Employee Benefit Views

Would you rather have an extra $3,000 or work at Zappos?

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Posted December 3, 2012 by By Kelley M. Butler at 04:31PM. Comments (1)

 

At a recent EBN staff meeting, the team discussed an upcoming Q&A with Bob Nelson, Ph.D. and author of “1501 Ways to Reward Employees.” (Shameless plug: it’ll be in EBN January. Be sure to read it.)
It came up that Nelson cites Zappos throughout the book, making note of the company’s unique recruiting practices and company culture http://ebn.benefitnews.com/news/zappos-ceo-company-culture-2715063-1.html.  
“Yes, yes — we get it,” I thought while eye-rolling a little. “Zappos is verrrrry yoooooneeeeek. Happy hour interviews. http://ebn.benefitnews.com/blog/ebviews/hiring-interviewing-recruiting-zappos-mediconnect-2724512-1.html Impromptu parades. http://ebn.benefitnews.com/news/zappos-hiring-practices-shrm-soft-skills-recruitment-2723282-1.html Okay, okay. Sheesh.” 
However, a colleague mentioned a Zappos tidbit from Nelson’s book that made me stop eye-rolling and start thinking. According to Nelson, "At the end of their training, to make sure new hires fit into the Zappos culture and truly want the job, each person is offered $3,000 to quit. That's right, $3,000 if they agree not to come back. The new hires talk about the offer with their friends and significant others, and most decide they would rather have the job and opportunity than the extra money."
Hm. Now that is interesting. More than parades, certainly. 
We batted the issue around a bit in our meeting, and I later received an email from a coworker who wrote, “Early in my career I took a job in financial services marketing and knew at the end of my first week that I'd made a horrible mistake. I would've taken the money had it been offered. So much of your job is dependent on the people you work with and that's not something that's easily gauged (for the applicant) during a job interview.”
Good point, that. 
What do you think? Would you accept $3,000 to leave your current job? Is Zappos’ approach sound recruiting or employment entrapment? Share your thoughts in the comments. 

 

At a recent EBN staff meeting, the team discussed an upcoming Q&A with Bob Nelson, Ph.D. and author of “1501 Ways to Reward Employees.” (Shameless plug: it’ll be in EBN January. Be sure to read it.)

It came up that Nelson cites Zappos throughout the book, making note of the company’s unique recruiting practices and company culture.  

“Yes, yes — we get it,” I thought while eye-rolling a little. “Zappos is verrrrry yoooooneeeeek. Happy hour interviews. Impromptu parades. Okay, okay. Sheesh.” 

However, a colleague mentioned a Zappos tidbit from Nelson’s book that made me stop eye-rolling and start thinking. According to Nelson, "At the end of their training, to make sure new hires fit into the Zappos culture and truly want the job, each person is offered $3,000 to quit. That's right, $3,000 if they agree not to come back. The new hires talk about the offer with their friends and significant others, and most decide they would rather have the job and opportunity than the extra money."

Hm. Now that is interesting. More than parades, certainly. 

We batted the issue around a bit in our meeting, and I later received an email from a coworker who wrote, “Early in my career I took a job in financial services marketing and knew at the end of my first week that I'd made a horrible mistake. I would've taken the money had it been offered. So much of your job is dependent on the people you work with and that's not something that's easily gauged (for the applicant) during a job interview.”

Good point, that. 

What do you think? Would you accept $3,000 to leave your current job? Is Zappos’ approach sound recruiting or employment entrapment? Share your thoughts in the comments. 

 

 

1 Comment

Posted by: Joel K | December 5, 2012 2:12 PM

Think of it as an "early" early retirement incentive. Employers are always "buying back" jobs from employees who aren't a good fit, usually because of age, lack of skills or a salary that has grown larger than the value of the employee's contribution. Zappos now adds lack of commitment to the list.

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