Cost of excellence

Not many companies are as bold as Zappos. Their website doesn't look all that different than most other online retailers, but their employee culture is quite radical. If you don't know much about Zappos, you have likely have heard of the company that purchased the company for 1.2 billion dollars. Billion. Zappos sells shoes online and sold for over a billion dollars.

When Amazon acquired Zappos, many thought the culture of the shoe retailer would fade away. The culture focuses on the people over the products. There are stories of customer service representatives that send flowers to customers having a bad day. A company that says it will take 3 days for your shoes to arrive, but will surprise you with free next day delivery. The CEO tells his employees to use twitter to talk about the company instead of paying for formal advertising. Maybe the most interesting culture shaping policy is called The Offer. For those working at Zappos that no longer love the job and want to quit, they are paid up to $2,000 to encourage them to move on. Zappos pays their employees to quit.  

As Amazon brought Zappos under their umbrella, many thought these radical practices would be dropped, yet instead Amazon started some of these culture changing practices. Amazon just announced they will now pay employees to quit and have even raised the stakes by offering up to $5,000.

Amazon believes that their staff should be devoted to the company and are willing to invest $5,000 to remove those that don't absolutely appreciate what they are doing. Zappos and Amazon know that if the people inside the company don't love the culture, it will be highly unlikely that people outside will either.  

Amazon and Zappos knows there is a cost for excellence and they are willing to pay for it.