It’s in the news! It’s all over the place, particularly in mainstream US news: Amazon are paying employees to quit. If you are hesitating and you need a little nudge, Amazon would prefer you to leave, and will give you a nice incentive in the form of some cash. Those 5000 dollars may be just what will make you decide. Amazon needs the emotional attachment of its employees, and if 5000 dollars is enough to make you jump, then, it’s not worth keeping you.
Dully copied from Zappos (the Spanish zapatos, for shoes), a company Amazon acquired in 2009, that has a policy called ‘The Offer’. Yes, once a year you get ‘The Offer’. They offer you to go, and will pay for that. Zappos is a model of innovation in multiple things, a gigantic case study full of surprises, a place of maximum employee engagement, were happiness is more important than zapatos. ‘The Offer’ is yet another piece of their neat DNA.
It’s surely not major breakthrough thinking to believe that hanging around in a company, with little emotional attachment or engagement, is far from good for anybody. However, how many employee retention policies, including stock options, produce the opposite? (Of course, some national employment policies incentivize heavily hanging around, waiting for a redundancy package).
Zappos is so incredibly proud of the commitment of its workforce that they can’t afford to have people hanging around who fail ‘The Offer’ test. If the offer is good enough to make you go, Zappos is not the place for you.
When Amazon bought Zappos, they did so, not because they needed to sell more zapatos. That Bezzos knew what he was doing.