Paying Performers To Quit
Imagine this. You go to work for a really progressive growing company. For the first four weeks they pay you to complete their training program. You are all set to begin your job. Now imagine that the first official communication you get from the company is the offer of a $2000 bonus to quit. What would YOU do?
This is exactly what Zappos.com does as part of its employee training program. CEO Tony Hsieh says, "It's best to know early on if an employee doesn't buy into the culture. It just makes economic sense." While their practice seems to defy logic, it really does make sense for the long term health of an organization.
The traditional wisdom over the years is that the cost to an organization to hire and train someone is about 75% of the annual salary for a blue collar job. For a knowledge worker the number starts at 125% of their salary. $2000 now seems like a small price to pay to insure the quality of your performers.
On a deeper level, one has to appreciate the confidence that Zappos.com has in its culture and the opportunities available to those who are employed by the organization. So many organizations operate from the opposite mindset-that they can't afford to lose a mediocre employee because of the void created and the unknown. It's so refreshing to see an organization so committed to improving the quality of its performance by going after the best performers and maintaining a culture that encourages them to stay. It's the heart and "sole" of creating a quality organization.