How Amazon’s move to $15 was never meant to be perfect

Amazon is taking another look at their compensation plan after announcing a company minimum wage increase to $15hr. By the sound of Dave Clark’s twitter, FC Associates were thrilled, but long-term employees felt left behind.

A previous critic, Senator Bernie Sanders, now praises Amazon.

This is a win for everyone, right? Not so fast.

The critics were fast to point out that changes to Associate’s RSU and Variable Compensation Plans (VCP) would offset the hourly increase. VCP is based on the site’s performance and earnings could be substantial by the end of the month.

Below is a video of a long-term FC employee in KY who speaks the sentiments shared by many over the last week.

Now I get it, Amazon was trying to pull a fast one, right? Not at all.

This week, Amazon announces it’s making changes to address the concerns of long-term employees. Initially, workers already earning $15 would receive an additional $1 per hour. Now, some employees are learning they will receive $1.25 an hour. Amazon is also rolling out a new cash bonus of $1,500 and $3,000 for tenure milestones (five, ten, and 20 years).

Why did Amazon make last week’s announcement before the details were worked out the details? That’s easy, seasonal staffing and the benefit of being first.

Seasonal staffing – We’re not officially in seasonal hiring periods, but sales will only increase between now and the end of the year. Amazon’s wage increase makes it the employer of choice for those looking for a job during the holiday season.

Being first – General Patton once said, “a good plan violently executed now, is better than the perfect plan executed next week.”

The wage increase would have never happened if Amazon waited for the perfect plan. Amazon has over 250K employees that would potentially be affected by the increase. Reviewing every employee’s situation might have pushed into the second quarter of 2019. Today (next week), Amazon continues to work on the perfect plan.

Start-ups are not the only ones who can benefit by moving quickly and being first doesn’t mean being perfect. After all, society doesn’t remember who’s perfect, but they always remember who was first.