Company offers employees $25,000 to quit

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Gaming company Riot Games wants to make sure that its workers are happy in their jobs – so much so, that it offers them up to US$25,000 to quit, even if they’ve just been hired.

CEO Brandon Beck and president Marc Merrill came up with the program, called Queue Dodge, which allows any newly hired employee in North America who decides to quit within 60 days of starting to be paid 10% of their salary, up to $25,000.

In a blog post announcing the roll-out of Queue Dodge, the company explained that while it wasn’t trying to push people out or “dare them to leave”, it wanted to provide a “well-lit, safe exit path”.

It said that employees who turned out to be a mismatch for the company’s culture would be doing themselves and the business a disservice by hanging on for the paycheck.
“Rather than allow mismatches to fester, we want to resolve them quickly. This is good for the company, and good for the professional,” the post said.

Riot Games has more than 800 staff worldwide, but Queue Dodge only applies to North American employees at the moment.

It’s not the first company to offer workers money to quit.

Online retailer Zappos offers new recruits US$2,000 to leave after their first week of training and the offer stands until the end of the fourth week.

In a blog post, the business said that less than one per cent of employees ended up taking the offer.

Amazon also has a program called Pay to Quit, where warehouse workers are initially offered US$2,000 to leave and the amount increases by $1,000 annually until it reaches $5,000.

Do you think offering an incentive to quit is a good idea? Why/why not?
  • Justin B on 2014-07-09 10:59:28 AM

    On the face of it, this appears to be very generous, but in reality they are just changing the termination from a termination without cause to the person quitting themself.

    BC labour law has a minimum schedule that must be followed. Even after 3 months, a person is entitled to 1 week notice of severance, which most places will just pay in lieu to avoid any revenge tactics by the employee during their notice period. At $40,000, this is $770. So paying an employee to quit will cost you a more, but then there is less (maybe zero?) risk of them being able to take you to court to sue for wrongful dismissal or a more generous severance package. So definitely worth the extra cost.

    There is also the benefit that you will have less employees who don't align with the culture for long periods, because there is a financial cushion if they leave.

  • Kelly A on 2014-07-11 12:37:22 AM

    In our current job market which seems to be difficult in most sectors, once people find a job then tend to want to keep it whether they enjoy their job or not. For an employee, it can be a much better option than finding themselves back in the immense queue of unemployed.

    Unhappy employees do not make for a good work environment and the costs stack up when you account for the lost productivity of the unhappy employee which also compounds to other staff that are affected by the behaviour. It may also cost the company in loss of good employees that no longer want to work in such an environment. This cost mounts very quickly and to a huge extent that could very well exceed an entire individuals wage. (Speaking from recent experience as a GM)

    I've heard of companies that invest incredible amounts in "Employee Relations Coaching" which is designed to assist building a better environment and provide psychoanalysis of all the staff members. This is altruistic and may improve things, but often doesn't fix the problems, plus the cost is multiples of staff wages over a year.

    When a job position is filled, this is a risk for both the company and employee. One thing that I've always felt is that if the fit isn't correct that you end the relationship sooner than later.

    As a reasonable and ethical company, there is logic behind providing an incentive to have unhappy staff leave, even at 10% of their annual wage (just over a month of wages), this is likely less costly than the alternative. It may discourage people from staying in a position where the fit isn't right just to have a paycheque. Plus, often employers tend to give too much leniency for staff that are not working out as they "need" someone to fill the spot, rather than looking for the right person. Checks and Balance.

    Interesting methodology.

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