Place strategy

“Safe place to fail, come back”

Deepti Varma A 23-year career path transcending multiple industries like pharmacy, IT, and manufacturing—she shaped the HR culture at organizations like Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories, NIIT, and Unitech—shaped her as an HR professional comprehensive, with a thorough understanding of all aspects of the HR function. At Amazon, with whom she has been associated for more than eight years, she has completely aligned her goals with those of the organization, particularly in terms of inclusion and diversity.

A highly driven professional, she attributes her growth and learning curve to more than her organization, saying, “At Amazon, you own. You have the freedom to experiment, and it’s a safe space. only to fail and come back again.” and seize new opportunities, where the sky is the limit! It really resonated with my DNA. We are in a business that impacts the lives of so many people around the world every day. It drives me to work harder every day so we can touch the lives of millions of customers every day and make a difference.”

She adds, “Amazon is a great training ground for developing many skills. The opportunity to work with world leaders and great minds has shaped my way of thinking and my ability to think outside the box. As a person, I love speed and innovation, and at Amazon I’m able to find that space. Amazon helped me resonate with the Leadership Principles (LP).”

And she points out that the organizational work ethic stems from founder Jeff Bezos’ dream of Amazon becoming “Earth’s Greatest Employer.”

Innovative recruitment

Describing the organizational goals she is working towards, Varma describes, “At Amazon, we strive to excel in all areas to make it the best place to work for our employees, partners, and customers. Diversity and inclusion is a shared responsibility within the company. functions and groups of employees, which allows us to evolve. A diverse workforce fosters new ways of thinking and innovating and helps us reach a wider range of customers.

Elaborating on the talent acquisition and retention strategy, Varma shares, “We always try to do something innovative that helps the employee experience improve, while providing them with relevant insights. We launched Alexa to onboard employees, and we started an experiment where we used Alexa to get people to understand some of the answers they had and not rely entirely on their managers. We are focused on being a company for builders that is conducive to innovation.

Dream of best employer

To realize Bezos’ dream, a set of principles were defined, with the first principle encouraging leaders to lead with empathy, have fun at work, and facilitate the enjoyment of others. The second principle – success and scale bring broad responsibility – reminds leaders to be humble and thoughtful even about the side effects of their actions and to be accountable to local communities, the planet and future generations.

Varma explains that leaders work every day to create a safer, more productive, more successful, more diverse and fairer work environment. “They lead with empathy, have fun at work, and make it easy for others to have fun. Leaders ask themselves: Are my colleagues growing? Are they empowered? Are they ready for what’s next?

Employee Safety First

The litmus test for leaders’ empathy quotient came during Covid and Varma describes how the organization handled the crisis. “To deal with increased stress levels during Covid-19, Amazon introduced Project Harmony, allocating buddies to each team to allow employees to interact with others to understand what they were going through, share their experiences , giving and receiving advice for better work-life harmony and learning how to manage stress.This had a huge impact.We also launched a wellness app for employees.

Shedding light on working from home during the pandemic, she says: “Despite the difficult situation, we were agile and quick to react, which helped us to optimize process efficiency and the employee/candidate experience. The concept of telecommuting was not new to us, in fact we had pioneered the WFH concept with virtual roles and remote working even before Covid started with Virtual Contact Center (VCC) , where people can work from home. As a result, we were better prepared to tackle the virtual transformation.

“We have also covered the cost of the Covid-19 vaccine for its associates, associates, vendors, network of delivery service partners, employees and their eligible dependents. We have introduced extensive safety measures as well as other initiatives of financial support, including comprehensive support mechanisms for employees and Covid-19 completely free health insurance coverage for registered sellers, among other initiatives.We have created Amazon Relief Fund and Partner Support Fund for its network of operational partners We came out stronger and more connected as we supported each other, and that Day 1 spirit is what we stand for.”