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Stasi-methods: Zalando monitors its employees

As Marianne Meier applied for a job at the time Zalando , she had heard Bad: "for example, you can come only if you blow the heads of of sugar in the ass." Marianne Meier (Name as in the case of other employees as amended) thought, so a few were frustrated with the talking and hired in Europe's largest online fashion retailers. Meanwhile, the leader is frustrated. This has a lot to do with the personnel system Zonar: "no Matter how good your Feedback is, the boss may interpret as he wants. He does not like you or disgusted by you from the company."

Zonar, which uses Zalando at 5000 of 14’000 employees, is reminiscent of customer notes in the Internet. Only here are not rating products, but people. With the Software, supervisors and employees to assess fully the Strengths and weaknesses of colleagues, for example, their performance, and social behavior.

climate of fear

"In essence, it comes to rate Employees on a permanent, to control and to sanction," said Philipp Staab and Sascha-Christopher Geschke of the Humboldt University in Berlin. They worked on behalf of the trade Union, the middle German Böckler-Foundation two years in a 60-page study.

their main allegations: Zalando create Monitoring, performance pressure and Stress. With Zonar, the rapidly to more than five billion Euro in sales, growing group-wages pressures and create a climate of fear. Employees, especially temporary employees, feared for their jobs.

Such systems could be spread throughout the professional world, according to the study: "Zalando as a leader of the digitization, from a lighthouse function." The retail giant Amazon sparked in 2015 with a similar program in the United States indignation. Employees defendant oversized print.

Zalando speaks of the "360-degree-Feedback"

Zalando, which provides in 17 countries in Europe, represents a System positive: "Zonar is an important part of our talent management, we the masses give employees and managers the possibility of 360-degree Feedback, and to give."

Earlier determined solely by the Manager, whether someone will get a promotion or a raise get, says chief of staff Astrid Arndt at the Zalando headquarters in Berlin. "Now flows as colleagues, internal customers and executives on a think. This System is fairer than it was before." To support the development of every employee through "lived Feedback culture".

Good face on a bad game

Interviewed employees see it differently. "It is a 360-degree Surveillance," says one. "I can't just have a bad day." Months later, a Situation to which he does not remember at all reflected in an assessment. "You have to make all the time a good face on a bad game," said Marianne Meier describes it. "Everyone is constantly smiling at. The can revenge everything else."

Currently nominate employees twice a year to eight employees, the rate. Where managers have a say in the selection. In principle, everyone will be stopped, permanent records of the behaviour of the colleagues make, according to the researchers. The impression of Surveillance, reinforcing that Zalando is moved partially into fully glazed rooms, with constantly visible jobs. "I think Zonar is impossible," says an employee. "Actually, there are Stasi methods."

Zalando provides control agreement

Zalando said: there is a legitimate interest of the employer in performance control. Zonar will only be used to the extent permitted by law. The cited employees were not representative. An internal survey shows that 67 percent of employees would recommend Zalando as a good employer. Only 13 percent considered a commercial exchange. "Zonar is not an Instrument of control," says HR Manager Arndt.

"It will all be anonymous. But everybody talks about it: Give me a good Feedback, then I'll give you one."Marianne Meier, Zalando employee

You can also find Employees who approve the scheme in principle. "I get Feedback for my work. The better it is, the better my assessment is," says one on the phone. "This is a great thing, if it lives the company well." In reality, he sees serious problems: "To protect his own area, instead of working together. The Monitoring by Zonar plays a role in this. The people consider, especially, how I work, instead of thinking on the matter."

Like other Workers, Marianne Meier, leads to other disadvantages: "It's all supposed to be anonymous. But everybody talks about it: Give me a good Feedback, then I'll give you one. We talk about the times when you eat." She spoke to a Manager who could not officially know what Feedback had been given to Meier. Heads of kungelten their Knowledge with each other, in order to receive good grades. In a way, the regular employees refused to stay.

Is control of the wage limitation?

The reviews to decide on the salary, together with a body. By giving each Strengths and weaknesses, to judge, to leave the image, to the detriment of employees to interpret, according to the researchers: "Zonar is designed in a way that it is produced by the Management desired results."

"bei Zalando, many are frustrated about the relatively low wages." Philipp Staab and Sascha-Christopher Geschke, authors of the study

are divided Employees into three performance groups – currently, the German "outstanding", "strong" and "capable of improvement hot". The researchers claim, Zalando, think the top group is systematically small, in some departments, only two to three percent there. "The highest level you can reach," says an employee.

Zonar can do a mass, their pay stagnating, so Staab and Geschke. "At Zalando many are frustrated by the relatively low wages." Zalando is contrary, of a Wage restraint by Zonar could not at all be the speech. "The average salary increases were in 2018 and 2019, significantly above the German equivalents of 3.1 percent."

employees feel punished

employee signs, such as Zalando, put the System in part by. "I was about to get last year's Top Performer, and got premiums," says one of the study. Then you have to talk to him. ""Either you put your colleagues down and give him a negative Feedback, so that we can classify as Low Performer. Or you're just not a Top-Performer more." It was not said directly, but the words were rather in connection, as I have said: "no, I don't want to give this Feedback." I think this is blackmail." Zalando explains that they could not understand. Employees give each other generally positive Feedback.

Zalando said: there is a legitimate interest of the employer in performance control: Zalando employees road at work in a Packing. Photo: PD

Marianne Meier criticized openly chaotic decisions. According to your feeling, you made it so several heads of unpopular, the then arrangements. It helped nothing that the whole of the gentlemen gave good notes. It was graded. Zalando create with pain sanctions a climate of fear, according to the researchers.

Zalando is with control not alone

chief of staff Arndt draws a positive conclusion. "We believe that we meet the needs of the employees with Zonar very. We listen to employees and continue to develop Zonar continuously." Some of what the researchers in the since 2017 the current study describe, is handled today differently.

How much programs like Zonar spread and change the everyday work? This is a question that is likely to move millions of Workers. There are indications that such programs are in Vogue. The "New York Times" revealed in 2015, practices at Amazon in the US. Therefore, managers felt a personal program is monitored and driven. Colleagues saw the "Anytime Feedback Tool" betrayed. There was the allegation, it will put pressure on the Sick and "underperformers".

"Zonar bundles dynamics that shape the world of work", write Staab and Geschke. "Online retailers such as Amazon or Zalando, to form the vanguard."

Created: 20.11.2019, 16:24 PM

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