Starting this month, United Airlines will slash quarterly bonuses for its employees, and replace them with a lottery system which gives $100,000 in bonuses only to one lucky employee.
The company’s president Scott Kirby confirmed the news on March 2, describing the new rewards program as “exciting”. He unveiled that the ‘lottery’ prizes will be given every four months and will include Mercedes Benz cars and luxury vacations.
Only employees that hit quarterly performance targets will be included in the drawing. The lucky winner will be randomly chosen.
However, not all employees are excited about the new system. People familiar with the matter told the press that Kirby’s announcement had rapidly sparked a ‘firestorm’ among workers. Union members said they’d like smaller sums of money given to them on a quarterly basis than entering a chance lottery.
United Workers Disgruntled with the Changes
Craig Symons who leads the flight dispatchers union for the company explained that a lottery will never be able to properly reward people’s team-oriented capabilities. Workers denied that they’d feel a “sense of accomplishment” when they’d enter the lottery.
Nevertheless, United is confident that the new rewards system could still motivate its 86,000-plus workforce. The airline has also fared the worst in recent years when it comes to customer satisfaction.
Studies have not reached a consensus on whether employee bonuses are able to push productivity up. But no study has assessed the efficacy of a lottery for employees.
According to American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI), United Airlines landed on the last spot as the legacy airline with the poorest customer satisfaction in 2017.
ACSI head David VanAmburg explained that while major carriers like United lower their ticket prices to compete against low-cost companies, they must also work on customer satisfaction. For most passengers, low ticket prices do not make up for poor service quality.
Image Source: Wikimedia
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