Why Amazon Pays Employees Up to $5,000 to Quit

Former Staff Writer
2 min read

Warehouse job got you down? Amazon will pay up to $5,000 to send you packing.

In his latest letter to shareholders, Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos revealed an interesting policy dubbed “Pay to Quit,” in which the company offers associates in its fulfillment centers $2,000 to quit their jobs after one year of employment.

Delivered to employees in a contract with the headline “Please Don’t Take This Offer,” the value of quitting increases by $1,000 every year thereafter, and taps out at $5,000.

The goal is to maintain a dedicated staff and weed out idlers, wrote Bezos. “In the long-run, an employee staying somewhere they don’t want to be isn’t healthy for the employee or the company.”

Related: Thinking of Quitting? Remember, the Sun Will Rise.

The “Pay to Quit” model was actually initiated by e-tail giant Zappos in 2008. Zappos, however, proffers the bribe after just one week on the job.

While $2,000 or even $5,000 may not sound like a lot of money in the face of unemployment, the Harvard Business Review reports that roughly 10 percent of new Zappos call-center hires take the money and run.

Though ultimately, these payoffs can help businesses save exponentially in the long run. “If you want to create a memorable company,” per the Review, “you have to fill your company with memorable people.”

Related: Amazon Releases Dash, a Home Barcode Scanner for Groceries

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