Last year, only a third of new Amazon employees stayed with the company for more than 90 days. The rest resigned, were fired or laid off. Information collected by the Engadget site highlights the factors that explain the difficulties of the American company to retain its employees. A loss which is not without financial consequences: its attrition rate would cost the company nearly 8 billion dollars per year among the operational teams in the field.
What is the attrition rate?
This concept, generally used to calculate the loyalty of customers to a given company, can be defined when it concerns employees as a decrease in the workforce within a company, due to resignation, illness, retirement or death. The employee attrition rate measures the number of people leaving a company without being replaced and therefore helps to highlight the problems associated with these departures. In the case of Amazon, the attrition rate fluctuates between 70% and 80%. In other words, 7 to 8 out of 10 employees, ranging from the simple order picker to the vice-president, left the company during the year.
How to explain this phenomenon ?
Criticized working conditions
A report by the Health and Safety Committee (CHSCT), published in France in April 2018, reported on the worrying working conditions of the French branch of the company. More than 250 employees were questioned, among whom 44% admit having already consulted a doctor for health concerns related to their professional activity. 74% of employees also admitted to having already contracted physical pain that they associate with their job.
This observation extends to the branches of the American company throughout the world, including on its own territory. Indeed, according to the Strategic Organizing Center (SOC), nearly 34,000 Amazon workers say they suffered “serious injuries” in their workplaces last year, a rate twice as high as that of American warehouses.
A lack of consideration from Amazon
If the report does not explicitly mention the positions concerned by these regular departures, warehouse employees are, in fact, more prone to resignation than positions of high responsibility. According to another New York Times survey, 3% of workers in these warehouses quit their jobs every week. This phenomenon can be explained as follows: the prospects for development within Amazon are almost non-existent for these employees, because the training offered within the company itself to allow the most modest to progress in their field does not are not optimally managed. A situation that does not seem to worry the minds of company officials: the turnover rate reached almost 150% last year, almost double compared to industry standards.
How could Amazon act to stem the problem?
According to Skeeled, a firm of recruitment experts, several actions can be implemented to prevent employees from leaving the company:
- Offer more attractive compensation and competitive benefits, in particular by showing flexibility.
- Establish a relationship of trust between members of the company
- Be grateful to your employees
- Propose career development
In the case of Amazon, these four pillars to limit the rate of attrition seem to be failing. In any case, this is what is regularly denounced by the company’s employees, a fortiori those who work in the warehouses. Not sure, however, that these indicators structurally change the relationship between the American giant and its employees.
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