Amazon pays disgruntled workers up to $5K to leave
- Amazon is willing to pay less-than-happy employees to quit the company, the company confirmed in a statement to HR Dive. The online retailer offers hourly workers at its customer-service centers and warehouses up to $5,000 once a year, depending on how long they've been on staff. Employees who accept what's called "The Offer" agree not to work for the organization again.
- The Offer is essentially a form of self-select weed out, where employees who no longer feel invested in the job are given an incentive to leave. In exchange, Amazon would no longer have a likely low performer or negative influence working at the company.
- Some employment experts say the dollar incentive to leave the company likely has the opposite effect on workers, however. Yale Law School professor Ian Ayres told The Atlantic that an employee who initially turns down the offer might actually become more committed to the job, at least for another year until The Offer is given again.
Zappos, the shoe retailer Amazon bought in 2009, initially used the pay-to-leave offer to get workers onboard with its transition to a "Holacracy," a business model that calls for removing job titles and flattening organizational hierarchies. It allowed workers who would struggle to adopt to the new culture to take their leave largely guilt-free.
Employers would likely rather have employees stay when possible, but employers also have a responsibility to weed out workers that are spreading negativity or otherwise dragging the rest of the workforce down. Dour attitudes can spread throughout an organization, creating an unhappy work environment all around.
At its core, company culture is about how and why employees do the work. Employers can encourage employees to take ownership of their work and can create a meaningful work experience where employees can improve their skills, make mistakes and feel included. But not all cultures can fit every employee.