Category Archives: employee engagement

Parental Leave Enters Political Storm, Too

Paid parental leave has certainly taken over the media waves of big businesses trying to one-up each other in just how accommodating 510042321-- parents & newbornto new parents they can be. (See our most recent HRE Daily posts on large companies announcing such leave accommodations, including Michael J. O’Brien’s post just Wednesday on Amazon’s plan to up its allotted leave for new parents and allow them to share their paid time with partners not employed there.)

In addition to this race toward better policies, however, paid parental leave has entered a political-football frenzy of late as well. Just as Amazon was making its announcement Monday via a memo to all employees, newly elected Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, R-Wis., was in the news for resisting calls to back a federal paid-family-leave law.

And this despite his outspoken desire to spend more time with his own family, according to this Huffington Post piece and this — far-more critical — piece on, as well as the fact that he provides his own staff with paid family leave.

“Because I love my children and I want to be home on Sundays and Saturdays like most people doesn’t mean I’m for taking money from hardworking taxpayers to create a brand new entitlement program,” Ryan told Meet the Press in a recent taping. He thinks offering such leave is up to employers; it’s their role, not the government’s.

Yes, that’s the common Republican stance — less federal control in favor of more individual control — but personally, says Terri L. Rhodes, CEO of the San Diego-based Disability Management Employer Coalition, the Paul Ryans of the world, as well as most all businesses and politicians from both sides of the aisle, “are all probably thinking mandated paid family leave is a good thing.”

Small and mid-sized businesses, especially, tend to be in favor of a federal mandate, she says, because they can’t necessarily afford the sweeping changes and allowances big businesses can in their attempts to stay one step ahead of their competition.

This mad race is further compounded by the fact that some states — including New Jersey,  California and Rhode Island — already offer some kind of paid family leave, and some states, and many companies, are backing paid sick leave as well.

“For big multi-state or global companies,” says Rhodes, “they can afford to figure how all this fits in with their policies and costs.” They can find a way to make it all work. But for smaller and mid-sized businesses, it’s much more complex “when it comes to considering provisions and accruals” and such.

“If we had a mandated paid leave,” she says, the playing field would be leveled more in terms of “what is expected; it would be more cut-and-dried.”

What’s more, she adds, many large corporations may espouse more liberal parental-leave policies, but don’t actually “support the policy that’s just been announced” when it comes to the corporate culture. The actual taking of the leave may still be frowned upon internally, but the external employer brand comes out smelling like a rose.

The sad reality — in the United States, anyway — is that “having a family still isn’t looked on as a great career path,” Rhodes says. “That’s a problem for everyone” — big business, small business … and Paul Ryan.

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Employees as Social Ambassadors

Though the 2015 18th Annual HR Tech Conference in Las Vegas is behind us now, and early plans are already under way for next 488576383 -- social mediayear’s conference in Chicago, one session from Las Vegas that didn’t get written up on this site deserves to be.

In a Tuesday (Oct. 20) afternoon session, titled Tapping Employees as Social Ambassadors to Strengthen and Grow Your Workforce, Laurie Zaucha, vice president of HR and organizational development for Rochester, N.Y.-based Paychex; and Joe Schaeffer, Paychex’s social-media program manager, double-teamed on a pretty interesting story about how their company turned its employee-engagement levels and employer-brand awareness around with social media.

About five years ago, the term “Paychex Proud” was a little-known theme of an internal company meeting, one intended to grow engagement levels — or at least start the conversation about doing so — but one that wasn’t getting enough attention.

That all changed in early 2014, when Paychex’s HR and marketing forces launched their first small-business jobs index by taking over the Times Square Nasdaq tower in New York and asking employees to do simple show-and-tells (postings that were then aired) on the tower about what made them “Paychex Proud.”

The effort, said Schaeffer, required a good bit of encouragement. Like in many companies, he said, “people didn’t even think they were allowed to go on social sites,” let alone submit posts during business hours.

But submit some did. And as more caught on, and saw the images of Paychex employees broadcast for all New Yorkers to see, posts started flowing in, resulting in 200 overall and reaching 300,000 users.

“The goal was to get that word out,” said Zaucha, “that people at Paychex truly do have fun, that we’re a fun place to work.”

