NYT vs. Amazon

The New York Times recently created quite a stir with the publication of a “what’s wrong with Amazon” article based on a conversation with only 100+ current and former Amazon employees. That’s a pitifully small segment on which to base an assessment of an organization which has more than 110,000 employees!

A better view of the company would result from a professional but simple, three question survey to a decent segment of Amazon employees…say at least 1,100. The questions?

As an employee of Amazon:

“What do/did you like best about working there?
“What do/did you like least about working there?
“If you could, what one thing would you change?”

We’ve used those three questions in large and small organizations, both private and public businesses and agencies, with very positive results. In several smaller organizations (500 or fewer employees), we’ve surveyed all employees and provided a summation of their responses to the organizations’ strategic planning committees. Employees thus contributed to the planning process and felt some ownership and responsibility for the resulting strategic plan.

When you ask the right questions, the results are amazing…collectively a fair and balanced view of the organization. Critical, yes, but also revealing and constructive!