Paying New Employees to Quit

Training new employees and then paying them to quit, sounds pretty bizarre; Zappos is not afraid of doing things differently. Why Zappos Pays New Employees to Quit – And You Should Too:

Zappos sells shoes—lots of them—over the Internet. The company expects to generate sales of more than $1 billion this year, up from just $70 million five years ago…

Zappos has also mastered the art of telephone service – a black hole for most Internet retailers. Zappos publishes its 1-800 number on every single page of the site – and its smart and entertaining call-center employees are free to do whatever it takes to make you happy. There are no scripts, no time limits on calls, no robotic behavior, and plenty of legendary stories about Zappos and its customers.

This is a company that’s bursting with personality, to the point where a huge number of its 1,600 employees are power users of Twitter so that their friends, colleagues, and customers know what they’re up to at any moment in time. But here’s what’s really interesting. It’s a hard job, answering phones and talking to customers for hours at a time. So when Zappos hires new employees, it provides a four-week training period that immerses them in the company’s strategy, culture, and obsession with customers. People get paid their full salary during this period.

About 10% of employees take them up on the offer.

Do any of you readers want to persuade Zappo’s to buy a couple airlines (Jet Blue and Southwest don’t seem to go where I need to go, too often) a cell phone company, an internet service provider and a credit card company? I could appreciate the good service in those areas 🙂 If I were them I would start with the credit card company – I really don’t understand why someone doesn’t provide good service in that area – with the huge profits it provides and competitors that treat customers like rubes to be fleeced. Airlines you have to be crazy to buy (so don’t try to convince them of that one first).

My friend, Sean Stickle [the broken link was removed], went to work for custom ink a few months ago. I don’t think they offer to pay new employees to leave but they are devoted to customer service and to not just saying customer service is important but focusing attention on delivering it. They publish “Uncensored Customer Reviews” on their home page. There are some companies that really do value customer service even while most companies do everything they can to provide horrible service.

Related: Respect for People – Understanding PsychologyStarbucks: Respect for Workers and Health CareCompany CultureEnhancing Passion in EmployeesRespect for WorkersMistreated Customers Let the World Wide Web Know

5 thoughts on “Paying New Employees to Quit

  1. Pingback: Ergoduction » Πληρώνοντας κόσμο να φύγει!

  2. I had read about the Zappos view on hiring – and I think it is amazing. I don’t know how many times I have called companies and then get off the phone mad and just wondering why the person I just talked to does quit, because clearly they hate their job. I recently made all my employees take this survey online. We then discussed it’s contents – and there were a number of very enlightening views shared that has helped my company a lot. This survey discusses customer service down to the basics. It is very interesting. I hope someone else can find it useful.

  3. Pingback: Innovative Thinking at Amazon: Paying Employees $5,000 to Quit » Curious Cat Management Improvement Blog

  4. Pingback: Zappos and Amazon Sitting in a Tree… | Curious Cat Management Improvement Blog

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