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Amazon employees start every day by answering a simple question about work

Every morning, Amazon employees start their day by answering a question that pops up on their computer screens.

The questions are typically work-related, with topics ranging from thoughts about their managers to the length of meetings, or the number of times they’ve received positive feedback in the past week. In some cases, it asks less sensitive questions like how crowded bathrooms get, and even throws follow-up questions when needed.

The daily Q&A program, called Connections, rolled out across the company in April of last year after small pilots beginning in 2014. It’s one of the most ambitious HR programs Amazon has launched in the past year to better understand its sprawling workforce, which is now estimated to be the second largest in the U.S. at over 566,000.

CNBC talked to more than a dozen current and former employees to get a sense of how this and other HR programs are working. Some expressed skepticism about Connections, saying they weren’t convinced the answers were truly anonymous, while managers weren’t always sure how to use the data.

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