Amazon’s employment practices have once again gained media attention as managers rush to fire employees in order to meet attrition goals and not be fired themselves. The number of employees placed in the Focus and Pivot programs, which are part of Amazon’s termination process, has increased this year because attrition goals were not met by managers in 2020. (See https://www.businessinsider.com/amazon-leaked-memo-focus-performance-review-unregretted-attrition-2021-4) It is reported that managers who did not meet their annual attrition goals in 2020 are required to make up the difference while also still meeting the annual attrition goal set for them in 2021. For example, if a manager’s annual attrition goal is six percent (6%) and the manager terminated three percent (3%) of his/her team in 2020, three percent (3%) of the goal was not met. In 2021, the manager is required to meet the annual attrition goal of six percent (6%) plus the three percent (3%) missed in 2020, making the attrition rate for 2021 nine percent (9%).
On smaller teams, especially those that are cohesive, meeting the attrition goal can be very difficult for a manager as everyone on the team may be performing well and the manager may not want to disrupt team dynamics. Yet, managers are pressured by superiors to meet the attrition goal as a performance expectation and could face the Pivot program themselves if the attrition rate is not met. To avoid this conflict, and the stress and guilt of eliminating a valued team member for no reason other than to meet attrition goals, some Amazon managers have admitted to hiring new employees with the intent to fire them soon thereafter. The employees hired to fire are either external hires or are recruited internally from another team. (https://www.businessinsider.com/amazon-managers-performance-reviews-hire-to-fire-internal-turnover-goal-2021-5) While the hire to fire practice is intended to protect the manager and the team, it can be devastating to the careers and lives of the employee who was used solely for the purpose of meeting the attrition rate.
If you have been hired to fire, Sapphire Legal can help. Time is of the essence. Contact us today!