze Amazon as an online company and identify the functionality of work engagement in the organization. The analysis was focused on investigating Amazon’s development in terms of employees’ work engagement. Amazon is an electronic commerce company that has topped the business charts in the international realm and appeared in various magazines and business outlets, proving its appropriateness in this research. The collection of data about the company relied on online sources; magazines, articles, journals, review websites, and the company’s official website. The company’s problems were identified by reviews obtained from glassdoor.com and other websites.

Findings

Amazon’s Employees’ Attitude Toward Work

The attitude of Amazon’s employees varies from one individual to the other. Some employees think that the company offers reasonable remuneration to the workers for their jobs, their fellow workers are friendly people, and the management is relatively good. However, they think they work for very long hours, but it is not a severe issue. Some employees believe that though their work is physically engaging, it is relatively simple to handle. Nevertheless, they think that some of their colleagues are lazy, and therefore they have to jump in, correct their mistakes and finish tasks on their behalf (Elkeles, 2020). Such employees believe that the company should spot hardworking personnel and compensate them appropriately for their efforts.

Some employees think that Amazon’s management cannot help them in their time of need; their job could be jeopardized if they do not find someone to cover for their absence. Such personnel believe that Amazon’s management should find ways of helping employees in need and develop a flexible work schedule that can enable them to ask for some time off their work. Some workers believe that Amazon provides many opportunities to learn and grow and offers good insurance and excellent working facilities. However, some personnel consider miscommunication between workers and the leaders and that their work is monotonous and unfulfilling.

Amazon’s Strengths for Work Engagement

Amazon uses an innovative program designed to enhance the work engagement and satisfaction of its employees. The Amazon Connections program has already been utilized in operational warehouses. The company uses the program to collect data from employees, organize it, and then provide it to the management to formulate strategies to improve work engagement (Elkeles, 2020). Amazon has an open-door philosophy whereby employees are welcome to engage with the administration about their concerns and suggestions.

The company has a Voice of Associate Boards whose main objective is to respond to issues and questions raised by their employees worldwide. The board engages with employees, promotes dialogues, and solves problems both physically and virtually. Additionally, the company has a method called Executive Escalations which employees can use to raise concerns about leadership. The complaints are then analyzed and reviewed by the human resource department, which advises on the appropriate action.

Amazon’s Weaknesses in Work Engagement

Despite the efforts made by Amazon’s management, the company still lacks a clear and concise strategy for employees’ work engagement. The company takes its employees for granted, leading to an awful treatment of customers. Even though the company has a plan for employees’ work engagement, they do not share the strategy with the workers who are the subject of the particular program. Additionally, many concerns have been raised about the safety of workers in the warehouses.

Some critics have claimed that Amazon’s management fired whistleblowers that raised their concerns about the poor state of staff protection. In addition, questions have been raised about the company’s focus on the employees’ affairs. A person would wonder whether the focus on the welfare of employees is genuinely driven by the sentiments made by Amazon regarding how they care about the workers or if it is caused by the desire to respond to the negative reviews, criticism, and scrutiny by the media and general public.

The Outcomes of High Employee Work Management in Amazon

The high level of employees’ work engagement at Amazon has led to significant benefits to the workers and even the company. Amazon’s freedom of association has improved how workers relate among themselves and with the company’s leadership. The company respects the rights of its employees. Therefore, the workers are free to join any labor union or lawful organization without fear of being harassed or intimidated. In the first quarter of 2021, the National Labor Relations Board oversaw a union vote at our fulfillment center in Bessemer, Alabama. Employees made a choice to vote against joining a union by a large margin (Schram. 2021) The freedom of association has also ensured that the employees have a say in the decisions made by the company

A Modified JD-R Model for Amazon

A Modified JD-R Model for Amazon

Significant Job Demands and Resources in Amazon

From the reviews collected about Amazon, the job demands and resources are of different types. Job demands include a high workload where workers are given a lot of work, which negatively affects their schedule. Employees are exposed to extremely long working hours, such that they are forced to sacrifice their leisure time and do the work assigned to them. Additionally, some employees experience problems with their equipment; this slows down their work and reduces productivity (Schram, 2021). Some employees are subjected to immense pressure by their supervisors, who order them to do high loads of work within a short time. The emotional strain is another job demand that Amazon employees face.

The personal resources expressed by Amazon employees include resilience, whereby some workers indicate that even though the work they do is strenuous at times, they still push through to achieve their goals. Some workers express optimism in their assignment; they hope the company will consider improving their working conditions. The level of self-esteem in some workers is admirable. They feel good about their jobs and the salary they earn. However, self-efficacy is low among some workers; this is attributed to the lack of guidance and proper training of new employees to unlock their inbuilt potential and capabilities.

Proposed Solutions

Recommendations for Improving Employees’ Work Engagement in Amazon

The company should develop a robust, transparent, and distinct communication between workers and leaders such as supervisors. The channel of communication selected should be from interference to avoid miscommunications. Amazon’s management should develop a flexible work schedule for their workers (Maylett & Wride, 2017). A worker may want some time off work to attend to an emergency or a particular need, so the work schedule must allow for such cases. The company should develop a mechanism for compensation for employees who are asked to work overtime or cover for their absent colleagues. Any extra amount of work that goes beyond the usual workload of an employee calls for appropriate compensation.

The company should develop a functional mechanism for analyzing the productivity of workers. Some employees complain that their colleagues are lazy, leaving them on the spot to finish their job or correct their mistakes. Such situations are not fair for hardworking employees. Therefore, Amazon should develop a system of identifying lazy workers and reprimanding them appropriately. The company should share its work engagement strategy with the employees. The employees need to know the company’s plans for their well-being and productivity in the workplace. Additionally, when workers see the company’s plans, they work towards achieving the same goal by synchronizing their efforts.

