Does paying your employees to leave — and not be your employees — make any economic sense?
Is it something any rational company would do?
Well it is just what Todd Saylor, the head of PayServ Systems and the Wired Differently(™) movement, is doing. He’s running several businesses that are well into the 8 figures of combined revenue and he’s paying employees to leave.
That’s right — get out of here — bye! — and take a check with you.
Who is their right mind would do this?
Todd Saylor. And probably a lot more forward looking organizations in the near future.
I recently got to interview Todd for the Do Business Differently(™) YouTube Show and I’ll summarize the interview for you (the full interview is at the end of this article).
Point 1: Employees Will Leave
Let’s face the facts: employees are going to leave. Regardless of how hard we work at keeping them, creating great workplaces and being outstanding leaders sometimes changes are needed.
Sometimes the employees don’t have the right skill set. Sometimes their personal life changes. Sometimes they want to progress into a new role we don’t have. And there could be a host of other reasons employees want to leave.
With the high cost of recruitment and training (for the current situation on training, see here) it definitely makes sense to keep employees.
But all of that aside, even if we do everything right, people will leave. So we should plan in light of the fact that employees will leave.
Point 2: When Employees Leave It Can Make a Mess
If you’ve been a business owner or leader for any period of time you know this truth: when an employee leaves it can create a mess. I’ve had it happen to me, it’s happened to my clients and it’s happened to Todd Saylor.
Even with great systems in place there are just certain things that our employees know that we don’t. They know status of projects, relationship issues and hidden details that even the best of CRMs can’t track.
Add to this that many of our employees are interfacing with our customers regularly, it would be really helpful to have an orderly exit process so that we can better plan, staff and transition.
Knowing this mess and the cost and disruption to the business Todd Saylor started looking for answers.
Point 3: Why Not Have Understandings Up Front?
So knowing that employees will leave and knowing that it could potentially be messy when they leave, why not have understandings on leaving up front?
That’s exactly what Todd Saylor has done at his businesses. When employees are hired into many positions (not just high dollared salaried positions) there is a portion of the agreement that addresses the employee leaving in an order manner.
Should the employee leave and follow certain conditions that make the transition more orderly for the company the employee will receive a payment for leaving. This does exactly what many of us try to do in business — align incentives.
So an employee at one of Todd Saylor’s companies knows — when they start work — what the company expects, and will pay for, when they leave.
Point 4: Paying Employees To Leave — The Right Way — Makes Business Sense
As I dug into this in my interview with Todd he made something very clear: it makes a lot of business sense to pay employees to leave the right way.
First, like many things in business, it comes down to customer service. At the end of the day the customer is served better when employees leave the right way. The outgoing employee can introduce the replacement, there is an orderly transition, and the new person doesn’t have to rehash old ground with the customer.
It’s also better for internal operations. Files can be closed, data is less likely to be lost or misplaced and proper exit interviews can be completed. All in all, Todd’s businesses run better because of what he’s doing.
And to add icing to the cake an employee that is paid an “exit bonus” — for lack of a better word — is less likely to say negative things about their termination.
I think most of us want good relationships with everyone including former employees.
So it is clear that it could make a lot of business sense to pay employees to leave the right way.
Point 5: Why Not Try Some Innovation At Your Business?
All of this leads to the question of why not try some innovation at your business?
Todd’s brand of Wired Differently(™) inspires me. It’s very similar to my own brain-child of Do Business Differently(™). And the core message we’d both give you, as business owners and leaders, is this: why not do what makes sense for your situation?
Most employers aren’t paying employees to leave the right way. Maybe you can — and should — try this?
What else is and isn’t working?
Don’t just copy what others do. Innovate in ways that make sense for what you need.
What To Do Now
So if you are reading this and thinking paying employees to leave makes sense start with your employment lawyer. You’ll want to make sure you do this in a way that complies with applicable law.
And perhaps it’s inspiring you to think bigger. To think about making your business a Wired Differently(™) organization. If so, congratulations. Give Todd and me a call — or call a consultant you trust to break you out of the box. Going a new direction is often easier with a team.
I’d love to hear about what you are trying and how you are innovating in your business. Please comment below or reach out to me.
And to enjoy my full interview with Todd just click here:
NOTE: This article is a piece develop a small portion of the content of the book tentatively called The Journey: Finding Your Place From Entrepreneur to CEO being co-authored by The Our Shawn McBride and Ann Gatty. If you want updates on the book including the possibility of joining our release team or getting one of the first copies please join our mailing list here.
DISCLAIMER: This article talks about legal issues. I am a lawyer licensed in multiple US jurisdictions, but I am not your lawyer unless we have signed an engagement agreement. Please view this material as educational and consult counsel you have retained for advice on your specific facts and circumstances. Do not rely on these general statements as legal advice.
By: The Our Shawn McBride, is the business nerd and long-time business attorney that focuses on changes of ownership in businesses. He works with business owners that know their business is about more than themselves to get ready for their future through keynotes, training and personalized solutions. In furtherance of this he hosts The Future Done Right(TM) Show where he collects, digests and gives lessons and insights on The Future of Business. If you want regular content on the future of business subscribe to get new blog posts from us here.
You’ll quickly notice his unusual suits which he uses open the conversation of how businesses should Do Business Differently™.
The Our Shawn is based in DeLand, Florida (between Orlando, Florida and Daytona Beach, Florida) and Dallas, Texas where he keeps offices. You can also find Shawn on webinars or traveling nationally or internationally for speaking engagements.
Check me out at: www.planningdoneright.com
Affiliate notice: Some links in this article are to sites that I am affiliated with.
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