Next on the agenda was the company’s 2014 Paychex Sales Conference, where Zaucha and Schaeffer and their teams were able to enlist the social-media posting energies of HR and marketing staff, and attendees — again, to tell their stories and champion their company as a fun place to work — to the point where, by week’s end, the campaign boasted 2.5 million impressions and more than 1,400 posts.

By encouraging postings about Paychex on all social-media sites, including even Pinterest, said Schaeffer, “we’re seeing our sales people actually becoming more educated about our company; they’re now following us on Twitter and it is a happening.”

Through these two efforts, not only have engagement figures skyrocketed (from 56 percent of people saying they were highly engaged in 2012 to 63 percent saying the same in 2015), but the company’s Instagram, Facebook and Twitter followers have also multiplied exponentially.

“If you can figure out a way to harness the art of marketing [into your HR efforts] and have highly engaged employees,” Schaeffer said, “they really can be ambassadors for the company.”


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The Power of the ‘Open’ Organization

For Jim Whitehurst, one of the defining moments of his career came back in 2005 when, as COO of Delta Air Lines, he had to explain the airline’s strategy for re-emerging from its just-declared bankruptcy to a roomful of airplane mechanics who — as part of the company’s cost-cutting moves — would most likely be losing their jobs soon.

“I started off by telling them I was sorry,” said Whitehurst, who’s now CEO of Red Hat, the software company that makes the open-source Linux operating system, during the closing keynote at this year’s HR Tech conference in Las Vegas today. “Then I explained to them Delta’s strategy for how it would emerge from bankruptcy and what it would take for us to get there. It was the same speech I’d been giving to bankers in New York during the previous four weeks in trying to secure loans for us. But I’d never given it to any of our employees.”

At first, the mechanics sat in stunned silence. Then, they began peppering Whitehurst with questions: How could we get planes ready faster? How could we balance schedules to make this happen?

“These were really detailed, intelligent questions they were asking,” said Whitehurst. “So I went back to my hotel and the next morning I’m getting calls from people asking, ‘What did you do? People can’t stop talking about this.'”

He went and gave similar speeches to other groups of Delta employees, explaining the company’s turnaround plan and what needed to be done to realize it. Then an interesting thing happened: Despite the cutbacks and deferred equipment upgrades necessitated by the bankruptcy, Delta’s performance began to surge. It went from last place to first in on-time performance, and remained there for the next two years.

“All I did was tell people the context of what they needed to do,” said Whitehurst. “I tied the work they were doing to the overall strategy of the company and let them do what they needed to do to get the job done. This can be done in any organization.”

Whitehurst explains his philosophy in his new book, The Open Organization, which recounts his experiences at Delta and Red Hat. He believes the management structure of most organizations today is outmoded — it comes from a time when efficiency, not speed and innovation, was the top priority. But today’s managers must also be leaders, he said, and this can be enabled by technology. Most employees these days have much more education than did the workers of yesteryear, when the management science most companies still abide by was formulated. The top-down organizational structure is obsolete, he said.

So what should replace it? At Red Hat, a “bottom up” model is in place, where employees feel free to share their thoughts and disagreements with managers. “Red Hat can actually be a harsh place to work because of this, but constructive conflict is far preferable to a ‘terminally nice’ organization, where people simply avoid confronting the problems facing a company until it ultimately dies,” said Whitehurst.

Passion rules the day at Red Hat, where many employees have tattoos of the company’s logo, he said. Managers there are expected to be leaders, helping employees understand how their everyday work supports the strategy. “At Red Hat, we always start with ‘why are we doing this?'” said Whitehurst. “It enables managers to do much greater things.”

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Finding the Right HR Tech Vendor

It’s a decision fraught with consequences: Which vendor will be providing your human capital management software? Choose wisely and you’ll look like a hero. Make the wrong choice and your CEO will be angry and you could be out of a job.

At the HR Tech Conference, George LaRocque, principal analyst at the Starr Conspiracy, moderated a panel of three HR professionals — two from large and complex companies and one from a smaller firm — who discussed the processes they undergo in choosing their HR technology vendors.

At Coca-Cola Corp. and PricewaterhouseCoopers, both companies generally require an extensive request-for-proposal process involving lengthy reviews and security evaluations before choosing a vendor for a large project.