Solutions for the Job Resources and Job Demands

Amazon’s management should ensure adequate guidance and training of their new employees. When a new worker is adequately trained and guided, they do their assigned jobs effectively, and consequently, their efficiency is boosted. The company should conduct regular checks and servicing of machines and equipment to ensure good working conditions. By properly servicing equipment, there will be minimal failures that may stall employees’ operations. Additionally, properly working equipment ensures the high productivity and safety of workers (Maylett & Wride, 2017). Amazon’s management should ensure that employees are assigned the appropriate amount of work to avoid overworking them. Additionally, allocating a good amount of work to employees enhances their motivation to improve productivity and efficiency.

The company should ensure that its employees are not subjected to high pressure when working. The supervisors should allow the staff to work at the required pace. High pressure may cause the employees to make mistakes when they are working. Consequently, their productivity is reduced, and the general profits of the company are affected (Maylett & Wride, 2017). The company should monitor the workers to identify their emotional status; this can be achieved through face-to-face discussions. Emotionally strained workers should be given some time to relax their minds. If workers are in the correct emotional status, they work with vigor.

Potential Benefits of a Robust Employee Work Engagement

If Amazon incorporates the suggested framework in the work management of its employees, it is likely to benefit highly. The benefits include increased productivity of the employees. When there is a proper employee work engagement, workers perform their duties with enthusiasm. They work harder and faster because they find their jobs meaningful and beneficial. Additionally, productive workers ensure that the goals of the company are achieved. Proper work engagement provides a low turnover rate of employees and a high retention rate. When employees are satisfied with their working conditions and salary, they are likely to retain their jobs in a particular company. In addition, good engagement increases the company’s revenue because workers push their limits.

Robust employees work management improves the happiness of a company’s employees. Essentially when employees are happy, customers are delighted. Happy workers are more friendly and attentive to the needs of the customers. Such employees ensure that clients are well served and satisfied. In addition, effective work engagement provides minimal cases of absenteeism among workers. When workers are appropriately compensated, motivated, and treated, they are less likely to be absent in the workplace. Loyalty is achieved and maintained when the leadership relates well with employees in their places of work.

Issues Related to Change Management in Amazon

Change management in Amazon faces various concerns. The change in the Chief Executive Officer of Amazon from Jeff Bezos to Andy Jassy has its share of issues. The new CEO faces legal pushbacks as he gets into office. The accusations made against Amazon point out taxation and data collection issues, and these concerns may lead to huge fines for the company. The new CEO gets into the office when the company is under immense scrutiny. The Congress of the United States and other European regulators are keenly investigating the company’s practices. Therefore, new leadership faces a lot of pressure to solve these issues. If the new administration lacks the entire organization’s support, it will be difficult for Andy Jassy to solve Amazon’s legal hurdles.

Additionally, the change management in Amazon faces concerns of developing interest among warehouse workers and other employees who want to join workers’ unions. Amazon’s change management also faces challenges in implementing the company’s work structure. The company’s initial plans were founded on an office-centered culture, but startups have developed a trend in offering more flexible work schedules where workers achieve their duties by working from home. Change management has to analyze and adapt to the constantly changing work schedule habits.

The Implications for Amazon to Improve Work Engagement

The implementation of adequate good work engagement in Amazon is necessary to keep the company’s glory as one of the most successful technology companies globally. Amazon is a giant electronic commerce company, and therefore scrutiny from the government, regulatory bodies, and the public are inevitable. If the company’s management improves the employees’ work engagement, fewer legal complaints will be filed against the company. If the company neglects the protests by their workers and other regulatory bodies, Amazon is likely to face many legal battles in the future. The new management at Amazon has to deal with the current work engagement issues before they escalate and cost the company.

Improving work engagement is necessary for Amazon to maintain its status and even go higher. If the company fails to provide desirable working conditions to their employees, the general workers’ productivity will decline, affecting the growth and profitability of the e-commerce enterprise. If Amazon develops a culture of investing in the training, guidance, and development of its staff, the personal resources of such employees are likely to be optimized. They will have better self-esteem, optimism, resilience, and self-efficacy; hence their productivity will be improved. Conversely, if the enterprise fails to train and guide its employees adequately, the personal resources of such workers will be compromised, affecting their productivity and profitability.

In conclusion, Amazon is a giant company that could benefit from improved employee work management. Employees are the most vital investment that a company has; hence their well-being should be a top priority. For workers to exercise their duties effectively and efficiently, they need to be satisfied with their status in the company. Like any other giant company, Amazon is under keen scrutiny from the government and the general public on how they treat and manage its employees. If Amazon improves employee work engagement, it will undoubtedly hold its position as the most successful electronic-commerce enterprise.

References

Elkeles, T. (2020). Forward-Focused Learning: Inside Award-Winning Organizations. American Society for Training and Development.

Lindsay, D., Dietsch, S., Jones, P., Hunter, S., Nguyen, T., Walters, K., & Flatter, J. J. (2021). The Journal for Character & Leadership Development, Vol. 8, and Issue 2 summer 2021. The Journal of Character & Leadership Development, 3-99. Routledge.

Maylett, T., & Wride, M. (2017). The employee experience: How to attract talent retains top performers, and drive results. John Wiley & Sons.

Schram, J. (2021). Improving Realistic Job Previews to Increase New Hire Retention and Engagement: Doctoral dissertation, The College of St. Scholastica.

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