It takes just a few minutes for three words to take centre stage when HRmagazine catches up with Tina Oakley, HR director of Amazon UK Operations. These are associates, peak and… fun.
First up: ‘associates’, the term Amazon uses to describe the 24,000 individuals working across the UK business, including the thousands Oakley oversees in her role leading HR for Amazon’s 16 British fulfilment centres.
It’s clear from pretty much everything Oakley shares just why the firm steers away from more traditional, hierarchical descriptors. This is a business where the ‘associate’ experience is king, and where everyone is empowered to speak up with suggestions.
Which brings us to the next of Oakley’s favourite words: peak. “I’ve been here three years now but it just goes so quickly,” she muses as we sit down to chat at Amazon’s shiny new headquarters in Principal Place, Shoreditch (complete with the exposed brickwork and modern furniture you’d expect of such an East London locale).
“Here we measure in how many peaks you’ve done. So I’ve just completed my third peak, which was by far my best from an HR perspective,” says Oakley, whose previous roles include senior HR positions at British Airways (BA) and HR director at Premier Foods, P&O Ferries and Gatwick Airport.Continue reading