Zappos pays employees $4,000 to quit. Yes, the company shells out $4,000 to employees who say just two words: "I quit."
Here is why it is a great idea.
All Zappos employees must participate in a four-week training program when they are hired. When they complete the four weeks, they are given a choice -- they can continue to work for Zappos, or they can quit. Those who quit will be paid a bonus of $4,000. Why does Zappos do this? It wants to get great talent.
In his book Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose, Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh says: "Your personal core values define who you are, and a company's core values ultimately define the company's character and brand. For individuals, character is destiny. For organizations, culture is destiny." In short, Zappos is big on company culture. This focus has made it successful -- very successful.
An employee who is not happy after participating in the training program or is not excited about the company and its culture is not a good match. By offering such employees an out, Zappos can quickly and effectively weed out employees who are not a good fit with the company and its culture.
This may seem crazy, but the reality is that, when unhappy employees leave the company within their first four weeks of employment, the financial implications are much, much lower than the cost of unhappy employees who are likely to be uninspired at work and quit in less than a year.
How many people take the money and run? Somewhere between 2% and 3% of people quit and take the $4,000.
Smart or not? What do you think about the idea of paying your employees to quit?