A lesson from Amazon: Make sure your CEO’s not out of touch with frontline staff

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venturebeat.comCEOs of fast-growing companies face a special challenge today: They need to set the tone for a positive and productive culture that’s in line with what employees want. But as the company grows, lines of communication break down, and it’s easy to lose touch with the daily experience of employees. As a result, a big disconnect develops between the culture that the CEO thinks employees want and what employees actually want and need from their workplace and managers.

We’re seeing a perfect example of this type of disconnect happening currently at Amazon, whose high-achieving, highly demanding workplace culture was recently the subject of a highly controversial New York Times article. Amazon’s defenders say that the company is tough but fair – that the culture needs to be “friendly but intense” to generate great ideas and improve the customer experience while holding people accountable for performance. Meanwhile, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos said the extremely harsh management practices described in the article were “shockingly callous,” did not represent the Amazon that he knew, and that he wanted Amazon employees to let him know directly if they were seeing unfair practices happen in their workplace. That’s a good response, but it’s even better if you can prevent your company’s internal lines of communication from breaking down in the first place.

Read more at venturebeat.com

 

photo CC by Mike Mozart

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