The only thing is unexpected from the NY Times article on Amazon’s brutal work environment and management is CEO Jeff Bezo’s response. I highly suggest everyone that owns a small business picks up a copy of “The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon” by Brad Stone. Readers of this book would not be at all surprised by the recent New York Time’s article slamming Amazon’s employment practices and being a brutal place to work. The book is an account of how Amazon came to be. There are countless tales of working and pushing around the clock. It paints Bezos as scarily analytical when it comes to how to run the company. It is all about numbers and staff are cog in that system.
Here is a quote from the article…
The company, founded and still run by Jeff Bezos, rejects many of the popular management bromides that other corporations at least pay lip service to and has instead designed what many workers call an intricate machine propelling them to achieve Mr. Bezos’ ever-expanding ambitions.
Now I realize Bezos is the CEO of a public company but that is not the case with most small businesses. Isn’t the point of your business to help you achieve your ambitions? Isn’t that why you started a business in the first place? Isn’t that why you pay people?
How do you run your business? Are you looking to hire staff? Do you currently have to manager staff? How do you get the most out of them? These are all questions that business owners and managers must deal with. The honest truth is that the vast majority of companies are not demanding enough out of their workers. Obviously Amazon has error on the other side of the equation but they are the exception to the rule (at least in the United States). Most bosses’ allow their staff to get away with too much for too long. Once that happens it is hard to bring them back. You will likely have to let them go and start over. I am a huge fan of being firm, yet fair. Set up the rules that staff must play by and enforce those rules viciously if they have agreed to them.
For further reading on this, I highly recommend “No B.S. Ruthless Management of People & Profits” by Dan S. Kennedy.
Have a great Monday!
Profit 911 Consulting
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P.S. I am considering hosting a training on how to recruit, hire, train, and manage staff for the event industry. I know a lot of people struggle with that first hire. Even more struggle with how to manage a staff (especially if working with the younger generation). If you would be interested in this, let me know. Reply or post on facebook. If there is sufficient interest, I will get it scheduled soon.