Here’s why Amazon pays $5K to warehouse workers who quit

amazon-full111In Jeff Bezos’ annual letter to shareholders, the Amazon.com CEO and founder revealed an interesting program that pays workers at the company’s warehouses to quit.

Yes, that’s right: Amazon gives money to those who jump ship.

“Pay to Quit,” an idea born at Amazon-owned Zappos.com, was put into place to get rid of employees who don’t actually want to be working at Amazon.

Here’s how Bezos explains it:

Pay to Quit is pretty simple. Once a year, we offer to pay our associates to quit. The first year the offer is made, it’s for $2,000. Then it goes up one thousand dollars a year until it reaches $5,000. The headline on the offer is “Please Don’t Take This Offer.” We hope they don’t take the offer; we want them to stay. Why do we make this offer? The goal is to encourage folks to take a moment and think about what they really want. In the long-run, an employee staying somewhere they don’t want to be isn’t healthy for the employee or the company.

This deal only applies to those inside Amazon’s warehouses, so employees that decide to leave their jobs down at Amazon’s Seattle headquarters won’t be making the extra dough when they depart.

Bezos also noted two other “employee empowerment” programs: Career Choice, in which Amazon pays up to 95 percent of tuition for courses related to in-demand fields, and Virtual Contact Center, which allows Amazon’s customer service employees to work from home.

Read Bezos’ entire letter to shareholders here.

Related: Amazon already designing 8th generation of delivery drones

  • Easyrhino1

    Too bad we can’t give $5K/each to the WA DC based dunce squad from the White House down, as well as the rest of DC’s alphabet groups, to take a permanent hike

  • Mike

    Do these employees who accept the exit cash also need to sign documents stating they will have to pay for all and any expenses if they (employee leaving) decides to open a lawsuit or take part in a class action lawsuit against Amazon.com, Bezos or any investor of Amazon.com?

  • Fatback2

    “The goal is to encourage workers to take a moment and think about what they really want” The real reason is the economics of the program. It costs Amazon less if employees quit vs. company termination.

  • mary caldwell

    If an employee does not accept offer, does that mean that they are happy working for Amazon?

  • panacheart

    What an excellent idea. I’m sure that staying doesn’t mean they love their job, after all it’s a warehouse job. But if you decide to leave because you hate your job, then you have one less bad apple in your warehouse. Not only that, but departing employees are much more likely to say good things about your company after leaving.