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April 17, 2014

Amazon Announces “Pay to Quit” Program for Employees

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos announced in a letter to shareholders last week that warehouse employees wanting to quit can receive up to $5,000.

Why pay your employees to leave your company?

The purpose behind such an offer, according to Bezozs, is to ensure that Amazon’s employees really want to work for them.  "In the long run, an employee staying somewhere they don't want to be isn't healthy for the employee or the company," said Bezos. Reports state that a small percentage of Amazon employees decided to act on the offer.  

The idea originated from, the online shoe and apparel retailer; others, such as Netflix, are have used similar tactics.  As more organizations move in this direction, it signals that there are opportunities to monetize the value of a positive, happy work culture.  We’re seeing once again that intangible benefits in the workplace outweigh the tangible.

Organizations make significant investments in training new employees - building their understanding of strategy, culture and priorities.  It’s worth making efforts to retain and re-engage employees when they are feeling disengaged.  Yet, after efforts at engagement have been exhausted, a win-win exit strategy, such as the one employed by Amazon and others, can be a positive solution to a potentially negative situation.

What do you think of the $5,000 exit strategy?

- David Grossman


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