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Amazon pays staff to quit their jobs

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Every organisation wishes for its employees to be committed, loyal and passionate about their jobs, but it is difficult to judge which employees are strong upholders of a company’s mission and values, and which are in only for its perks and monetary benefits.

In a bid to find out which of its employees are truly devoted to their careers, Amazon has commenced a programme called “Pay to Quit” as part of its employee empowerment strategy, which was revealed in a company letter to stakeholders.

Every year, the company offers to pay its full-time associates up to US$5,000 (S$6,241) if they leave their jobs.

All first year employees are offered US$2,000 (S$2,496), and that amount goes up by US$1,000 each year until it caps out a maximum payoff of US$5,000.

The logic behind the offer is to provide current staff members of the company the opportunity to evaluate if they are really willing to continue working as an Amazon employee, or if they prefer the handsome amount offered over their current jobs.

Entitled “Please don’t take this offer”, the Amazon bosses hope their proposal remains unacceptable to most of their employees.

“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,” said CEO Jeff Bezos in the letter.

“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.”

Do you think this is an effective method to weigh up loyalty levels within a company? Write to me at

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