Amazon executives are urged not to warn employees that they are being monitored by the company’s “Focus” performance management tool, Seattle Times.
The Focus program is meant to be a program where managers document how they coach employees and bring their performance to snuff. But in documents that Times, managers were urged not to discuss focusing with employees, and should instead more generally explain that the employee does not meet expectations and how to improve. Managers could only tell an employee about their plan if asked directly.
This means an employee may be losing their job without ever knowing that their performance is under close control by the company, and some who found themselves in the program said they have never received feedback on their shortcomings.
If Amazon employees don’t unknowingly improve in Focus, they will then be placed in Pivot. Business Insider. Employees said Business Insider that if they were stationed in Pivot, they would either be offered a resignation rocket or given the opportunity to draw up a performance improvement plan.
Performance improvement plans, commonly referred to as technology PIPs, are intended to bring back low-performing employees back. But the previous one reportage by Seattle Times also revealed that Amazon expects one-third of those invested in PIP products to leave the company, furthering its goal of filtering the weakest 6 percent the company annually.
Amazon’s Focus tactics put both employees and managers in difficult places. It is difficult for an employee to know the seriousness of their situation if they do not know that they are officially in the Focus program. And the leaders said Times that they felt that keeping the program secret was detrimental to employees getting on the right track.
“It’s a hidden way to weed out people who aren’t part of the click,” one Amazon employee said Times.