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UA employees shocked: (qtrly performance) Bonuses replaced with lottery (on "pause")

UA employees shocked: (qtrly performance) Bonuses replaced with lottery (on "pause")

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Old Mar 5, 18, 5:08 am   -   Wikipost
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Update 5 March 2018 per Chicago Tribune (and confirmed by internal employee memo
United walks back new bonus lottery system that angered employees
United Airlines on Monday reversed plans to begin awarding bonuses through a lottery system that angered employees.

Scott Kirby, president of the Chicago-based airline, said United was “pressing the pause button” on changes that would have handed out larger bonuses to only a fraction of its workers after hearing employees’ feedback since announcing the changes late last week.

Per Chicago Business Journal, 2 March 2018
​​​​​​​United Airlines employees shocked: Bonuses replaced with lottery

United Airlines President Scott Kirby sent shock waves through the employee ranks at the Chicago-based airline today.

Kirby issued an employee memo in which he announced that the Chicago-based airline is dropping the quarterly performance bonuses the carrier had been giving out to all employees qualified to receive them.

Kirby said in the memo, obtained by the Chicago Business Journal, that the bonus payouts are being replaced with a new program called "core4 Score Rewards," which Kirby said would include quarterly prizes like cash ranging from $2,000 to $40,000, luxury cars, vacation packages, and a grand of prize of $100,000 awarded to one eligible employee per quarter.
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Old Mar 3, 18, 11:27 am
  #76  
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Originally Posted by FlyngSvyr View Post
I don't really care how they choose to compensate their employees as long I still receive great service. Isn't that what really matters?
If my level of service suffers due to this new program, then I will complain that it did not work.
Exactly. I really don't understand why people on here are upset. They are just another company. If the employees don't like what they get then move to another company. I could careless about United's employees comp plan--it's of total irrelevance to me. Do I check out the bonus plans of Toro Mfg when I buy a lawnmower? When I buy a pair of Levi's should I be concerned if Tom Smith got his quarterly bonus? Of course not. What a bunch of silly responses on here.
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Old Mar 3, 18, 11:28 am
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Originally Posted by jashsu View Post
Scenario A: Employees A, B, C, D, and E all get $100 bonus. Scenario B: Employee E randomly gets a $500 bonus and the rest get nothing. Which scenario do you think is going to cause more bitterness and discontentment?
Even worse, scenario B is more like "Employee E gets $200".

Originally Posted by enviroian View Post
I really don't understand why people on here are upset.
Some people actually have empathy for others, and prefer companies that don't abuse their employees.
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Old Mar 3, 18, 11:29 am
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Definition of bonus. : something in addition to what is expected or strictly due: such as. a : money or an equivalent given in addition to an employee's usual compensation.

-------------------------------------------------------

I used to work for a company that had a "quarterly bonus" program.

6 weeks into the relevant quarter you received your bonus (and you had 6 weeks to do it, not a quarter) which consisted of 20-30 hours of extra work you had to do to get paid $750. In addition to travelling, working 60 hours a week onsite, and usually 230+ hours per month total.

Now, their "bonus" program was "optional" so near the end of my time there, a lot of us would just walk away from it, and not complete anything at all. It drove our managers nuts, as we figured out that they assigned us the critical work that they had to do to get their bonus money.

When you give someone something on a regular basis, and treat it like a salary as was probably done in the UAL case, you shouldn't be taking it away and replacing it with this lottery scheme.

Then again, if you can afford to, you can just quit if it's really "that" big a deal.
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Old Mar 3, 18, 11:34 am
  #79  
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Originally Posted by mahasamatman View Post
don't abuse their employees.
Abuse? LOL good lord please. Perhaps they should call Gloria Allred while they're at it. Equating a company's bonus program to employee "abuse" is so ridiculous I don't know where to start.
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Old Mar 3, 18, 11:38 am
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Originally Posted by mahasamatman View Post
Useful? I hope that's a typo...
I meant it - they are useful to Kirby's attempts to increase senior manager paychecks at the expense of line employee morale.