“We’re a compliance-driven company and if we make a mistake there are big ramifications, so we do security reviews of vendors, whittle the list down and then test, test and test,” said Martin Burns, PwC’s direct sourcing and technology channel lead. The company’s RFP process can take weeks of preparation and involves input from IT, legal and procurement. None of the panelists said their companies used analyst firms in helping them choose vendors, with PwC and Coca-Cola involving procurement early on in the process.

Getting a hands-on feel for a product is crucial, said Kristin McDonald, Coca-Cola’s global manager for employee engagement. “We also have an extensive RFP process, but I really love to pilot new tools, test them out and see what they can do.”

At JW Player, a video technology company founded several years ago, the process is less formal. “I am the RFP!” joked Jillian Moulton, the company’s HR director.

Although Burns and McDonald both agreed that they often had an idea of which vendor their company would end up choosing even before preparing an RFP, surprises still can occur.

“The RFP can help you determine whether there are some things a vendor just can’t do,” said Burns.

Ease-of-use is a primary concern in evaluating software options, the panelists said, as is the quality of a vendor’s customer-support team.

“The salespeople from the vendor I ended up choosing brought along their customer-support people for me to meet, and that really appealed to me,” said Moulton, who said scalability was also important to her firm because it is growing quickly.

“There have been instances in the past when I’ve been promised something by salespeople that the vendor ended up not being able to deliver,” said McDonald. “So it’s important to talk to the customer-support people early on, as well as customers, and to play with the product itself.”

It’s important to keep in mind that in many cases, you’re not just buying software — you’re also buying a relationship with the vendor and its employees, said Burns. If the vendor is staffed by unhappy, disengaged people, that’s a warning sign, he said. “If your experience with the vendor doesn’t start off well, it isn’t going to get any better.”

It’s why on-site visits to the vendor are important, said Burns. “Trust and culture matters — go and meet the product-development people, see whether there’s high turnover or not, if it’s a good place to work. If turnover is low, that’s a good sign.”

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Debunking the Myths About Millennials

Nowadays, it’s pretty much impossible to attend an HR conference that doesn’t have at least one session focusing on the subject of millennials—and this year’s HR Tech Conference is no exception.

In her remarks during a session titled “Engaging and Retaining a New Generation of Workers at LivingSocial,” LivingSocial Senior Vice President of HR Colleen Wood (who co-presented with Adam Rogers, chief technology officer at Ultimate Software, the firm’s HR software vendor) debunked three “millennial myths.”

Myth #1, Wood said, is that millennials won’t do grunt work. Millennials at LivingSocial, she explained, are ready to prove themselves in any way possible by volunteering for pilot groups and becoming part of “tiger teams,” though many still want to be reassured that their efforts are going to a greater good.

Myth #2, she said, is they want the job on day one. LivingSocial’s millennials, she said, want to hit the ground running on day one and they use learning tools, such as LivingSocialU, on a daily basis to grow their skills in all areas—including those outside of their own professional job description.

Myth #3, she continued, is they want managers to do the work for them. LivingSocial’s open floor plan, she explained, allows millennials to collaborate with their manager at any time. “We try to make it easy for managers and employees to get together and collaborate with one another,” she said.

Wood noted that 28 percent of LivingSocial employees work remotely. “That means we have to give employees tools to keep them connected,” she said, adding that the company provides “virtual watercoolers” so remote workers can keep up-to-date on developments.

She pointed out that LivingSocial has also modified its recruiting strategy, including the way it crafts job ads, to attract the right kind of talent to the company. “We try to use words that capture the kind of culture that we have … and help people understand the kind of environment they’re going to be working in,” she said, citing words and phrases such as “attention to detail, competitive, energetic, competitive, taking smart risks and compassionate” as examples.

Wood also listed three key attributes that are at the heart of LivingSocial’s HR technology strategy and went into the firm’s selection of Ultimate Software: accessibility, usability and functionality.

At the end of the day, she said, HR technologies need to allow employees to focus on being successful at their jobs—and not get in the way.

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Learning How to Listen at Sony

Sony Pictures and Modern Survey teamed up Monday in an HR Tech Conference session designed to “tell the story” of real ThinkstockPhotos-104011583engagement and better ways to listen to employees, as Modern Survey’s president and co-founder, Don MacPherson, described it.

Sony’s global talent analytics and insights manager, Antonio Aranda, also mapped out “the story” for the audience. Sony, he said, was like many companies before deciding to turn its engagement-surveying approach completely around by partnering with MacPherson’s company.

