Amazon is rolling out a new program for employees placed on its controversial “Performance Improvement Plan” (PIP), according to an email obtained by Business Insider.
The initiative, called “Pivot,” connects under-performing employees with a team of “subject matter experts,” called Career Ambassadors. Based on a Career Ambassador job listing spotted by BI, PIP employees who opt-in to Pivot receive coaching and “specialist advice regarding HR, performance, and employment issues.”
Amazon has been fighting a PR battle after a widely-read New York Times article characterized the company’s workplace as “bruising” and unforgiving. Amazon has disputed factual elements of the story and CEO Jeff Bezos said it “doesn’t describe the Amazon I know.”
Amazon has been ramping up its public-facing philanthropy (though the company says the community-building efforts aren’t a new phenomenon). Amazon also expanded its parental leave benefits, another target of criticism, and simplified its highly controversial “stack-rank” employee review system. The company has also been testing a new program with teams of entirely of part-time tech workers who still receive the same benefits as Amazon’s full-time employees.
These changes come amid a staggering growth spurt for Amazon. Last year, the company exceeded 300,000 employees, 35,000 of which are in Washington State. This month, Amazon announced plans to add an additional 100,000 full-time employees, across the U.S., over the next 18 months.
Amazon declined to comment for this story.