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SHRM Assignment: Importance of Human Resource Management in Amazon



Prepare a business report on SHRM assignment explaining the importance of SHRM for Amazon and evaluation of contribution of SHRM and its various activities such as recruitment, selection, retention, training and more so.


Executive Summary
The present SHRM assignment explores Amazon which is one of the most successful e-commerce organizations the world has ever witnessed which employees over 1 Million people out of which ¾th of the workforce works in warehouses or its fulfilment centres. Amazon is on a mission to become the most customer centric company on planet earth, which is translated into its HR management and functions. Amazon has a quite innovative recruitment and selection policy and the highlight of which is the bar raiser program, where the employees already working at the company judge the calibre, skill set and competencies of the candidate and take the decision on the candidature. Besides this, Amazon uses Body shopping, referral, use of job portals and its own websites to attract the candidates for selection. Amazon has a different stand on layoff and it generally does not believes in downsizing, so far. SO far the company has witnessed a huge growth owing to which it has been seen as the organization which hires in large number, however after an extremely rigorous selection process.

Amazon scores high in terms of learning organization which has been seen in terms of its training and development policies, encouraging employees to innovate, experiment and fail and more so. Thus, the company has a learning culture. In terms of the organization structure, it has a functional structure, wherein hierarchy is the order of the day and there are geographic division within the structure so that it can take care of its business locally and effectively tackle the challenges posed by the geographical location such as logistics, compliances and many more.

Amazon’s organizational culture is extremely tough and is testament of the fact that the culture does not have to be necessarily warm and fuzzy in order for the company to be successful. The salient features of its corporate culture besides complying to its 14 leadership principles includes consistent revision and of the culture, workforce diversity, innovation, experimentation, be right most of the times and more so.

It is again important for any business organization of any size to measure the effectiveness of its HR management function. Amazon uses metrics such as E-NPS, employee satisfaction index and others to measure the same and additional recommendation have also been made to improve its effectiveness.

Introduction to the Report was founded in the year 1994 by Jeff Bezos at the back of his garage in Seattle. The company which started out its e-commerce journey as an online book seller soon started selling anything to everything that can be sold high (Amazon, 2020). Amazon was one of the very few companies which realized the true potential of internet at the very start and at the present the company has made it to the formidable USD 1 trillion club. At the very present Amazon has international presence in over 16+ countries, with Netherlands being its newest market (Venture Beat, 2020).

The company sells millions of products through its website or app every single day, and is one of the most successful e-commerce companies in the world, and no other player is even near to the company in terms of its revenues or its customer base. Over the years the company has also diversified to various sectors such as producing its own goods such as Amazon Kindle, Firefly Phone and others and has also made a fortune with its cloud services by name of Amazon web services. The company in the year 2019 made a whopping revenue of over USD 280.5 Billion (Statista, 2020). Amazon is one of the only companies which survived even in the times of COVID-19 and surprised its investors by bringing a revenue ranging between USD 80-95 billion in Q1-Q3. The company is also one of the largest employer and employees over 10 Million people across its global offices including the warehouses (Venture Beat, 2020).

The underlying purpose of the report here is to understand the importance of SHRM for the organization and evaluation of contribution of SHRM and its various activities such as recruitment, selection, retention, training and more so. Furthermore in the report a human resource plan for the organization is created pertaining to the SHRM activities. The report also provides information on the various regulatory requirements which are influencing the organizations human resource policies. The organizational structure of Amazon is also discussed along with its implication on the human resource management. Culture plays an important role in HRM, hence three cultural factors and its impact on the management of human resources is also discussed within the purview of the report. Lastly, the effectiveness of the human resource management and its monitoring is discussed and recommendations are made to further improve the effectiveness of Amazon’s human resource management practices.

Strategic management of Human resources contribution to achievement of organizational goals and objectives.

Goals and Objectives of Amazon
Amazon is a company which is customer obsessed and not competition obsessed. The mission and the goal of the company is to become the most customer centric company on the planet earth which is clearly reflected in the policies, processes and systems of the e-commerce behemoth. The company wants to raise the envelope of customer experience by leveraging the internet and technology to help the consumers find, discover and buy anything online and at the same time empower businesses and content creators to maximize their success with that of the company (Amazon, 2020).

Amazon uses triple bottom line model approach as it believes strongly that it purpose is not only driven by the profits alone, but is also focussed on the development and sustainability of its people and planet. With the objective of sustainability in mind the company is investing in circular economy, closed loop infrastructure fund, reducing its carbon impact on the environment and more such goals with sustainability at its forefront (Amazon, 2020).

