Are you sure you want Amazon HQ2 to come to your city?

Grand Rapids

It was exciting to learn that my home city, Grand Rapids, Michigan, is in the running for Amazon’s second headquarters (Amazon HQ2)!

But we’re obviously not alone. Every day, more mayors announce their interest in welcoming the online giant to their fair city.

And who can blame them? One glance at the stats on Amazon’s dedicate page and you start daydreaming about the possibilities. Over 40,000 new jobs would be a huge boost to the local economy. Home values would suddenly skyrocket! The lucky city that wins this bid will be the envy of the world.

Ramifications of HQ2:

When I first heard about the possibility of HQ2 coming to Grand Rapids, I was excited. Then I started thinking about the ramifications. I’m not talking about all the traffic this would bring to our local freeways. And I’m not referring to how this might change sales tax either.

There is one massive disruption that every local business will face when Amazon HQ2 chooses its host city. If you own a company or manage a team, this is a question you should be asking yourself – “Do we REALLY want Amazon HQ2 to come to town?”

Amazon Exodus

The average income at Amazon’s HQ is over $100,000. And that’s not just for VP’s. Some mid-management positions that currently pay about $50k here in Grand Rapids have equivalents at Amazon that make $130,000!

With 40,000 job openings like that, many local businesses will empty out as their best talent finds a place at Amazon.

The Upside to All this Buzz:

I hope the buzz over Amazon HQ2 serves as a much-needed wake-up call for companies, executives, and managers.

Consider the possibility of suddenly having to compete with Amazon – not on price, not on customer service, not on convenience, but imagine suddenly having to compete with Amazon for your employees!

You’ll need to compete on pay, company culture, opportunities for growth, and insurance benefits. You’ll have to convince your employees to trust their future to your company even though it doesn’t appear as strong, stable, or dynamic as Amazon.

I am excited about the thought of Amazon coming to town. I hope it happens but I also hope that the thought of this possibility causes business owners, executives, and managers everywhere to start operating like Amazon is coming to town.

  • Value your employees
  • Make them love coming to work
  • Pay them well
  • Invest in their future
  • Foster a healthy company culture

Start preparing today. Make your company the one that doesn’t lose a single employee when Amazon HQ2 comes to town because they have no reason to leave!

What’s this have to do with Journey Mapping?

By the way, since this is a blog about Customer Journey Mapping, I want to remind you that Amazon got where they are today by doing one thing right – Obsessing over the Customer!

They are the greatest case study on what happens when you put the customer first and focus on their experience. Follow their lead and improve both your customer experience and employee experience.

Here are some other blog posts related to the employee experience:
Does your company only retain the mediocre?
A little career advice I just gave an intern
How to find the next Linchpin for your team





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