Methods to keep employees happy in midlevel and smaller businesses probably haven’t been as widespread as they should be. While you may be lucky and find a company that does everything to assure employees get the benefits and challenges they deserve and want, being stuck in a place that caters to the old days of keeping a status quo are the worst tales of employment today. Even if midlevel and small companies think they’re far removed from top companies, big names are providing incentives small companies could learn from to benefit everyone.
One of those major names is Amazon.com where they’re starting a “Pay to Quit” program previously designed by Zappos.com. This works by offering to pay employees each year to quit if they think they aren’t happy working for the company. In the first year, Amazon is offering a generous $2000. It then goes up $1000 every year after that with the assumption it can weed out those who don’t want to stick around.
As controversial as this practice sounds, Amazon defends it as being the new way to keep employees motivated. It plays on the psychology that if they don’t like it there, they won’t stay on out of fear they won’t have any money coming in for the foreseeable future. Even if several thousand dollars may only pay one’s bills for a couple of months (depending on your lifestyle), it’s a program you can see other companies use in a time when money motivates everything.
But is the new generation entering the workforce really motivated by money, or something else?
Will Other Companies Copy Amazon.com?
It might be a mistake for other companies to think that the Generation Y employees they’re hiring now would be motivated by a “Pay to Quit” program. Forbes noted last year that Generation Y is already thinking differently in the workplace. While money is always important for them, it’s not the top priority. Generation Y considers relationships and career advancement opportunities equally if not more important, no matter where they work.
In a place like Amazon.com, you’d think that the focus would be on allowing people to advance and get along well with managers rather than giving incentives for people to quit. The other intention of “Pay to Quit”, of course, is to spare people the pain of layoffs when Amazon deems it necessary. Regardless, you have to wonder if the Gen Y employees working at Amazon will quit more out of not having enough challenges or staff relationships rather than using the “take the money and run” approach.
The concern is that many employees will simply take jobs that use this program to work for a short time and then quit to get an easy and substantial payout. If Millennials quit due to factors beyond money, employers will hopefully know why they quit for those reasons and not because of the several thousand dollars.
Without anybody knowing for sure, these payout programs may proliferate in thousands of other companies with a mistaken thought money rules every decision. In that regard, the payout programs may not last once companies find out they’re losing Gen Y talent to others who still think money buys job happiness.