The Boss Show

Workplace wisdom with heart and humor

August 31, 2015’s Culture – Toxic or Thrilling?

A recent New York Times front-page story probed’s hard-driving workplace culture.  The company itself boasts its standards are “unreasonably high.” Is Amazon’s culture abusing its employees?  Some find it thrilling; some degrading. Many cry at their desks. Jim and Steve explore the good, the bad and the ugly of working at


2 Responses to’s Culture – Toxic or Thrilling?

Marie Malik says: September 8, 2015 at 11:54 am

I really enjoyed this show. The treatment of Amazon employees, especially in the warehouses, is reminiscent of the pre union days of the industrial revolution. The maltreatment of knowledge based employees is shrugged aside since they are not in physical danger. Of course all the data points to stress causing up to a 20% increase in heart attack and stroke. That hits the bottom line in a big way. The existential question here is : In a race to the bottom (low prices, high convenience) who wins?

Steve Motenko says: September 8, 2015 at 2:45 pm

Interesting insights, Marie. It occurs to me that what makes it a “race to the bottom” are the values underlying an organization’s activities. If an organization creates a high-standards “culture of excellence” for the sake of easing the suffering of a troubled world, then it’s not a race to the bottom. “Prices” and “convenience” as ultimate company objectives? Well, they certainly don’t create the most inspiring playing field…


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