Paying Employees to Leave

Gangster holding brown envelopeI am sure many of you have read by now that Amazon pays employees $5,000 to leave.  Technically they borrowed this idea from Zappos.  The idea is once a year you basically have a buy out period and the amount goes up each year by $1,000 with a cap of $5,000.  So after five years, when the buyout period comes around, you can take your $5,000 and walk out the door.

I know many may think this will contribute to employees leaving.  That is EXACTLY the point with one small clarification, it will contribute to employees who don’t want to be there leaving.  When we measure employee loyalty, one of the classifications is Trapped employees.  I have blogged about Trapped employees before but they are basically employees who don’t really want to be part of the organization but plan to stay.  They generally are a drain on the company culture and often do not exhibit positive behaviors.  These are the very people that will hopefully take this buyout and move on. I think this would also encourage those who are searching for a job (and thus probably not overly committed) to go ahead and leave, rather than waiting on having a new job.

I think this is a brilliant idea and I have no doubt the ROI for this is for strong.  So think about this, would you quit your job for $5,000?


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