Purpose and Importance of SHRM for Amazon
Strategic human resource management can be seen as the connection between company’s human resources and is goals, strategies and objectives. The underlying aim of SHRM is to increase flexibility in the organization, promote innovation and develop competitive advantage for the firm (Novas & Vidroiu, 2015). In other words, SHRM can be seen as a future oriented process of developing and implementing HR programs which addresses and solves business problems and contribute directly to the long term business objectives of the business organization (Crispin et al., 2016).

Amazon is no doubt a customer obsessed company, but its founder and CEO Jeff Bezos is a transformational leader and believes that if the organization takes good care of its employees, they in turn will then take good care of its customers thus resulting in a win-win proposition.

Figure 1: Shows the Function of SHRM which makes it pivotal to the organization


(Poppulo, 2019)

As it can be seen clearly from the image above that recruitment & selection, strategic workforce planning, recruitment and selection, training, performance management, 360 degree feedback, reward and recognition, succession planning, retention management, HR audits and employee value proposition are the major function of the SHRM. All of this functions are the backbone of Amazon organization and the company could have not reached the pinnacle of success without the effective implementation of SHRM in the organization(Poppulo, 2019).

Figure 2: Flow Chart Diagram depicting the role of SHRM in attaining the business objectives.


(Novac & Vidroiu, 2015)

The image above is self-explanatory, and reinstates the fact that once the organization sets its business goals and objectives, the SHRM utilizes its functions such as workforce planning, recruitment and selection and others to ensure the goals of the organization are met consistently. Besides this, in the context of Amazon, the reason which makes SHRM extremely important are:

  • SHRM connecting people with the organizational goals- As the image shows clearly, the business objectives are pushed to the HR team which then uses its functions to achieve the goals of the company. It does so, by aligning the goals of the employees with that of the company and by consistent monitoring of the goals through performance evaluation, constructive feedback and others it keeps a check on the completion of the goals(Poppulo, 2019).
  • Building a balanced and changed ready workplace- Businesses are operating in VUCA (Volatile, Uncertain, Ambiguous and Complex) times. The implication here is that the employees are in consistent need of training in terms of skill development so that they can be part of the learning organization. Amazon pays special attention to the growing needs of the market and then creates a workforce which is balanced and is ready for change in order to achieve the goals(Poppulo, 2019).
  • Getting the right people at the right time- According to one of the surveys conducted by Gartner, it was found that 47% of the HR managers struggle with developing effective leaders within the organization and 45% of them struggle with workforce diversity. Besides this, it is also important to find the right fitment for the job by finding the right person at the right time. Hence, this is another important function of SHRM at Amazon(Poppulo, 2019).
  • Employee Engagement- A lot of organization do not know what to do with the employees besides providing them with regular work to do. They miss out on leveraging the important of employee engagement which in a way is the best motivation for the employees. At Amazon, employee engagement is given a top priority and is again one of the most important functions of SHRM.

Developing Human Resource Plan for Amazon
Traditionally speaking the human resource planning as studied in the last section was to ensure the right people at the right job at the right time. However, under past conditions of changes in the external environment, environmental instability, changes in labour market and technological changes, demographic shifts and intense international competition has changed the role and need of human resource planning(Saha, 2018). Hence, it is advised to create a human resource plan both for the achievement of the short and long term business objectives of the organization and also to keep a resource pool ready to meet the changes in the business environment.

Human resource planning in a nutshell is focussed on the four key factors which are:

  • How many employees are needed by the organization.
  • Skill, knowledge and abilities required in the employees.
  • Where are the employees needed in the organization, as in the functional department.
  • When does the organization needs the employees and for how long they need them

If we observe all of these factors closely they are related with recruitment, selection, retention and training of the employees. All of which are studied in the context of Amazon in the later section

Factors that underpin human resource planning in an organization
Some of the prominent factors underpinning the human resource planning in the organization can be seen as:

  • Growth of Business- Implies requirement of more and new employees
  • Business Decline- Here the organization has to take a call on layoff, as happened in the covid era.
  • Business Change- Change in the organization which can either be technology influenced or other factors also pushes the change in human resource planning.
  • Competition- Business also has to keep a keen eye on the competition and accordingly make changes in its human resource planning strategy.
  • Labour Market Competition- Sometimes, the labour market is extremely competitive and there is shortage of skilled labour or employees. Hence, the human resources has to either shell out more resources to poach the employees or has to create its own resource pool internally, this can be seen as succession planning of the organization or more so(Saha, 2018).
  • Government Policies- A lot of times it happens that government can dictate organization to increase the female representation in the management or the senior board and is seen as a compliance issue. In such a case again, the human resource planning has to be changed.
  • Employee Skill Development- Business operate under great dynamics, owing to which the HR resources has to consistently either seek out for resources with new skill or develop the skills in the employees internally,. In both the case, human resource planning has to change(HRO, 2020).

