In case you missed it, Amazon announced today that it would establish a $15/hr minimum hourly wage for all 350,000 of its U.S. employees.
The new pay threshold will go into effect Nov. 1 and impact all full-time, temporary and seasonal workers across the company’s U.S. warehouse and customer service teams as well as Whole Foods, the company said in a blog post. It did not disclose what its current minimum pay wage is for U.S. workers, perhaps in part because there is not one set rate.
You can say that it's the right thing to do, but beyond providing a livable wage for employees, THIS IS THE SMARTEST THING AMAZON COULD HAVE DONE FROM A BUSINESS PERSPECTIVE.
Why is that? Because the Amazon effect is on the cusp of being like the Wal-Mart effect of a decade ago. Remember that vibe? Wal-Mart put small, local mom and pop shops out of business. Then they were accused of providing bad jobs and poor working environments.
We all love Amazon Prime. But Amazon is eliminating as many jobs as Wal-Mart. They just aren't as visible as the mom and pops that went out of business a decade or two ago. They're putting big box retailers, malls, strip malls and e-commerce shops out of business. Why? Amazon Prime. We love it. It's changing a lot of things.
Meanwhile, click on the links below to learn about some reports of working conditions at Amazon:
With AI coming on the scene and more disruption on the way from Amazon, the decision to pay all workers a minimum of $15 should have been easy.
If you work for Amazon in Kentucky, you're feeling great today. If you are based in California, you're probably asking "where's mine?" If you work for a contractor of Amazon in delivery, it doesn't impact you.
Amazon's going to have the same PR issues as Wal-Mart did within 2 to 5 years.
This move made perfect sense. Way to get ahead of the coming storm, Amazon.
Capitalist Note: This week is HR Haters week at the Capitalist. Let's ID the personas out there who don't respect HR and figure out how to deal with them.
HOW THE PEOPLE WHO HATE HR WILL STICK IT TO YOU
The first thing you must realize about the people who hate HR is that it’s never personal. If someone hates HR, those feelings were solidified long before you came on the scene. There’s a chance you’re awesome.
The downside of being awesome in HR is that you’re expecting business leaders/managers of people around you to see your talent. Most of them won’t. That’s why you need to be able to spot how HR haters are running around you to do their bidding, run fast and at times, perform at a lower level than they would have if they would have included you.
Here’s the behaviors to be on the lookout for as the people who hate HR attempt to avoid you and your team.
--Make employment decisions without consulting you. They just do it. Begging forgiveness and thinking you’re so weak you can’t check them. They’re daring you to do something about it.
--Give counsel to their direct reports about people issues without having them check in with you. They’re the expert, not you. You’ll slow them down. They move fast. Rationalization: They run the business, you don’t.
--Use outside resources without giving you the chance to provide service. Whether it’s training, recruiting or another service, when they have a need for service they don’t even think about you – they call an outside expert.
--Talk s**t about you and your team to others not yet in the hating camp. Business conversations happen everywhere in your company. The HR haters are always quick to scoff at your team’s ability to handle things beyond payroll, which impacts your reputation in organization.
--Run their own HR related sessions (think succession planning) without your help. A favorite of the “Reader of Best-Selling Business Books” profile, HR haters with maximum confidence love to run their own HR processes within their departments and functions. They must be stopped.
--Attack HR’s credibility when confronted. After dealing with assorted bullsh**t from these haters, the strongest among you will be compelled to confront them. Don’t expect them to be contrite, the first thing they’ll do is go on the attack.
Life isn't about the haters of HR, but in order to maximize yourself from a career perspective, you have to identify and understand the haters to be able to deal with them. That would be easy if it were just you. But most of you have an HR team, which increases the complexity of the situation to the level of Space X landing a reusable rocket segment on a landing pad in an ocean.
LOOK CLOSELY AND HOLLYWOOD SHOWS US HOW PEOPLE FALL INTO HR
There aren’t a lot of great HR characters coming out of Hollywood. But all you have to do is look closely and you can tell how they fell into the world of HR. Here’s five that come to mind and their match related to how they fell into our world of people, process and corporate politics:
1-- Toby Flenderson from The Office – Poor Toby. We smile and cry as HR pros as we watch him fumble through his day. Quick to rely on policy/process and slow to confront anyone directly and aggressively, Toby without question fell into HR by taking a transactional role and finding a place where he could survive. You and I get to the deal with the stereotype. Lucky us.
2-- Mary Winetoss, the rules-obsessed head of human resources hell bent on curtailing the hijinks of office workers planning to throw a wild holiday bash in the 2016 R-rated film "Office Christmas Party." A less known Hollywood HR character, you might be tricked based on her early reliance on policy that she’s like Toby. That’s an incorrect take, as her connection and problem solving with the leaders of her company clearly tells us she fell into the role based on being a “people person”.
3-- Dirty Harry in “The Enforcer” (1976) – The iconic scene in this movie depicts Harry’s boss announcing he’s been demoted to “personnel”, which clearly matches our earlier “don’t fire them, move them to HR” path. Harry doesn’t take the demotion well, pondering the move for two seconds before saying, “Personnel? That’s for assholes!” Thanks, Dirty Harry.
4-- Pam Poovey from Archer (FX) – Many of you don’t know Archer, but your kids probably do. Archer is an adult animated sitcom created by Adam Reed for the basic cable network FX. It follows the exploits of a dysfunctional group of secret agents, with Poovey being the group’s Director of HR. Ridiculed by her client group, but secretly capable of spy work with no training, Poovey clearly fell into HR by being dropped into our function at some point on an interim basis and finding a comfortable home.
5-- Ryan Bingham in Up In The Air (2009) – Partial credit here since Bingham (played by George Clooney) is a specialist who lays people off for a living. Still, as you listen to Bingham wax poetic about travel program points and benefits and remain distant from the people he’s firing, it’s hard to imagine he’s not a HIPO who parachuted into the world of HR, got comfortable with the perks and never left.
My point to all this? Most of us fell into HR. Some of the stories are funny, some are cautionary tales and some reinforce stereotypes. How you got here doesn’t matter. To survive in a world of change, you’re going to have to connect to the world around you and have more self-awareness of how you’re perceived.
I'm glad I fell into the world of HR, even if I'm not as good looking as Clooney or as cool as Dirty Harry.
And come back this week, of course, for more insights on falling into HR.
FALLING INTO HR IS THE NORM, NOT THE EXCEPTION
Here’s a non-comprehensive list of other things people fall into:
–A bad relationship
–Lucky circumstances in life
–A habit of eating a pint of mint chocolate chip ice cream at 9 pm nightly.
That list tells you falling into things can be a blessing and a curse – it’s all relative to the outcome. From my experience talking to the talented high performers who make up the world of HR, here are some common ways people “fall” into HR without a real plan to enter the function that’s loved and hated by so many:
1–I started from the bottom now I’m here. You are a bootstrapper! Right out of college, these people took entry-level roles in our function, usually doing transactions as an HR Coordinator, Payroll Specialist or similar role. They enjoyed the function and in many cases, rose to run the whole damn thing. HR pros who find themselves entering the function in this manner have the greatest opportunity for career path growth in HR with small and medium-sized businesses.