More information has emerged regarding Amazon.com’s (NASDAQ: AMZN) recent “return-to-hub” policy, which involves “voluntary resignations” for workers in the U.S. who fail to comply.
What Happened: Amazon shared internal guidelines with several managers to help them discuss the new policy with staff, reported Insider, which obtained a copy of the company’s “Employee Conversation” guidelines.
Following the introduction of Amazon’s “return-to-hub” policy, employees working remotely or in smaller cities are now required to relocate to larger “hub” cities. Amazon is offering these employees’ relocation benefits as part of the policy.
The company’s “Employee Conversation” guidelines reveal that Amazon expects initial resistance from employees regarding its new return-to-office policy. It also outlines the company’s approach to effectively communicate this seemingly abrupt change.
“It is important to note that we do not necessarily expect the employee to decide in the initial conversation with you,” the document reads.
The guidelines also state that:
Those deemed to have voluntarily resigned will get no severance.
Employees who get approval to stay in their current location will still have to come into an office three times a week. That could apply even if the rest of the employee’s team is in other cities.
Amazon managers should have “empathy and positive intent” when having these difficult conversations with their staff.
According to Insider, the internal guidelines additionally say that those unwilling to relocate near the hubs have three options.
First, employees can get a special “co-location exception” approved by a director and human resources. Those approved will still need to come into the office three times a week, regardless of where the rest of the team is.
Second, they can find a new team within 60 days that accommodates their needs. The guidelines further note that a select number of good-standing employees may get up to six months to find a new team.
The final option is to leave the company without severance. “This will be considered voluntary resignation,” the document states. “If they are not interested in relocating, the alternative is to leave the company.”
“There’s more energy, collaboration, and connections happening since we’ve been working together at least three days per week,” said Amazon’s spokesperson Brad Glasser told Insider in an email.
“We continue to look at the best ways to bring more teams together in the same locations, and we’ll communicate directly with employees as we make decisions that affect them,” said Glasser.
Produced in association with Benzinga
Edited by Priscilla Jepchumba and Judy J. Rotich