Over a decade ago, some companies began trying a method of paying their employees to leave if the employees felt they were not a good fit for their new role.

This method was popularized by the late Tony Hsieh when he was CEO of Zappos. He called it “The Offer.” It gave his employees the option to accept a $4,000 bonus to leave the company, either during or shortly after the new hire onboarding process.

“The Offer” was not intended to encourage employees to leave. It was presented as more of a safe exit strategy for employees who were already unhappy and underperforming.

“If they know they don’t quite mesh with our culture, we don’t want them to feel stuck here, so we give them an option,” the company said.

Only 2-3% of new hires opted to take advantage of this offer. Most chose to stay on.

Amazon, when they acquired Zappos in 2009, adopted a similar policy. They called it the “Pay to Quit” program.

The “Pay to Quit” program currently allows full-time employees who have been with Amazon for at least one year to quit in exchange for up to $5,000.

“The goal,” Bezos once told shareholders, “is to encourage folks to take a moment and think about what they really want.”

Similarly, the gaming company, Riot Games, has a program called “Queue Dodge.” Created by the CEO and president, it allows any new hire to quit within 60 days of starting and still be paid 10% of their salary, up to $25,000.

People who are not connected to their personal and professional values and culture will typically take the money and leave. These programs are designed as a way to help weed out those people.

Every employer hopes every employee will be the perfect fit. That is just not the case. The goal is to keep employee turnover rate low and to strengthen corporate culture. Should more companies offer their employees a bonus to quit, in the event those employees fail to succeed beyond the initial stages of the new hire process?

Finding a perfect fit with new hires can be a gamble but you can stack the deck in your favor with the help of Resourcing Edge professionals.

Jacquelynn Entwistle

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