Leaked documents show just how fast employees are leaving Amazon

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Last year, only a third of Amazon’s new hires stayed with the company for more than 90 days before quitting, being fired, or getting laid off, according to leaked documents obtained by Engadget. The report is the latest indication that Amazon is having serious issues retaining employees, and it reveals the company’s estimate that its attrition rate costs it almost $8 billion a year across its global consumer field operations team.

The report, which is based off internal research papers, slide decks, and spreadsheets from Amazon, claims that workers are twice as likely to leave by choice, rather than because they were laid off or fired. It also says that the issue is widespread throughout the company, not just with warehouse workers; from entry level roles all the way up to vice presidents, the lowest attrition rate for one of the company’s 10 tiers of employees was almost 70 percent, with the highest reaching a staggering 81.3 percent.

The report doesn’t specify which class of employees had the highest attrition rate, but it’s well known that Amazon’s warehouses and other fulfillment facilities have more turnover than the rest of the industry. According to a report from The New York Times, around three percent of the company’s hourly employees left each week, and leaked internal memos obtained by Recode show that the company is worried about literally running out of people who’d be willing to work for it within the next few years (and even sooner, in some areas).

The attrition issue is top to bottom

But while some Amazon warehouse workers have been making it very obvious why people don’t necessarily want to stay in those roles, Engadget notes that managers are also leaving thanks to issues with “development and promotions,” or otherwise advancing their careers at Amazon. Some of this may come down to the training programs the company provides, which are reportedly important for moving up at Amazon, but are seemingly run in a disorganized and potentially wasteful manner, according to the documents cited by the report. Amazon didn’t immediately respond to The Verge’s request for comment on Engadget’s report.

While Amazon definitely seems to have issues with people leaving, it’s also faced criticism for how it manages layoffs as well. Last year, reports noted that Amazon’s goal is to filter out the bottom 6 percent of employees, and that it didn’t necessarily let employees who were at risk of losing their jobs know so they could actively work on improving their performance. In the past, there were also concerns about the role of automation in the company’s process for tracking warehouse employees’ performance, and firing them if they failed to meet up to the company’s strenuous standards.

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