Why is Zappos' Company Culture so Awesome?
For nearly a decade Zappos has been offering severance packages to employees in exchange for their resignation when big changes happen. Why?
"We could've just as easily not given any offer and then just said, 'This is what we're doing,' but we've always prioritized company culture and how we treat employees. We want to make sure that employees aren't here for just a paycheck and that they truly believe that this is the right place for them," CEO of Zappos, Tony Hsieh said.
I've been in discussions with several managers who have told me that some employees are just there for their paycheck, and those employees are the ones who cause the most tension.
Even though Zappos has had an employee turnover rate of somewhere between 14%-18% in some of the previous years, they've maintained employees who are willing to give 101%.
In one of their most recent company-wide changes they offered "each employee at least 3 months severance (and up to 3 months of COBRA reimbursement for benefits) if he/she feels that self-management, self-organization, and our Best Customers Strategy and strategy statements as published in Glass Frog are not the right fit. (For employees that have been with Zappos for 4 or more years, the offer will be 1 month for every year worked at Zappos, along with up to 3 months of COBRA reimbursement for benefits.)"
This closely resembles their policy of offering new hires one month's salary to quit if they don't love the job.
Personally, I think this incentive structure is wonderful. I've been in workplaces where people just show up to get their paychecks, and they seem to not have a drive, passion, or reason for the work they do. The model that Zappos has been practicing eliminates that issue.
Quality over quantity.