How much do you like your job?
If your boss offered you a month’s salary to quit, would you take the money?
What about $5,000? Or $25,000?
Some companies are so committed to the idea that the best employees are the ones who really want to be there that they’ve created programs that offer cash to people who quit their jobs.
The idea is that the employees who don’t enjoy their jobs will take the money; the ones who love their jobs will keep coming to work every day.
Here are five companies that will pay you to quit your job:
Let’s start with shoe and clothing company Zappos, famous both for its customer service and what it calls “The Offer”: If new hires don’t enjoy working for Zappos, the company will pay them one month’s salary to leave.
Zappos is all about customer service, after all — and if you aren’t happy with Zappos, you might not be the best person to help make Zappos’ customers happy.
In 2015, Zappos took The Offer one step further. The company was transitioning its management style, so Zappos offered current employees the opportunity to take a severance package in the amount of either three months’ salary (at minimum) or one month’s salary for every year worked.
This was another way of saying “if you aren’t going to be happy working for us, we’d like to make it easy to choose something else.” As Zappos reports, approximately 18% of its staff took the severance.
In 2009, Zappos was acquired by Amazon. In 2014, Amazon announced its own version of The Offer: a program called “Pay to Quit.”
Here’s how Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos explained it to shareowners:
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.
In other words: Work for Amazon for four years, and it’ll pay you $5,000 to walk away. The bosses hope you love working for Amazon so much that you can’t imagine saying goodbye — not even for $5K.
If you think $5,000 sounds like a lot of money, how about $10,000?
Like many popular benefits these days, the generous parting gift is an attempt to signal the existence of a positive company culture, both to employees who stay behind and those yet to come. The type of organization that gives loyal, hard-working employees a pile of money is, in theory, a desirable place to work.
Bloomberg also notes that the $10,000 bonus is not given to every employee who turns in a two-week notice, and quotes CEO Morgan Hermand-Waiche: “We would do it for anyone that has put in a lot of hard work and effort at Adore Me.”
4. Riot Games
Riot Games, the company behind the massively popular multiplayer game “League of Legends,” also gives its newest hires the opportunity to quit their jobs and walk out with some cash.
New Riot employees have six months to determine whether the company is a good fit. If they decide they don’t want to stay, Riot gives them 10% of their salary with a $25,000 maximum.
Riot named its incentive plan after the gaming term “Queue Dodge,” and explains it this way:
If someone gags on the unique flavor of our culture, they’d be doing themselves and the company a disservice to hang on just for the paycheck.
Auction site DealDash has a workforce that’s spread across six countries — as of this writing, it has job openings in London, Minneapolis and two cities in Finland — and it’s ready to not only build the best possible team but also pay $6,000 to any employee who resigns.
As the DealDash job listings explain:
We believe people who work at DealDash should only do so because they love it, not because it’s their only option financially.
That’s a really healthy way to approach employment — and offering the $6,000 resignation bonus helps make sure that DealDash employees have at least one other financial option: quit their job, take the $6,000 and start looking for something they love.
Your Turn: Would you quit your job if your employer offered you $5,000? How about $10,000? Do you love your job so much that no amount of money could convince you to leave?
Nicole Dieker is a senior editor at The Billfold, and her work has also appeared in The Toast, The Write Life, Boing Boing and Popular Science.