Amazon seems focussed on disrupting food retail as we know it, and is throwing serious capital at this ambition, with their purchase of Wholefoods. How can other retailers possibly compete with that technology? That money? That buying power? That level of data analytics?
The truth is, there is only one way to compete with companies like Amazon. Make sure you have outstanding people.
It’s the people at Amazon who have enabled it to grow and succeed. Their people have developed that mind-blowing technology. Their people have recognised the phenomenal power of big data. Their people have secured funding for future investment.
The winner, in any market, is the company who has a team that is engaged enough, empowered enough, skilled enough, (rewarded enough?) to seek out, and deliver, better solutions and new opportunities.
Amazon has more than 15,500 permanent employees at it's UK Head Office in London. Here’s some of the things Amazon is doing to give their people both the skill and will to continually drive the company forward.
The “Kaizen” programme
Outside of everyday projects, employees regularly meet, in small teams, to identify ways to streamline processes and eliminate defects. The programme aims to empower all staff to innovate and influence their working environment, and drive a better customer experience.
A programme which encourages Amazonians to share professional knowledge, develop their skills and get to meet different colleagues through a mixture of professional and social activities, from wine-tasting to industry leading external speakers. The focus is to give people an opportunity to step out of their core role and think bigger.
An innovative education programme which pre-pays 95% of tuition and associated fees for permanent employees to undertake nationally recognised courses and funds up to £8k over four years.
Peer-elected employee representatives meet to communicate with management teams to work jointly on areas of improvement.
A passion for inventing
Despite having more than 230,000 employees worldwide, Amazon organises most people into small teams, who work on different projects and operate much like an individual ‘start-up.’ The idea being that the teams are more nimble and innovative, and can identify how they can each make a difference to their customers and the overall business.
Make sure your people have the will and skill
How do you prepare your business to compete with the likes of Amazon? It all boils down to your people, and how you create an innovative, solution-driven, winning team.
If you're not sure that your team has the will and skill to compete, then we’d like to help.