Money for Nothing

Recently, I was visiting the blog “Clearly, You’re New Here” where I found a post about Zappos, the online shoe juggernaut. I like Zappos because they make it easy to search for vegan shoes, but also because they pay for shipping–even on returns, which makes the prospect of buying shoes online less risky.

Harvard Business Publishing Blogger Bill Taylor interviewed Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos, and learned about their Offer. New employees, after a month of working at the company (at full pay) are offered their month’s work pay plus $1,000 to quit. Because jobs at the high-growth company are demanding and the atmosphere is chaotic, if gratifying, the logic is that employees who don’t fit with the culture or who are not committed to the organization will take the money and run. The $1,000 is less expensive than the long-term costs of having an employee on the staff who fit poorly with the organization.

When I worked with Dr. Tsui, we primarily wrote about fit, and it is true that poor fit, on any number of dimensions, can provide negative consquences for the organization or work group, including low morale, decreased productivity, higher turnover intentions, and greater job dissatisfaction. However, ensuring fit can also weed out individuals who may have demographic differences (e.g., race, age, gender, religion).

Zappos’ policy is an interesting one, though, and a bold move to ensure the positive elements of fit for the organization.

HB Publishing Interview

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