Although the Culver City, Calif.-based movie and entertainment conglomerate  was doing things slightly differently, just based on its creative approach to doing business in the picture industry, it was still operating in old-school mode, Aranda said, similar to organizations that still today survey employees maybe once every two years by asking way too many questions and then securing and sending out data that’s bloated, fuzzy, very low in its level of insights, and so unfocused and confusing that “employees don’t even know why they’re taking it; in fact, end up feeling like the survey is a mere exercise just to prove the company surveys its employees.”

As Aranda told it in the session, Sony Pictures: From Analytics to Insights, “we knew is was absolutely imperative that we work in harmony more by listening to our employees, but with 6,500 employees across 30 locations in multiple countries, we knew launching a widespread, more ongoing listening survey would come with many challenges.”

Modern Survey was up for them, though — with its “continuous listening strategy” that includes surveys throughout the life cycle of employees, from entrance to onboarding, all the way to exit surveys.

The approach, said MacPherson, promotes trusting relationships, not just between managers and employees, but between employees and their organizations.

“Anybody telling you engagement is all about the manager is forgetting what surveys are telling us about how important employee trust in the organization is,” he said.

Together, the two partners pruned Sony’s more monolithic list of questions — which could really only be blasted out once a year at most — down to something much simpler and leaner, with about five major and much more focused areas of concern.

“We wanted shorter time, greater focus,” said Aranda.

Customizing it to Sony’s needs, the survey went after net promoter scores — as in, “Would you recommend this company to a friend? — instead of engagement scores. The two also agreed feedback from the surveys would be immediate, and communication with employees about solutions and strategies for fixing any problems or concerns that were raised would be more in-depth and robust.

Top leaders and stakeholders also needed to be on the receiving end of better communication, said Aranda, “so they knew the story of our listening survey.”

To date, engagement and retention scores have increased and Sony employees are getting the message that “they’re being listened to,” he said.


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Connecting Work to a Higher Purpose at KPMG

musclesAccounting — perhaps not the world’s most exciting profession, but that’s not to say it hasn’t had its moments in history. Accountants, after all, helped manage the Lend-Lease Act during World War II that helped defeat Nazi Germany. They helped resolve financial conflicts that enabled the agreement to free the Iran hostages in 1981, and they certified the election of Nelson Mandela in South Africa in 1994.

The accountants cited above all happened to work for KPMG. Now, the firm is using these and other stories from its past to ramp up employee engagement by connecting their work to a higher purpose, writes Bruce N. Pfau, KPMG’s vice chair of HR and communications, in a new post on the Harvard Business Review’s website.

In connecting to a “higher purpose,” Pfau cites the (possibly apocryphal) story of President Kennedy and the janitor at Cape Canaveral: When JFK asked the janitor “What do you do?” the janitor replied, “Mr. President, I’m helping to put a man on the moon.”

Citing research showing that connecting their work to a higher purpose motivates employees to go the extra mile, KPMG began an initiative last year “aimed at inspiring our already high-morale workforce to reach new levels of engagement by reframing and elevating the meaning and purpose of their work,” writes Pfau.

Pfau’s team created a video that highlighted great moments from KPMG’s past, such as the aforementioned accomplishments, with the theme “We Shape History!” Next, they created posters with the slogan “We Champion Democracy,” with the goal of helping employees see themselves as part of a profession that helps societies by enabling families to make better financial decisions.

Finally, the team presented KPMG’s employees with a challenge: Create 10,000 digital posters that celebrate the work you or your team does. Employees would receive two extra paid days off if the goal was met by Thanksgiving; that goal was met before July 4 and, by Thanksgiving, 42,000 stories had been submitted.

One year after the initiative began, Pfau writes, the percentage of employees who agreed that KPMG is a great place to work went from 85 percent to 89 percent on its engagement surveys, 60 percent said the initiative had strengthened their pride in KPMG, and the firm jumped 17 spots on Fortune‘s 100 Best Companies to Work list to become the highest-ranked Big Four firm for the first time in its history.

One problem Pfau encountered was that, although a key ingredient to success appeared to be managers’ willingness to talk to their teams about the positive impact of the work they did, some managers did not do this. The difference was noticeable: The turnover rate within the group whose managers talked to them about purpose was 5.6 percent, versus 9.1 percent within  the group whose managers did not do this.