The rationale of all these points harbinger to the shift in the human resource planning and makes it a function which is extremely important and has to keep changing in accordance to the changes in both the internal and external environment of the business organization.

Human resource planning in the situation of diversification, recession, layoff and others
Amazon uses the geocentric staffing approach which is hiring the best people to fill its positions irrespective of the country they live or where do they come from. The implication here is hiring remote workers, transferring workers from or relocating them to other countries. However, the underlying objective of using Geocentric staffing policy by Amazon is to focus on the position and finding the right fitment candidate for the job irrespective of the location or the city or country they reside in(HR Technolgist, 2019).

In the situation of diversification, Amazon uses Geocentric staffing policy to hire employees who have the domain knowledge or its trains the employees on the required skill. For example, when Amazon diversified with Amazon web services, 25% of the staff was relocated from the giant workforce of the company and the remaining 75% of the workforce was hired externally(Amazon, 2020).

When it comes to recession, Amazon tries it best to not layoff any of the employees as company believes that it has taken the responsibility of the employees working at the company. For instance, in the times of COVID-19 Amazon surprised everyone by hiring on an average 1400 workers per day in order to strengthen its position as an e-commerce players. Where most of the companies were downsizing, Amazon was one of the very few companies which was on a massive hiring spree(Peterson & Cain, 2020). Similarly, when the company expanded to Netherlands, which is its newest market, the company hired over 5000+ employees to meet the demand of the market. Hence, it can be said that Amazon is one company which is not strong on layoff and owing to the rise in internet shopping the company keeps up hiring to meet the demand of the consumers. At the very present Amazon has a workforce of over 1.2 million and if the company keeps up with the same growth it would surpass the mighty Walmart in a time period of two years(Business Standard, 2020).

Amazon only layoff the employees when they are underperforming and it has already been discussed that the company has various strategies in the form of Pivot Program, Career ambassadors and more so, owing to which it again gives a chance to its employees to perform well and stick with the company. All of this is based on the philosophy of Jeff Bezos, which is taking good care of its employees even in the worst times, so that they can take care of its customers and the company can rightfully achieve its goal of become a customer obsessed company(Heskett, 2015).

Activities pertaining to recruitment, retention and management of Human resources at Amazon

Recruitment Strategies of Amazon
Amazon is a highly innovative company and it uses a large number of methods such as attending job fairs, body shopping, referrals, website job posting, third party or use of consultancy to fill up the position and many more. Mostly, all of the organization use such a process. However, what is unique about the recruitment polices and strategies of Amazon is worth of discussion and something which every business should take a note of:

  • Peer Reviewed Hires- Amazon has this unique and innovative bar raiser program, wherein the employees who are working with the organization peer review the candidates in the recruitment process for selection. This unique bar raiser program is most trusted by Amazon and is seen as one of the most successful recruitment strategy, as the employees who are in the interview panel of the bar raiser program check the candidate on his calibre, his potential, the skill sets and most importantly how he would be able to contribute to the growing culture of Amazon. The bar raiser program is so tight that all of the employees in the bar raiser program has to give a nod to the candidate, even if one of them does not approve, the candidate is not selected. This goes to show how serious the company is when it comes to recruitment and this is one of the reason why Amazon always hires the best of the talent(Pike, 2020).
  • A robust Social Media Presence- Amazon is one organization which takes, considers or scrutinizes the social media profile of the candidates. As the company believes that the candidate must and should have befitting personality both on the social media as well as in his personal life. In the era where social media is the king, it thus becomes important to have a robust and a well-managed social media account as per Amazon(Pike, 2020).
  • Adoption of Cultural Nuances and Personality Test- Amazon is a high workforce diversified organization and this is the reason that it takes care of the candidates it recruits in the business. Through the use of various personality tests such as MBTI, Gallup, Understanding of cultural differences and other such tools, the company gauges the real personality of the candidate much before the selection process. This is done keeping in mind the culture of the organization which is task oriented, culture driven and inclusive in nature(Pike, 2020)
  • Amazon’s 14 Leadership Principles- Jeff Bezos and Amazon’s management team has come up with 14 leadership principles such as integrity, customer obsession, invent a lot, learn and be curios, think big, develop the best standards, contribute to cultural development of the organization and more such principles. The company evaluates all of the candidates on these 14 leadership principles in the recruitment process(Pike, 2020).

Besides this, the company also asks its employees to submit drafts on what do they think they can do differently for the company, points demonstrating their exemplary or leadership experience journey and more so. Thus, it can be said without a pinch of doubt is Amazon is an innovative company and the innovation is also visible in its recruitment and selection policies and procedures.

