Amazon - Good place to work for awhile - but come with strong will and tenacity | Glassdoor
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Helpful (9)

"Good place to work for awhile - but come with strong will and tenacity"

StarStarStarStarStar
  • Work/Life Balance
  • Career Opportunities
  • Comp & Benefits
  • Senior Management
Former Employee - Senior Manager in Seattle, WA
Former Employee - Senior Manager in Seattle, WA
No opinion of CEO

Pros

Amazon is cutting edge, innovative, well recognized, and a market leader. They have shown the world they not only can survive amongst a very competitive landscape, but thrive in a down market. That is due to world class operations, relentless focus on margin improvement, and a very frugal internal attitude. As others have mentioned, due to the speed and lean environment, it's somewhat in a disarray internally which leaves mountains of opportunity for self-starters to make immediate impacts to the bottom lines. Opportunities to move within the company are good and encouraged which expose you to the full scope of the business thus deepening your understanding of how all the pieces fit together, what works, and what does not.

Cons

The chaotic lean environment. On the pro side it leaves loads of room for opportunity to make a difference, which is possible. Just when you think you've made a difference by performing 15 different tasks to accomplish a goal (10 of which were not really yours to do, but you did them because there was no one else to pick it up), everything shifts in frequent re-orgs. Resources are lost, roadmaps change dramatically, documentation is poor to non-existent, which causes lost momentum that sucks the life out of you.

The lack of processes and routines. This is not true for 100% of the company, but is for many areas that one would think a company of 10+ years would have nailed. The constant reorganization of teams and leaders breaks any continuity that was established prior to the reorg. I was dumbfounded when I learned that a certain team in the company had absolutely no idea of the steps it took to issue a payment to a supplier. I think they thought it was all black magic. Project processes were another area that some key development teams made up as they went and changed quarterly. This created loads of knee-jerk reactions for many teams impacted across the company and challenged goodwill with internal relationships.

HR could care less about employees. Loads of lip service from the HR teams to make you think they care. Like many other groups in the company, their individual teams don't seem to talk to one another, or know each other for that matter. It is as if each team has blinders on and they only know and perform only their function in strict confines. There is lots of "that's not my job" attitudes. As an example, I witnessed on more than one occasion where great performers took international assignments only to return to leave the company because the company did nothing to help reintegrate the employees. What I heard is that HR managers and recruiters did nothing to assist these employees returning from their assignments, each one saying it was not their job. It was left to the employee to figure it out themselves. So after the company spends tens of thousands of dollars to move staff around the world yet the company expects nothing in return? How dumb is that?

Below market pay. Amazon is known for paying below market in terms of base salary yet expects people to work at least 50 hours per week. Many teams due to them being lean require 60+ hours a week. HR sells the entire compensation package with stock which can be great in a up market and if you live in the US. The odd thing is the mixed message they send with it: the stock makes you an owner of the company but because they call it comp, they expect you to sell each time you vest. I would rather have a larger base pay.

Amazon is no different than other companies in that it has it's own dysfunctions. If you have an iron will and a high tolerance for stress, you will do well there. Use the company as much as it uses you and it will be a happy relationship.

Advice to Management

It's not "Day 1" no matter how many times you say it. Those days are long gone.

Get a succession team in place for Jeff. Having a single person steering the company based on his whims of what gets resourced and what does not creates too much churn throughout the company. It seems that some in senior leadership roles act as if Amazon is still in start-up mode and wants to do lots of different thing marginally rather than focus on doing fewer things top-notch.

Treat your staff better It costs more to recruit/train new employees than it does to retain good people and that would help the free cash flow. Get someone to run a world-class HR org.

Other Employee Reviews for Amazon

  1. Helpful (2)

    "Simply great company to work for"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Buying Assistant II in Miramar, FL
    Current Employee - Buying Assistant II in Miramar, FL
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Great career opportunity and a fun job if you are doing what you like in this company which is I guess 90+% of the employees. They make sure that they hire the right people with desire to work and have fun on the job. The interview process is kind of thorough I my point of view is that it is also effective. They don't want people coming from the street just for the money. They seek for people with passion and expertise in the area that they are applying for. Employees are getting rewarded accordingly with stocks and other benefits.

    Cons

    Their Headquarters is in Seattle which is not the best state. They have fulfillment centers all over US, however if you would really like to get a job in the Headquarters you have to move to the state were it rains the most throughout the whole USA. In addition, everybody is saying that Seattle has the highest suicide rate because of the weather. If you are applying into FC (fulfillment center) you have less positions to choose from, however you have more states and locations open for opportunity and international revocations are also good opportunity to see the world and enjoy life.

    Advice to Management

    Appreciate the work that the employees are doing for you and reward them. If has saved you 8 hours a week of your job by automating a process, reward him. Don't think it's his job - it's his creativity and knowledge and everybody likes to be rewarded.


  2. "Smart, and strong willed people will thrive here"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Seattle, WA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Seattle, WA
    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    You'll work with some of the smartest people you've met

    Cons

    You must be a strong willed individual and be ready to prove your case with data and to fight for your viewpoint against the odds. If you aren't willing or capable of doing this, you won't enjoy your job much.

    Advice to Management

    Treat employees with as much respect as we treat customers

There are newer employer reviews for Amazon
There are newer employer reviews for Amazon

See Most Recent

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