Sunday reading for April 13, 2014:

1. Lauren Weber and Rachel Feintzeig have a great piece up on the Wall Street Journal looking at the changing ways employers are managing human resources issues such as hiring, firing, benefits, and performance management. As an HR guy, I’m predisposed to seeing the value in HR departments. With that said, the piece gives some compelling examples of instances in which the function has been both harmful and helpful to various organizations. This one is a must read. Check it out here.

2. Allison Linn has a story up on CNBC about a newly implemented Amazon policy wherein its fulfillment center employees can now receive a cash payout of between $2,000 and $5,000 to quit. The rationale here goes that if employees are disengaged and not happy working at the organization, having them voluntarily leave the firm is better than having them stay with the company (driving down engagement over time). I think the idea is sound in theory; the dollar amount is probably a low enough percentage of base salary that it isn’t going to compel a happy employee to leave the organization. On the other hand, in cases where employees were looking to leave the firm already payouts here will end up being wasted capital. I’m not sure what percentage of the company’s workforce falls into the latter bucket, but regardless this is an interesting idea and read. Check it out here.

As always, please share your thoughts in the comments below.