Retention and management of Employees at Amazon
Amazon offers a lot of fringe benefits related to medical, food, travel and other form of benefits to retain its employees. However, the company is under a consistent scanner of its Low HR retention strategy which is a major problem with the company. However, the company has made changes in its retention policies which is seen as its efforts to manage and retain the employees effectively. Some of the noteworthy points of the same are mentioned below:

  • Pivot Program at Amazon- Amazon has recently started a pivot program where it gives a chance to the underperforming employees to either improve their performance by giving those 45 days to improve their performance by putting them in a performance improvement plan. Or the employees can appeal to the manager’s decision regarding underperformance or they can happily leave the company with a severance package. The underperformers in the program then work under the guidance of career ambassadors who provide them with all the necessary support and guidance required to improve their performance(Howland, 2017).
  • Company has taken down its Rank and Yank Program to improve retention- The rank and yank program however innovative in nature was strongly criticized due to the simple reason that employees were slotted into three categories based on their productivity. The employees who performed well were rewarded handsomely and tear apart the peers, at the same times penalizing employees who were less adapt at self-promotion or less willing to complain about others(Kim, 2017).
  • Paying employees up to USD 5000 to Quit- Amazon believes in the simple philosophy of hiring the best candidates for the job, who are motivated and are ready to create an impact or make a difference in the organization and are also passionate about their jobs. The company recently launched a program for its full time warehouse workers, where the company is voluntarily paying up to USD 5000 to each employee who would like to quit the company and pursue their passion. This is a good strategy and is employee friendly, however it raises a big question on how Amazon will manage this strategy as on average as per research hiring a new candidate takes over a cost of USD 4209. It has also been seen that at Amazon there are only few people who accept this offer and the company believes that it is good that those people accept the offer leave the company happily as they are disengaged in the company and the best way out for them is to pursue what they love doing the best(HRO, 2020).
  • Training Program to retain and develop the workforce- Amazon does not gives up easily on its employees and leaves no stone unturned in providing the employees with the right career support and guidance so that they can improve their performance. As mentioned, the career ambassador program is hugely popular at the company and employees are leveraging this opportunity to improve their performance(Kim, 2017).

Hence, it can be said that due to high work pressure employees tend to be under a lot of distress which makes them leave the company. However, the company by changing its yank and rank program, launching the pivot and career ambassador program and paying USD 5000 to any employee who wants to quit are some of the innovative strategies for retention and workforce management. But at the same time, it also points towards the lacunae in the HR practices of the company owing to which the company has a very low retention rate and must be improved at all cost. With this, one thing is also proved that money is not the only factor of employee satisfaction, and as Jeff Bezos put, the employees must have a work life harmony in order to excel at their jobs(Kim, 2017).

Developing Human Resource Plan for Amazon

The four key steps pertaining to strategic human resource planning are:

  • Assessment of the current HR capacity
  • Forecasting the HR requirements
  • Developing strategies for Hiring talent
  • Review and evaluate the process(Lucichart,

However, within the purview of the report, the focus will only be on the recruitment, training and development of the employees at Amazon and how the HR plan will meet the organizational objectives of Amazon.

HR Plan for Recruitment
This begins after assessing the demand from the functional departments and also forecasting the demand of the future. This section provides a list of strategies that Amazon can use as effective recruitment strategies:

  • Treating candidates like customers- It is important that the company must and should treat the candidates like the customers which is valuing their time, providing them hospitality and making yourself available and in case there is a change in the plan, let the candidate know well in advance(Indeed, 2020).
  • Using Social Media- Social media is a great tool and the job seekers are active on social media. Amazon can effectively use social media to put job posting, provide information on the job description and more so. The candidates who are actively seeking for the job will be able to effectively use social media and Amazon will benefit from a large pool of candidates.
  • Implementation of employee referral Program- Candidates feel more welcomed joining an organization when they know someone who is already working there. Hence, employee referral program is another effective recruitment strategy(Indeed, 2020).
  • Creating compelling job descriptions- A lot of times it happens that candidates get confused reading the job description and do not apply for the position. Hence it is important to make job title as specific as possible, start with a captivating summary of the job, including all the essentials skills required for the job and lastly keep the job description concise and ideally it should be in the range of 700-2000 words(Indeed, 2020).
  • Using Sponsored Jobs to attract the eyeballs and stand out in the market- Due to the reason that every day thousands of jobs are posted, it becomes difficult to get the visibility, using inorganic feature of sponsored jobs, Amazon can be in front of the eyes of the job seekers.
  • Including peers in the interview process- Amazon through its Bar raiser program is already doing at as it is one of the effective strategies for the selection process
  • Creating an active and updated Job page on the website- a number of times it has been observed that the websites are not updated on the jobs which results in poor or lesser candidates being aware of the job positing. Hence, it is important to keep an updated job posting page.
  • Attending industry related meet ups- This is another effective recruitment strategy prevalent in the current times. Here the company can easily hunt for professionals who are working in the industry and this is also known as body shopping(Indeed, 2020).
  • Using Job Portals- Indeed is one of the largest job portal and millions of candidates look for jobs on the portal. Amazon should do posting on all the relevant job portals so that it does not miss out any of the eligible candidate.

