League of Legends studio Riot Games offers new hires cash to quit with "Dodge Queue" program

Andy Chalk

Sometimes, even a dream job doesn't work out quite as planned. Maybe it's more mundane and soul-deadening than you expected, or maybe all your new coworkers are jerks, or maybe you're a jerk who just can't play nicely with others. Regardless of the specifics, it happens sometimes. But if that dream job happens to be at Riot Games, the studio responsible for League of Legends , at least you won't have to go away empty-handed.

The "Queue Dodge" program offers new hires at Riot 10 percent of their annual salary, up to a maximum of $25,000, in exchange for quitting within their first 60 days. "We don't want to actively push people out or dare them to leave," the studio explained, "but we do want to provide a well-lit, safe exit path."

Riot also hopes the new program will help reinforce its internal culture by helping "self-identified mismatches move on in an open, positive and constructive way," instead of toughing it out for a paycheck. "Rather than allow mismatches to fester, we want to resolve them quickly," it said. "This is good for the company, and good for the professional."

The idea actually came from Zappos, an online shoe and clothing company that was acquired by Amazon in 2009. Riot acknowledged that it seemed "a bit nutty" at the time and I thought the same about "Queue Dodge" at first, but on further consideration I think it's actually a pretty good idea. It's a safety net: An unhappy employee is not going to be a good employee, so making it easier to walk away is going to be better for everyone in the long run.

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