Zappos incentivizes employees to quit – A Perspective

8 April 2012 by Jinesh Parekh No comments

I came across a blog post that describes Zappos incentivizing employees to quit. The reason to do so is to ensure only the right ones stick around. Before I exhibit my views on the topic, I must mention that I like the work culture Tony Hsieh has built and I am a big fan of creating a fun organization culture like them. However, I am NOT connecting on this creativity of incentivizing people to quit for a few reasons.


Zappos pays 1000 USD + current months salary to quit. The incentive is too low. Why would any one quit if they have just joined unless they have another offer at hand? If the incentive value is increased, it might not be a wise financial model to keep in place unless the profits are EMBARRASSINGLY large. I wonder if anyone even took the offer.


The incentive is extended at the end of the first month, after completing the training program. This is too soon for the new joinee to decide if they are enjoying or not. On a new job, a month passes by just to get acquainted with the new environment and it might be too soon to chose to quit. They might need at least 6 months before they know if they are enjoying the new place or not.


Extending such an offer to quit might depict distrust in employees. Even when they are hired, you are still in doubt of their integrity and throwing an incentive to further test them feels insulting.

I would prefer doing it the other way. Show the trust in people and instead of incentivizing them to leave, why not make it easy for them to leave. If someone is not liking working at your organization, its fine. At the end you want your people to be happy, don’t you?

In that case, why not help them find another job that would be right for them. Zappos have a life coaching service. If your employees are not happy, maybe they can help the employee understand what they might like. If such a role exists in Zappos, try to get them there, if not, show them the way to find it outside the organization. That adds value to people’s life and more importantly, you are doing good while running a business. Thoughts?

Jinesh Parekh

Founder CEO, Idyllic.

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