How to Train Like an Amazonian (or Not)

A recent report on Amazon by New York Times writers, Jodi Kantor and David Streitfeld, offers new insight into the company’s hitherto largely secret approach to recruitment, training and employee management. Among other revelations, the article highlights the extent to which the company has built its retail empire on an allegedly punitive approach to training and managing employees of all ranks. In short, the article reports that employees are expected to work long hours on site and to remain online at virtually all hours of the day, to eschew family vacations and even personal crises for work, and to value harsh and cutting criticism over the “soft skills” that have become increasingly valued in most workplaces in recent years. In short, unlike many other high-tech leaders, the article claims that Amazon prides itself on being a cut-throat, race-to-the-top work environment where employees are more likely to be awarded for being hyper competitive and exhibiting extreme endurance than for being nice, considerate and collaborative.

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