In response, Pfau incorporated “purpose storytelling training” into KPMG’s leadership development programs. The training certainly appears to have been effective in one example he writes about: In speaking to a group of 1,500 interns about her higher purpose, a partner who’d gone through the training concluded with a parable about three bricklayers restoring a church — when asked what they were doing, one bricklayer replied “I’m laying bricks,” another replied “I’m repairing a wall” and the third replied “I’m building a cathedral to The Almighty.”

“So,” the partner concluded, “do you want to be bricklayers or cathedral builders?” The crowd leaped to their feet, writes Pfau.

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Engaged, Happy … And Looking to Leave

Sometimes love just isn’t enough to make it work.

A certain amount of employee turnover is an expected and accepted part of doing business, and there will always be a certain (hopefully small) number of disengaged, disgruntled workers angling to leave your organization.

New data from Mercer, however, suggests that even some of your happiest, most satisfied people may have one eye on the exits.

The New York-based consultancy’s recent poll of 3,010 employees—“a complete cross-section of the U.S. workforce,” according to Mercer—finds 45 percent of employees who report being “very satisfied” with their organizations are still looking to leave, with 42 percent of employees who consider themselves very satisfied in their jobs saying the same.

Overall, the survey found that 37 percent of all workers, regardless of satisfaction level, are giving serious thought to leaving their organizations. According to Mercer, that number stood at 33 percent when it conducted a similar survey in 2011.

How much thought employees are giving to the notion seems to vary based on age and seniority.

Older workers, for instance, say they are less likely to be seeking out new opportunities. Just 29 percent of employees between the ages of 50 and 64 said they are seriously pondering a job change at the moment. Thirty-nine percent of those aged 35 to 49 said as much. Millennials, on the other hand, seem a bit itchier, with 44 percent of these workers (ranging in age from 18 to 34) thinking about moving on from their current employers.

Those figures seem intuitive enough, when you consider that employees tend to be bound by more familial and financial obligations as they get older. What’s more interesting is the number of senior managers—63 percent—who say they’re seriously thinking about leaving their current role, compared to the number of management-level (39 percent) and non-management employees (32 workers) who are contemplating a change.

Taken together, all of these figures reflect a workforce in transition that’s increasingly on the move, according to Patrick Tomlinson, North American business leader for Talent at Mercer.

Employers have been seeing this shift firsthand, said Tomlinson, in a statement from Mercer announcing the findings. The new wrinkle, he says, “is that the inclination to leave is increasingly detached from employees’ satisfaction with jobs, pay and even growth opportunities.”

To remain competitive in a talent market that’s quickly changing, companies must create a “strategic workforce plan” that considers engaged workers as well as the disengaged employees that are planning to stick around for now, says Tomlinson.

The latter group in particular—which comprises about one-fifth of the overall workforce, according to Mercer—has the potential to damage morale and productivity even more than those who leave, says Tomlinson.

“If your employees stay, you want them engaged and productive.”

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A New Forum for Employee Complaints


angryYesterday the New York Times ran a story that examined Starbucks’ attempts to rectify the difficult working conditions uncovered by an earlier Times investigation, which profiled Starbucks employees who were forced to do “clopenings” (staying late to close stores only to have to rise at the crack of dawn to open them again) and who were given very short notice of work schedules and schedule changes.

The latest piece reports that the Seattle-based coffee chain seems to be falling short in changing these practices, which it had promised to do in the wake of the earlier report. What I find notable is that the story cites a report by the Center for Popular Democracy, which had reached out to Starbucks baristas via a website called

You’ve no doubt heard of the employer reviews posted by workers on Glassdoor and Simply Hired, in which employees can grouse about the managers and working conditions at their company., which was founded in 2013, lets disgruntled workers take things a step further by organizing campaigns to address those complaints. It’s similar to, which lets users launch campaigns to attract supporters for their cause.

Recent campaigns launched on include an effort to push Netflix to add its hourly DVD workers to its recently announced unlimited-leave policy for new parents (it’s garnered almost 8,000 signatures of support so far), a petition for US Bank to rehire a whistleblowing employee (about 6,400 signatures) and to push Starbucks to do away with clopenings (about 10,500 signatures). Other campaigns seem to have a more millennial vibe (let supermarket employees wear beards, restaurant employees show their tattoos). is funded via the Citizen Engagement Laboratory, a liberal foundation based in Berkeley that’s been the target of ire from conservative news sites such as Breitbart News. Its co-founders are Michelle Miller (whose experience includes a decade at the Service Employees International Union) and Jess Kutch, whose experience also includes a stint at the SEIU (notice a theme there?).