HR Plan for training and development of Employees
Training and development as studied in the earlier sections is one of the pivotal functions of HR which requires a lot of cogent effort by the HR professionals and others. Some of the most effective training and development strategies which can aide Amazon are:

  • Analyse the needs of training- This is the first and foremost step where the organization is required to create a training plan, but before that the training need for the employees need to be identified.
  • Identification of the Skill gaps- On the basis of the current competency of the employees and looking at the skills required to excel at the job, the skill gaps has to be identified, post which the training plan has to be created.
  • Prioritize the training needs- There can be high probability that employees may need training in various skills such as digital marketing, sales skills, customer services, soft spoken, interpersonal skills, relationship building or other domain expertise skills. But, due to limited time availability all of the training needs cannot be satisfied in a go. Hence, it is important to prioritize the training needs which are most crucial and are needed to be given at the earliest(SHRM, 2020).
  • Planning and delivery of the training- It is the duty of the HR personal to create a training plan so that the normal working hours or productivity of the employee is not hampered. Hence, in order to do that they need to create a training plan in consensus with the line managers and should not rely only on the internal resources for training, but should be willing to look for trainers outside the organization as well. The objective here is to give the best training to the employees so that they can achieve their personal as well as organizational goals(SHRM, 2020).
  • Monitoring the training and its impact- It is absolutely worthwhile if the impact of the training is not assessed in the form of evaluation, test, one to one feedback and more such methods. It is only after the evaluation of the impact of training the training plan becomes successful(SHRM, 2020).
  • Thinking Long Term- This is an extremely important point to consider when giving training to the employees especially for organization such as Amazon whose goal is sustainability. Thus, training should be provided keeping in mind the long term impact of training on the employees and with the view of making them ready for the future development in terms of the training needs.
  • Review and Start Again- It is not like, once the training has been provided there is no further need of training to the employees. As mentioned that businesses operate under a lot of external factors owing to which the training needs and the skill associated with the same keeps on changing or needs an upliftment. The organization must consistently focus on the learning needs of the individual and train them as per the requirements of the market or that of the organization. For instance, supposed Amazon is looking for succession planning, hence it needs to identify potential leaders from different teams, who have been trained already on some other skills, but due to requirement of the company now they need additional training as well(SHRM, 2020).

HR Plan for retention Strategies

Salary and benefits must be competitive- Amazon has been criticized for paying lower wages to the warehouse workers, which is a cause of low retention at Amazon. Hence, the best way to overcome this criticism is to pay competitive wages to the warehouse workers so that they can feel content and satisfied while working for the company(Halvorson, 2020).

Hiring the right person from the start- A lot of times it happens, especially when the business is expanding or getting into the diversification mode, the HR are under tremendous pressure of hiring fast in large numbers. In such a situation there are increased chances of not hiring the right candidate for the job, which ultimately result in high attrition rate. Thus, it is advisable that whatever may be the situation, the hiring must be done right from the very start(Halvorson, 2020).

Addressing grievances of the employees- Not every day is a good day at work, in any organization owing to high pressure or trouble at home. Hence, the HR professionals or line managers must and should create an environment which is open to hearing out the pain points of the employees and addressing them effectively to keep the employees happy and satisfied(Halvorson, 2020).

Create leaders and not bosses- Everyone wants to be a boss, but it is only few who want to be leaders. It is the leaders who take the onus or the responsibility of the organization and work towards the development. While the bosses are busy in micromanaging the work, which is not required. Hence, Amazon in its culture should include practices to create leaders and not future bosses.

Keep a close eye on the Managers- In a survey conducted by Gartner, it was founded that over 60-75% of the employees leaves the organization not because of the company, but because of the managers. Hence, it is very important for Amazon to keep a close eye on the behaviour of the managers with the employees, look for any kind of discrimination and more so. This is important has Amazon has a high attrition rate(Halvorson, 2020).

Increase employee engagement- Employee engagement should be the fabric of the company in the absence of which the employees feel disengaged and less motivated to work with the company. The company therefore should focus on employee engagement through various team based activities, open reward and recognition program, open and transparent communication, encourage participation and interaction amongst the employees and more so.

Leveraging all of these plan which are made for recruitment, training and development and retention Amazon would be able to increase the employee satisfaction, focus on their development and make them realize their true potential and in turn also reduce its attrition rate.

