- Thanks to innovative technology like touch screens and robots, Amazon is now speeding warehouse workers through a mere two days of training, The Wall Street Journal reported Monday.
- Amazon is working to increase its staff by approximately 40%, and quick and thorough training means significant savings for the company, an important factor in attracting new employees. For the holiday season alone, Amazon will likely hire 120,000 temporary workers at its various U.S. locations.
- An effective warehouse management team ensures staff receives the training and the support needed, enabling employees to meet accuracy and timing goals with a minimum of stress and supervision.
Amazon once had a turnover problem, some would say intentionally, as temporary contract workers were forced to leave within the year and the company, ranked second in highest turnover in 2013, had to train new workers.
When supply of workers exceeds demands, routine seasonal hiring accounts for new workers' training time. This season, however, the demand of workers appeared to exceed the supply to the point that Amazon, FedEx, UPS and Wal-Mart were promising better pay and benefits to compete for workers.
The combination of high seasonal turnover, competition, and need for rapid integration likely led Amazon to develop its two-day training program with touch screens and robots. It may be too early to tell, but reports suggest the program is paying off through decreased costs and trainers who are now freed up to tend to other business needs.
But as interpersonal interactions are removed from the training process for the sake of efficiency, Amazon should learn from other e-commerce/logistics hybrid companies' mistakes to ensure its warehouse managers are actively engaging with new employees to ensure good communication, friendly supervision and compliance oversight.
Otherwise, lacking support and leadership from management could exacerbate turnover issues and spark chaotic conditions.