Would Your Employees Write This Kind of Letter About Your Company?

Posted by Chuck Kocher
On September 7, 2015

Would-your-employees-write-this-kind-of-letter-about-your-company?Amazon has often been held up as an example of modern day entrepreneurship and business growth. Some consider Jeff Beezos a brilliant businessperson. Others hold the view that he’s nothing more than a modern day robber baron. There’s no doubt that Amazon.com has dramatically changed the face of business. Many businesses have tried to emulate Amazon’s environment. Others have criticized it.

Is “the Amazon way” of doing business right for you and your business? That’s a loaded question. Just a few weeks ago, the Internet was all a-twitter (yes, I know that’s a bad pun) with opinions about how Amazon does business—and in particular about how they treat employees. And while there is little doubt that the culture of Amazon has evolved since their early day, the company was held up to the public recently as an example of how not to treat employees.

What caught my eye in the midst of all the word wrangling that went on was an open letter (published on LinkedIn) from an Amazon employee named Nick Ciubortariu. Responding to the unflattering portrayal of Amazon, Ciubortariu —with no prompting from upper leadership—penned an incredibly detailed and insightful response about what life is really like inside the tech giant’s walls.

You can read his entire post here—and it’s a pretty interesting reading for anyone trying to establish or build a sense of corporate culture. In addition to being a remarkable defense of Amazonian culture, Nick Ciubortariu’s response also provides a pretty good look into some of what Amazon does right.

Amazon is a huge company. Some of what they do may not be possible for the kind of business you run—or for the size of business you’re leading. But if you are interested in growing your business (and make no mistake about it—Jeff Beezos has always been growth-minded), you might find some food for thought in what Ciubortariu shares.

I’d be interested to know that you think are valid “take-aways” for smaller businesses that want to grow. Which principles apply to any business—regardless of size? Please share your thoughts in the comments section!

But here’s one thing that stuck with me after reading this post. Nobody asked Nick Ciubortariu to write this. This is something he did on his own initiative. What would your employees write about your business? Are they invested enough in your business to care?

BTW: Click here for a different perspective on life inside Amazon.