Purpose of HRM Policies at Amazon
In the earlier sections it has already been discussed on the recruitment, retention, selection and training and development policy at Amazon. This section here will discuss the career and growth policy and leave policy at Amazon

Career & Growth Policy
From the standpoint of both the company and employee’s career and growth policy is extremely important. For employees they want to succeed in the career and HR by focussing on their career developmental plan use this as a motivation technique. For the organization, the benefit lies in the fact that it keeps on promoting its employees at senior level position, and also fills out the new position or vacant position at the company. This also reduces the cost of hiring externally for the organization.

Amazon appreciates candidates who have spent a long time at the company and in the annual performance review discusses with the employee and the line manager on his future role at the organization. Amazon is a fast paced company and growth is normal at the company, however at the same time it is really challenging owing to the excessive work pressure in the company. Some of the points which are required for career growth at the company include:

  • Learn and be curious principle- Amazon has 14 leadership principles which have been discussed earlier in the report. The company values employees who adhere to the learn and be curios principle and dedicate time to learning about new businesses, new ways of working and more so. It not only helps to open up the mind of the employee at the same time also helps him to be right most of the time, which is again the guiding leadership principle at the company(Gurchiek, 2019).
  • Networking- Amazon has a large number of functional department and in order to get shifted to the new department, the company believes that the employee has to show some form of networking strength and build his relationship with the functional managers. It then becomes easier for the employee to have a shift or get promoted to other functional department, however the assessment of the skill is still very important(CNBC, 2020).

Leave Policy at Amazon
This is another fundamental HR policy for any business organization and Amazon believes that in order to have a work life harmony, employees must and should be entitled to number of leaves which rejuvenate them or to be taken in times of personal loss or more such issues. Some of the characteristic of leave policy at Amazon beyond the normal paid and unpaid leaves are:

Maternity Leave- In case a mother is adopting or having a child the company allows for a 26 weeks of leave policy. Also in case of miscarriage or any other unfortunate event the leave policy is extended by 10 weeks or so(Amazon Jobs, 2020).. Besides this, Amazon also has a ramp up at work policy where I offers flexibility of work to the employees who have joined the company after a long break. This is done to give them additional time to put them back into action at the company. Besides this Amazon also has day care benefits or mothers rooms in selected offices for the new mothers to carry their child at work(Amazon, 2020).

Vacation- At Amazon, employees are also allowed to receive paid vacation time which is accrued on the pay period basis. An image below shows how Amazon calculates vacation time for the employees(Amazon Jobs, 2020)



Personal Time- The employees at Amazon are also entitled to receive paid personal time. The paid personal time is accrued on the last day or the first pay period and the remainder is spread out over the remaining 11 bi weekly pay periods(Amazon Jobs, 2020). The image below shows how the grants annualized amounts are calculated:


Sick Time- The company grants paid sick time which is based on the local, city and state ordinance.

Holidays- In general Amazon employees receives 7 paid holidays which again depend on country to country.

Leaves of Absence- Leaves of absence are provided to the eligible employees at the company for time off during a qualifying medical condition or that of a qualified family member. This includes birth of adoption or a new child, personal reasons, bereavement leaves, jury/witness duty or that of self or a qualified family members or other reasons mostly provided by the law(Day One Team, 2019).

Evaluating the leave policy it can be said that Amazon allows leaves on qualified ground to the employees and most certainly these are up to the good standards of any business organization and helps the employees to enjoy their personal time or any other issues. The focus however still remains on creating work life harmony, as Jeff Bezos strongly promotes(Parekh, 2019).

Regulatory requirement influencing HR polices of Amazon and its impact
For the readers, a firm operates under the scanner of various external environmental factors. In this case, the impact of various legal regulation owing to which the company’s HR policy is impacted is provided below:

Sick Leave Policy-In accordance to the states policy of giving sick leaves in the recent light of COVID-19, Amazon faced a big backlash where it opposed and flouted the Columbian state policy of giving sick leaves to the employees in order to contain the outbreak of the virus. Owing to which there were nationwide protest of the warehouse workers and the company had to roll off its policy. The implication here is, as mentioned in the earlier as well that the company has to comply with the state in terms of holidays and sick leaves. The impact on the company is that despite its big sales days, the company has to pay off its part time workers more to meet the requirement or the market demand. This puts an additional financial burden on the company(Amazon Jobs, 2020).

Health & Safety Policy at the warehouses- ¾ of the 1 Million workforce of Amazon is employed at Amazon warehouses and fulfilment centre. It is also the area where there are strict compliances to ensure the safety and well-being of the employees. For instance, it has been asked by the US regulators to ensure fire drill exercise once every month, any other natural calamity and more so. Besides this, eyes are also on the kind of heavy machinery which is being used at Amazon in the form of trolleys, levers, ergonomic machines and more so which ensures the ergonomic well-being of its employees. Holistically, all of these policies are really good and keep a tab on the working condition of the workers. The impact on Amazon however is to have a strict compliance with the state’s health and safety policy and in the absence of any kind of incompliance the company has to pay a hefty fine(The Guardian, 2020).

