Hit the Road, Jack

Management comes with its share of perks…and problems. One problem no manager looks forward to is having to let someone go. Okay, some actually seem to enjoy it, but that’s another article.

Often, it’s simply a matter of having the right person in the wrong place. Best case scenario there is being able to move the employee to another area where their talents are better suited. But that’s not always possible, even in organizations with a wide range of opportunities.

One company, Zappos, takes a novel approach to this situation. New hires get a severance package right up front! If, at any time within their first year – even on their first day – they feel that Zappos isn’t a good fit for them, they can resign with three months’ salary and benefits. No hard feelings, no black mark on their personnel record.

Not every organization is going to be comfortable making an offer like that as part of their onboarding process. But we’ve all had employees who seem to be adrift, unengaged or just out of their element at varying stages of their career. It can be difficult, costly and time-consuming to build a case for firing them. And in many instances, that’s just not warranted.

Consider offering a modest severance package – say, four to six weeks’ pay – on an annual basis, across the board. Make it clear that participation is strictly voluntary. Also, stress the positive aspect of the offer: if employees are unhappy where they are, this is their chance to move on to more rewarding opportunities elsewhere. It’s empowering to employees, establishes trust and ultimately leaves you with a happier, more productive workforce.

All in all, better to say, “May the road rise to meet you” than “Hit the road!”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *