In a his annual letter to shareholders, released today, Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos asked a question that's fundamental to how companies train employees: Are high standards intrinsic, or teachable?
"I believe high standards are teachable. In fact, people are pretty good at learning high standards simply through exposure," he writes.
Bezos' belief in the power of training and educating employees is reflected in one of the company's biggest employee initiatives — career choice. Through the career choice program, Amazon will pay for 95 percent of tuition, fees and textbooks — up to $12,000 over four years — for hourly associates with one year of tenure to earn "certificates and associate degrees in high-demand occupations such as aircraft mechanics, computer-aided design, machine tool technologies, medical lab technologies and nursing."