Jeff Bezos motivates Amazon employees by offering cash to quit
15 April 2014
To ensure that only those employees who want to work for him do so, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has employed reverse psychology by promising to pay employees $2,000 plus four weeks pay if they leave the company right away.
Employees receive the offer by email sent to their work inbox and under the subject line ''please do not take up this offer.''
He even sweetens the offer with an extra $1,000 every year, up to $5,000.
The strategy was revealed by Bezos in an annual shareholder letter released last week. He said the offer was introduced to the company by Zappos, an online shoe store acquired by Amazon in 2009.
But the question is does he want employees to take the offer and leave?
The offer is a carrot to help staff resolve a question that many employees ask themselves from time to time: "would I be better off working somewhere else?"
According to Bezos, those who decide to turn down the offer and stay put are more likely to approach their work wholeheartedly.
"The goal is to encourage folks to take a moment and think about what they really want,'' he writes. ''In the long run, an employee staying somewhere they really don't want to be isn't healthy for the employee or the company.''
Bezos also mentioned an employee management tactic called 'Career Choice'.
''[W]e pre-pay 95% of tuition for our employees to take courses for in-demand fields, such as airplane mechanic or nursing, regardless of whether the skills are relevant to a career at Amazon,'' wrote Bezos. He said the goal was to enable choice.
''We know that for some of our fulfillment center employees, Amazon will be a career. For others, Amazon might be a stepping stone on the way to a job somewhere else – a job that may require new skills. If the right training can make the difference, we want to help.''
Bezos also revealed a flexible working policy whereby employees across over 10 states work from home, providing customers with virtual customer service from the comfort of their own domains.