Diversity and workforce polices- Issues like discrimination of the employees on the basis of caste, colour, race, ethnicity and others is a crime by various state governments infact in all of the developed and emerging economies. Any organization flouting these rules has to pay a hefty fine to the employees. For example in case of Australia, the company has to adhere to the Fair works act policy in terms of compensation, health and safety , workforce diversity, gender divide and more so. Also, the company has to ensure that there is no pay divide for the males and females workers in the company and at the same time, it also has to comply with the minimum requirement of females in the senior management position in the company. Again, all of these policies or regulation are created keeping in mind no kind of discrimination happens to the employees, but at the same time it sometimes becomes difficult to manage or get the resource or even to comply due to the inefficiency of the managers. Hence, Amazon has a legal department in HR as well, which keeps a close tab on all the regulatory requirements as enforced by the state governments(Chung, 2020).

Besides this some other policies which fall under the purview of regulatory requirement include wage pay or compensation to the workers, tax benefits, medical policies and more so. The onus here lies on the HR personal to ensure that none of the rules are being flouted and the sanctity of the organization is well managed and sustained.

Characteristics of Amazon’s Organizational structure and impact on HR management

(Organimi, 2020).

As depicted in the image above, Amazon’s organizational structure is functional one which focusses on different business functions and components as bases for defining the interaction and reporting relationship between the different components. The three primary components or characteristics of the company’s organizational structure can be seen as:

An overarching global Hierarchy- Hierarchy is the order to the day at Amazon and infact at all big organization as it clearly depicts the line of authority, span of control and chain of command. In case of Amazon, Jeff Bezos sits at the top of the organization and exercises controls along with the senior executives and managers as can be seen from the image above. All the senior managers and executives works on the directives given by Jeff Bezos and impacts all the offices across the globe(Organimi, 2020).

Global Groups based on Functions- As discussed, Amazon has a functional organizational structure, and the company in order to increase its effectiveness has function based global groups. Each of the major business function has its own dedicated group which is headed by executive level managers such as the CEO or the senior vice president. It is leveraging this kind of organizational structure, the company is able to expand effectively in the global markets and also exercise easy control over the different functions(Dudovskiy, 2020).

Geographic divisions with their own sub divisions- The organizational structure of the company also incorporates geographic divisions. The company bases groups on their physical geographical location and the business goals. For example, in case of Amazon e-commerce arm, leveraging geographic division with their own sub-divisions the company is able to easily manage, monitor and oversee each of the function and also manage the geographical challenges without disturbing the other geographical locations. It is owing to this reason the company uses geocentric and polycentric staffing policy to handle and manage the challenges of the country in which it operates(Organimi, 2020).

Impact on the HR Functions
HR is again a separate function at Amazon and is different for each of the geographical location. This allows the HR functions to easily translate the global HR polices at the corporate level in the different countries. Besides this, it also allows the HR to have levy decentralization and it does not has to wait for the headquarters for any kind of approval, the geographical sub division takes care of the same. The impact here is better control over the geographic region, easy transition of corporate polices from headquarters to regional level and lesser time consumption in making decision for the regional offices.

Cultural factors and Impact on the organization
Company’s culture sets the foundation of its success and Amazon is one organization which has consistently proved that the company culture does not necessarily have to be warm and fuzzy in order to be effective. Amazon culture has been described as “breakneck-paced” a notoriously cost conscious as company operates on a very thin profit line. In the year 2015, the NY time’s magazine strongly criticized the workplace culture of Amazon by writing an article titled “Inside Amazon: Wrestling Big ideas in a bruising workplace”(Dudoskiy, 2019). Another article also described the company’s culture as that of being of Purposeful Darwinism approach to employee management. Hence, it can be said that Amazon’s organizational culture is not meant for everyone and only employees who can thrive under immense pressure either succeed or work for longer years at the company(Athikis, 2015). Some of the key elements of its organizational culture are:

  • Consistent reinvention and optimization of the organizational culture- Jeff Bezos is a transformational leader who believes that consistent changes are required in the company so that it never losses it grip on the agility, nimbleness and its hunger for experimentation. Leveraging this, Bezos opposes the one size fits all culture of decision making and uses the two pizza rule for meetings, which implies only the number of members who can be fed by two pizzas should sit in a meeting on making important decisions(Dudoskiy, 2019).
  • Customer Centricity- As studied in the introduction and the goals and objectives section that Amazon mission is to become the most customer centric company in the world, and so far it has been doing a fairly good job. Thus, all the process, systems, policies at Amazon are created keeping the customer at the focal point and is the fabric of Amazon’s thriving organizational culture(Quartz, 2020).
  • Diversity among the workforce- Amazon has one of the most diverse workforces in the world and it can be clearly seen with the 12 affinity groups at Amazon, leadership and digital training program for females, early age technical training to the underrepresented and minority companies, equal rights for LGBT communities and more so(Amazon, 2020).

