$2000 to quit your job?

As blogged on this space before, we’re totally focused on staff engagement and the ultimate customer experience here at Smartgroup. The two absolutely go hand in hand and it’s just as important to present a compelling value proposition to employees as it is to customers.

So in August 2012, we introduced ZEST, meaning Zeal, Engagement, Satisfaction and Trust. We want our employees to come to work every day with Zeal and Engagement, and leave work feeling a sense of Satisfaction with their work, and Trust in us.

At the three month mark, every new starter is offered the option to leave with a ‘thank you’ cash payment for giving it a go. If they don’t feel ZEST in their role, for whatever reason, it allows for a graceful departure and a greater sense of goodwill for everyone involved. To be clear, this program is not a replacement for a sound performance management process. It’s simply an option for those who aren’t feeling ZEST!


We initiated the program with a cash payment of $500, but got an uptake of only 2%.  So we raised the offer to $1000, and still could manage only a 2% uptake.  So now, we’ve decided to raise it to a $2000 cash payment, and will also be making the offer a 2nd time at the 6-month mark.

We hope the take-up rate will be slightly higher than 2%, so we know that it is having some effect, but hopefully it won’t be too much higher!  We will keep you posted!

Certainly, we are not the first to do this . . . Zappos, an innovative online US retailer launched such an offer at $100, and gradually increased it to $2000.  Today Amazon, which subsequently acquired Zappos, gives an exit bonus of up to $5000!  That does seem a bit high to us, but perhaps it shows that there is still an opportunity to further improve our culture and employee value proposition, such that $5000 doesn’t seem so high.

Of course, the more engaged our staff and the higher performing our culture, the better service you, our loyal customers, are sure to get.  We’ll keep striving to do whatever we can to ensure that we are as good to you, as you have been to us!

Deven Billimoria
Chief Executive Officer

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August 2014
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