Would You Take the Money?
By Rob Stevenson
So Amazon is at it again, breaking traditional norms in the name of innovation and a dedication to customer service. While it’s not a new policy (instead adopted from Zappos), on their work anniversary Amazon employees are offered a deal – take a $1,000 bonus (which escalates up to $5,000 for five year employees) to quit, right there on the spot.
But there’s always a catch. This one? You can never work for Amazon, ever again.
Seems odd, right? Offering people money to quit, especially with the six-to-nine month runway required to get new employees up to speed and optimized in their new role, seems counterintuitive. But as always, doing things differently is Amazon’s style (and sometimes here at WorkBook6), and there is a method to the madness.
By refusing these “quitter” bonuses, the employee is actually saying something much more valuable to Amazon – “I’m in this for the long haul, and that journey has more value to me than $5,000”. That level of commitment and dedication, that sense of belonging, of big picture thinking, isn’t typical in every employee’s day-to-day job duties, but instead the tactic allows employees to embrace the company more deeply, which promotes performance and productivity and output, and doesn’t cost Amazon a penny.
Pretty cool idea, very neat delivery – but it begs the question: would you take the money?
Are you so committed to your job that if your boss dropped a $5,000 check on your desk and gave you the same choice, are you passionate enough about your job to resist?
I guess in this case, that’s the $5,000 question.