Motivation: pay new employees to quit

This is an interesting way to motivate your employees: pay new employees to quit.

Zappos sells shoes online. Their new employee hiring process? Spend a month getting trained, and immersed on the company’s culture, strategy and its obsession with customers, and at the end of it all, ask if people want to quit, plus give them a $1,000 bonus to do so. Why?

  • Shows one’s commitment level to the company
  • This way you’ll keep the most motivated employees around
  • Some people may have signed up for the job, and after a month’s training realise, that its not for them… Its an easy exit path
  • Keep employees engaged

Zappos only loses about 10% of their new employees this way. And they’re all the better. The leaving bonus started at $100, moved up to $500, and now its $1,000 (they will increase this as the company expands). They are large – 1,600 employees and growing.

From what I gather, they have a very connected culture… Their CEO has a blog, most of their employees are on Twitter, and they really are obsessed with customers – read I Heart Zappos. This is Customer Relationship Management 2.0!

Definitely a thing or two to learn from the way Zappos operates. From a business perspective, it just goes to show that while it might have made sense to sell books online (Amazon), it also definitely makes sense to sell personal items like shoes (Zappos) and designer clothing (Net-a-porter) online too. Items that one might think are too personal to buy at the click of a button…

  • That’s a pretty creative idea… they must keep their employee retention up this way.


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