It can thus be said that it is the organizational culture which truly defines the business organization and despite the fact there are severe criticism of Amazon’s high work pressure and more so, its culture is most definitely the one which empowers the employees and is innovative in nature and also promotes innovation by its employees.

Monitoring of the effectiveness of HR management at Amazon
Measuring the HR management function is important as it dictates the overall employee satisfaction, the growth and success of the firm, the impact of polices on the employees and more so. One thing which Amazon does besides checking the HR alignment with the goals and objectives is keeping an open door policy or open communication where the employee can give direct feedback to the line manager or the respective HR on its polices. Besides this other metrics which are used for assessing the effectiveness of HR management function are:

Employee Net Promoter Score- Employee net promoter score in this case implies how likely the employees are working at Amazon are to refer the company to their friends or others for a job at Amazon. Amazon conducts a bi-annual review of the E-NPS to check the effectiveness of its HR management function(Luca & FIsman, 2018).

Employee Satisfaction Index- Amazon believes in work life harmony and thus it wants to keep its employees satisfied and motivated at the workplace. In order to do so, every quarter the company conducts the employee satisfaction survey on 40 odd points and ask the employees to rate their satisfaction on the same(Luca & FIsman, 2018).

Employee Productivity Rate- It has already been studied and known that Amazon is a tough task master and it values productivity more than anything. Hence, the productivity of the employees is monitored, measured and compared as compared to their previous performance and the HR role is assessed in the decline or improvement in the performance of the employees(Becker Hospital Review, 2015).

Average Length of Service- This is another metric which is used by Amazon where it measures the effectiveness of the HR management function by keeping a close tab on the average length of the service of the employees at Amazon. Amazon is criticized for being a tough task master, owing to which the average tenure at the company is only 9-12 months(Georgescu, 2019).

Recommendation to improve the effectiveness of HR management function
The company has been doing well in terms of managing the effectiveness of its HR management function and the biggest reason for the same is the superfluous growth of the company in last two decades and an increasing workforce. However, there is still a scope for improvement which can be done by implementation of the following recommendations made to the company, which are:

  • Absenteeism Rate- It is recommended that Amazon must and should also take into account the absenteeism rate of its employees in the company. The objective behind is that high absenteeism can be linked with lower satisfaction of employees and low implies high satisfaction of the employees.
  • Attrition Rate- Amazon has a very high attrition rate, which implies that a large number of employees leave the company way too soon and this attrition rate is highest for the warehouse workers. The company by keeping a close tab on its attrition rate can firstly try to understand the reason behind the same and it can also come up with effective staffing planning and can create conducive policies to reduce the attrition rate(Economy, 2020).
  • Evaluation of the Exit Interview- While it has already been learnt that mostly employees leave the organization due to their managers, and it is the top reason for employee leaving the company. Besides this, there is also increased chances that employees leave the company due to poor workplace culture, absence of Training and development, lesser career growth opportunities, no scope for personal development plan, other grievances owing to leave, compensation, and other such polices. By doing a study on the same, the company can improve the effectiveness of its HR management function and be more resilient and stronger when it comes to its HR functions.

The report titled Strategic human resource management analyses the HR management function, policies, effectiveness and its management with respect to the e-commerce behemoth Amazon. It has been identified that SHRM is an important function of management and effectiveness in its management ensures the business objectives and goals of the organization are met. Amazon goal is to become the most customer centric company on the earth and on the basis of this objective, the company has created its recruitment, selection, retention, training and development policy and more such policies as discussed in the report.

It is the growth of the business and the increased work pressure at the organization which is a cause of distress for the employees and results in high attrition rate for the company. Within the purview of the report it has also been studied that regulatory requirement such as health and safety, leave policy, compensation and benefits have an impact on the organization and in most of the cases it has been founded that they improve the overall satisfaction of the employees.

The organizational culture of Amazon is seen as that very harsh where there is no scope for underperformers. However, the company has excellent program such as Pivot Program, Quit to Pay, career ambassadors and others which are seen to be improving the attrition rate of the company. It has also been addressed the metrics used by Amazon to measure the effectiveness of its HR management function and recommendation such as monitoring of the Attrition rate, Absenteeism rate etc. have been made to improve the same. Lastly, it can be said without a pinch of doubt that Strategic human resources is as important as any other management function and dictates or lays down the path for success or failure of the business organization.

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