Regardless of its affiliations, represents just one of a growing number of platforms for employees to sound off about mistreatment (real or perceived) and unfair labor practices — and for companies to find themselves the target of negative, and possibly viral, publicity.


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The High Cost of Warm Fuzzies

I admit the following with a recently delivered dash of remorse: I am an avowed Amazon Prime customer and I always get a “warm fuzzy” when a product I ordered in the morning arrives on my front porch before I even get home from work.

With that said, reading the New York Timesrecent in-depth look at Amazon’s corporate culture definitely left me with a “cold prickly,” or what the company calls the feeling customers get when they are informed their packages will not arrive as scheduled.

In case you haven’t read the piece yet — and I highly recommend you do — the Times “interviewed more than 100 current and former Amazon employees, including many who spoke on the record and some who requested anonymity because they had signed agreements saying they would not speak to the press.”

One of the few employees Amazon allowed to speak on the record (via email) for the piece was its vice president of HR, who defended the company’s attitude toward open confrontation in the workplace:

“We always want to arrive at the right answer,” said Tony Galbato, vice president for human resources, in an email statement. “It would certainly be much easier and socially cohesive to just compromise and not debate, but that may lead to the wrong decision.”

The story about the company that has just been valued at $250 billion has generated enough controversy that founder and CEO Jeff Bezos, who declined to be interviewed for the original story, nonetheless felt compelled to push back against some of the more damaging claims made in it, according to a follow-up piece by the Times:

In a letter to employees, Mr. Bezos said Amazon would not tolerate the “shockingly callous management practices” described in the article. He urged any employees who knew of “stories like those reported” to contact him directly.

“Even if it’s rare or isolated, our tolerance for any such lack of empathy needs to be zero,” Mr. Bezos said.

The NYT piece quotes Jason Merkoski, a 42-year-old engineer, who worked on the team developing the first Kindle e-reader and served as a technology evangelist for Amazon, who left the company in 2010 and then returned briefly in 2014.

Among the many disheartening stories of uncaring — or even malicious — co-workers, Merkoski’s quote perhaps best sums up the queasy essence of how work gets done there:

“The sheer number of innovations means things go wrong, you need to rectify, and then explain, and heaven help you if you got an email from Jeff,” he said. “It’s as if you’ve got the CEO of the company in bed with you at 3 a.m. breathing down your neck.”

Jason Averbook, CEO of The Marcus Buckingham Co., and one of the top thought leaders in the space of HR, workforce and enterprise technology — as well as being named as one of the 10 Most Powerful HR Technology experts by HRE — says the Amazon story offers a few powerful lessons for HR leaders everywhere.

“We need to be able to understand the pulse of employees much better than we do today,” he says. “It should never get to the point where employees see news media or social media as the only resort.

“And for a metrics-driven organization such as Amazon, it’s a shame and a shock that neither Bezos nor team leaders across the organization have quality people data that shows what’s at work in their teams. Because of this dearth of people data, we cannot truly know what their culture is like, and this situation emphasizes the need for reliable, real-time measures of team-level data for companies of all sizes.”

Averbook adds that companies need to “be doing a much better job of putting tools into the hands of team leaders themselves to empower them to take action.”

With the volume of millennials entering the workplace — even in managerial roles — “we need to provide both the training and tools to allow them to lead effectively,” he says. “It’s a reminder for companies to take a look at their current processes and identify how they need to improve now.

“This is the kick in the pants HR and companies need,” he adds. “If there was ever a question about the return on investment of HR tools and processes, the Amazon debacle should resolve those concerns as long as they are the right tools and processes.”

But, despite the public-relations black eye the story has caused Amazon, it certainly appears the company will continue to grow toward being the first trillion-dollar retailer in history, regardless of how we feel about the way our packages and products ultimately get to us.

Indeed, in Seattle alone, according to the piece, “more than 4,500 jobs are open, including one for an analyst specializing in ‘high-volume hiring.’ “

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