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Opinion VOC Strategy

Amazon Puts Team Commitment to the Ultimate Test


That’s the word that came to mind when I read that Amazon had adopted the ‘pay employees to quit' policy from its Zappos subsidiary.

Commitment to what, you ask? To its own stated mission to be the ‘most customer centric company in the world’.

$5000 to Quit

Amazon is offering its warehouse employees something pretty unusual — thousands of dollars to quiT their job. Now, they sent the offer under the headline ‘Please Don’t Take This Offer’, because their goal was only to weed out people who were unhappy employees but were simply hanging on for the paycheck.


On the surface, it makes no sense to offer employees money to quit while a company is in an expansion phase like Amazon is. Or does it?

Is there a better time to weed out the uncommitted, unenthused team members? It makes sense to do it before embarking on a major expansion that demands ‘all hands on deck’.

The takeaway

Whenever you think you’ve reached the maximum level of commitment to your core mission as a company, there’s always another standard bearer to remind you there’s more you can do.

The really powerful aspects of this story:

1. Amazon has a laser focus on what it’s critical success factors are — and employees are very high on the list

2. There’s a focus on the long term, at some expense of the short term. Losing 10% of the employees who got the offer is no joke, but over the longer term, that’s a lot of momentum killers that have been taken out of the system

3. Putting your money where your strategy is — it’s not easy to commit dollars to something like this. It takes vision, courage and a clear sense of where the ROI is going to come from

All these things point to how Amazon sees its path to success — not just making a grandiose mission statement, like many companies do, but rather really meaning it, living it and shaking the ground under the company to get there.

Apr 22, 2014 | Original Link

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