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Apr 25, 2021

On episode 59 of The HR Famous Podcast, long-time HR leaders (and friends) Tim Sackett, Kris Dunn and Jessica Lee come together to discuss the fact that Amazon AWS has branded performance improvement plan programs called "FOCUS" and "PIVOT".  They alternate between being impressed horrified and entertained by this branding.

Listen below (click this link if you don’t see the player) and be sure to subscribe, rate, and review (Apple Podcasts) and follow (Spotify)!


3:30 - Gary V recently did a post about the impending doom of meetings in a hybrid world and KD wrote about it on the HR Capitalist. Tim doesn’t care if people want to be remote for the team meeting but he’s going to be there in person. 

6:15 - JLee thinks there will be some proximity bias in meetings to those who are actually there at the meeting. 

7:00 - Congrats to the newest Girl Scout troop leader on the pod, Jessica Lee!

9:30 - KD thinks that teams will have to choose to do either all zoom or all in person (with people dialing in and being second class citizens), or the manager/facilitator of the meeting is going to have to be really, really good to manage it.

12:45 - Next topic: Amazon. KD wrote another post, this time about the Amazon union issues. KD brings up Jeff Bezos’ shareholder letter. 

13:30 - Bezos has a mentality that every employee should start the job like it’s “day 1”. Tim is a big fan of the mentality. 

15:45 - JLee points out that Bezos says he needs to create a “better vision” for his employees. 

18:30 - KD pulls out one more thing he likes from Bezos’ letter. The message is consistent with the “day one” mentality and talks to “not being typical”. 

21:00 - Tim’s son’s friend works at Amazon in supply chain. This friend was led to believe when he was interviewing that he would be working at the Amazon plant in Detroit but he found out after accepting the offer that the job was in Gary, IN. 

22:30 - A leaked Amazon AWS memo shows program details related to performance improvement plans. KD breaks down the branding programs, called "Focus" and "Pivot", as reported in Business Insider

26:40 - JLee says that getting rid of 6% of employees is nothing and people are a little sensitive about 6%. 

29:00 - The crew can’t stop making jokes about the different career help programs at Amazon ‘Pivot’ & ‘Focus’.

---------------Show Notes

Bezos Final Shareholder Letter

Meet Focus and Pivot, Amazon AWS Branded PIP Programs

---------------Jessica Lee, Kris Dunn and Tim Sackett


HRU Tech

Jessica Lee on LinkedIn

Tim Sackett on Linkedin

Kris Dunn on LinkedIn

The Tim Sackett Project

The HR Capitalist

Fistful of Talent

Boss Leadership Training Series