Friday, May 23, 2008

You Are Going to Pay Me To...Quit?

Playing Ping Pong at Work
Am I dreaming this Friday afternoon? I guess not!

Zappos, the online shoe store and distributor, is rolling out a plan to pay employees $1,000 if they do not think they can perform their job after the initial training. I think this says a lot about the company and I bet more employees stay than take the $1,000 and run.

A new culture of workers and employers is emerging.

The culture that next generation companies are taking with their employees is showing that employers, and even large corporations value their employees, but more importantly, they value the service that they bring to their customers and growing the business.

While Orlando isn't on the forefront of the tech company revolution, like say California and the Google's, Facebook's and Threadless's that are all the buzz right now, it is still necessary to go out of the way and acquire great talent and retain that talent to keep your business growing strong.

I applaud Zappos for giving the $1,000 to those that can't hack it there. It gets rid of the employees who would probably do a dis-service and lose the business more than $1,000 over the course of their tenure.

So Orlando, what perks and cultural environment do you want from employers and companies in the greater Orlando area? Everyone is free to submit an answer from those that are employed to those that are looking for a new position. Please leave your response in the comments or send an email to

Looking forward to your answers. Employers, are you listening?

-Greg Rollett


Anonymous May 23, 2008 at 12:07 PM  

I think it's a great idea and concept.

kathie May 23, 2008 at 12:45 PM  

I think this is an awesome concept. More companies should make the same investment in customer service. It is easy to get a customer once, not so eay to get them twice.

JR May 23, 2008 at 10:30 PM  

I absolutely loved this article! First of all, being an avid online shopper and shoe lover, I have never been overly impressed with But back to the topic on hand, how awesome is this publicity for them? I think not very. Sure, they get their name all over the internet, and that's fantastic. But how many job seekers are going to apply and go through training just to accept the sum of one thousand dollars (pinky to corner of mouth)? With the rising unemployment rate throughout the country, I think anyone with one month to kill would sign up for that deal. This spells FAIL for On the other hand, this is a genius idea for the company. Recruiters know how expensive it is to seek, interview, hire and train employees. $1,000 is a bargain to weed out the slackers and the underqualified. Then again, they already went through the entire recruiting & hiring process, so they are actually costing theselves an additional grand on top of all the recruitment & training dollars they already spent. Damn, I'm confused!

Paul G. May 27, 2008 at 12:00 PM  

In response to JR's comments...I would have to disagree, but I do see JR's point.
I think this is a brilliant idea. How many times have you worked with someone that is no good at their job but just continues to "waste space" and make everyone else's job more difficult. I have personally had to cover for employees who don’t cover their load of the responsibility. This often results in extra hours on my end, more stress, less recognition and more job dissatisfaction. In this politically correct society it is often very difficult to fire or manage these types of employees out of the company. And if these employees are smart, they are not going to leave a job where other people are having to pick up their slack and they get paid to do nothing or a minimal amount of work. How much does it cost a company in expenses beyond just a salary when their top performers leave, and their bottom dwellers remain? I am sure that this "buyout" incentive also makes it easier to manage out an underperforming employee because that employee had the option to take the payout.
As far as getting people who have a month to kill and want the $1,000...there are two issues that I feel would hurt this argument. First the $1,000 they would receive probably would not counteract the money they lost in trying to find another job and not getting hired because the employer sees either unstable work history or a large employment gap (if they decided to omit this pervious work experience all together). This may not be the strongest argument because if they are not hard workers to begin with, they may not really care if they have a job anyway. Second, I am sure this deal also works as a performance benchmark for their recruiters. If the company is having to payout a lot of $1,000 separation payments, then the recruiter(s) are not doing their job and you have now uncovered the weakness in your organization. This type of analysis and information could cost an organization hundreds of thousands of dollars and instead Zappos can get a quick answer for maybe $10-$12K. Another thing is that if the company notices that all of their payouts are coming from one department then maybe you begin looking at the management or the job descriptions, etc. Either way this will help Zappos get to the source of their problems very quickly.
Again, I think this strategy is brilliant. It creates motivation for increased performance from the employees you have, and it allows you to very inexpensively determine where your organizations strengths or weaknesses occur...Great article and I look forward to some additional discussion on the topic to see what other people think!!! I guess for now, I should get back to work before my fellow co-workers begin to feel that I am a waste of space…

James May 29, 2008 at 6:58 AM  

I agree with Paul. I think this has the ability to help quickly flush out trouble areas in an organization. I'll be interested to see the success of this program. I hope that you will keep us updated on its success or failures over the next few months...Thanks for sharing innovative ideas that other organizations are using and I am glad I ran across your blog, it looks like you have a lot of interesting thoughts and ideas on here...

Greg Rollett May 29, 2008 at 7:13 AM  

This idea from Zappos has received a lot of press and attention for the company. This is helping to attract more customers to their service and bringing knowledge to job seekers that are looking for a great career. By having this promotion they are going to see the problems within the company and weed them out. This will only make Zappos stronger in the long haul.

Thanks for everyone's kind words and I will keep an eye out for future updates!

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