Amazon is paying its workers up to $5,000 to quit — and it's a brilliant strategy

  • Amazon is paying employees up to $5,000 to quit their jobs. 
  • The strategy weeds out less-engaged employees and encourages employees to feel even more committed to their jobs. 
  •  It's also an effective strategy for companies that want to avoid executing mass layoffs. 

Amazon is offering to pay its employees up to $5,000 if they agree to quit their jobs.

The e-commerce giant is dangling "The Offer," as it's called internally, in front of workers this week at the company's warehouses and customer-service centers across the US, The Atlantic reports.

The strategy of paying people to quit might seem bizarre. But it's actually a brilliant business move aimed at trimming the company's ranks of its least-engaged workers.

"We want people working at Amazon who want to be here," Amazon spokeswoman Ashley Robinson told Business Insider. "The goal is to encourage folks to take a moment and think about what they really want. In the long-term, we believe staying somewhere you don’t want to be isn’t healthy for our employees or for the company." 

RELATED: Check out the 20 cities Amazon has on its shortlist for HQ2:

Cities on Amazon's shortlist for HQ2
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Cities on Amazon's shortlist for HQ2
Los Angeles, California 
New York, New York
Washington, D.C.
Toronto, Canada
Raleigh, North Carolina
Columbus, Ohio
Atlanta, Georgia
Boston, Massachusetts
Austin, Texas
Chicago, Illinois 
Dallas, Texas
Colorado, Denver
Indianapolis, Indiana

Montgomery County, Maryland 

(Photo: Bethesda)

Nashville, Tennessee
Newark, New Jersey

Northern Virginia

(Photo: Arlington) 

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Miami, Florida


Robinson said "The Offer" is presented to employees once a year.

Full-time employees will be offered payments of between $2,000 and $5,000 that are commensurate with their experience, according to The Atlantic's Alana Semuels.

The strategy doesn't just weed out less-engaged employees. It also encourages employees to feel even more committed to their jobs, Semuels writes, citing Ian Ayres, who wrote about the psychological effects of the concept in his book "Carrots and Sticks: Unlock the Power of Incentives to Get Things Done."

According to Ayres, employees who turn down "The Offer" will feel more invested in their work because they have consciously decided to stay longer at their company.

Paying employees to quit could also be an effective strategy for companies that want to avoid executing mass layoffs. 

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