​​​​​​In political jargon, a useful idiot is a derogatory term for a person perceived as a propagandist for a cause the goals of which they are not fully aware, and who is used cynically by the leaders of the cause.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Useful_idiot
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Old Mar 3, 18, 11:45 am
  #81  
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Originally Posted by enviroian View Post
Exactly. I really don't understand why people on here are upset. They are just another company. If the employees don't like what they get then move to another company. I could careless about United's employees comp plan--it's of total irrelevance to me. Do I check out the bonus plans of Toro Mfg when I buy a lawnmower? When I buy a pair of Levi's should I be concerned if Tom Smith got his quarterly bonus? Of course not. What a bunch of silly responses on here.
Until the plan is changed, service will plummet. We’ll have more delayed departures, bags, canceled flights, etc. Passengers will be directly impacted.

There’s one interesting twist I heard on the eligibility issue: one sick day and an employee doesn’t qualify for the bonus (lottery). So you can be lazy, surly and mean with a perfect attendance record, yet still qualify for the bonus. If you’re dedicated, customer-focused, provide great customer service, but forced to take one sick day, you’re ineligible.
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Old Mar 3, 18, 12:02 pm
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UA it appears is taking back some of what they gave to the employees in the recent negotiation. The unions didn't include any bonus in their contract, and UA is now changing that elective aspect of compensation. Pretty typical and not collectively bargained, so if it was that important did they didn't collectively bargain this into the negotiations? My guess is they knew UA would perhaps change this and is why they were heavy on $ compensation. If I was one of the bargaining team, I would lay out what is and isn't collectively bargained in terms of compensation and assume any elective compensation on behalf of the employer may be at risk.
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Old Mar 3, 18, 12:07 pm
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This is awful, service will suffer and it is unfair to the employees! How the hell will a random lottery incentivize the right behavior?
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Old Mar 3, 18, 12:14 pm
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I suspect the motivation for this memo / initiative was research suggesting higher opt-in per incentive offered rates for surveys that do lotteries vs. fixed rewards. E.g., offering $1 to each respondent might get 100 responses and obviously cost $100, but offering $10 to ten lucky respondents might get 200 responses for the same cost.

However, UA management is evidently overlooking the opt-in part. You don't want employees electing to opt in (or not) to job performance.
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Old Mar 3, 18, 12:46 pm
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Personally, I can see why employees wouldn't love this idea, but the hyperbole in here is pretty funny. Quarterly performance bonuses are by no means standard in the service industry. In fact, a large company I am very familiar with doesn't given any bonuses to frontline employees and only annual bonuses to managers. Having an extra perk cut sucks but it also doesn't mean you're a galley slave suddenly.

Now in my ideal scenario, employee A who is the best performer in their group gets a bonus, employee B who is runner-up gets a smaller bonus and the rest can try harder. If there was a culture where *everyone* regardless of actual merit expects a bonus, then getting rid of the system as is would be a great decision in the interest of the business and the customer. Now, I don't know how the UA bonus system worked, so I won't comment on it. Do I think a 'lottery' instead of bonuses is great? No, especially not with very expensive prizes that ensure only very few will win while most go home empty-handed. Nothing with wrong with an employee raffle but keep prizes sensible so it's good fun rather than the cause of envy and resentment.
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Last edited by WineCountryUA; Mar 3, 18 at 4:38 pm Reason: discuss the issues, not the poster(s)
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Old Mar 3, 18, 1:41 pm
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Originally Posted by enviroian View Post
Exactly. I really don't understand why people on here are upset. They are just another company. If the employees don't like what they get then move to another company. I could careless about United's employees comp plan--it's of total irrelevance to me. Do I check out the bonus plans of Toro Mfg when I buy a lawnmower? When I buy a pair of Levi's should I be concerned if Tom Smith got his quarterly bonus? Of course not. What a bunch of silly responses on here.
Many people, especially younger ones, do in fact check out the working conditions of companies before buying their products and avoid companies that abuse employees through sweatshops, abusive labor practices, dangerous working conditions, etc. So yes, it most certainly matters to many people, and need I resurrect the ghost of the old SaveSkyMiles campaign where an airline made the mistake of taking on customers and employees at the same time? How did that work out for them? Hint: not good, especially when one remembers the near mental breakdown of Delta's then-CEO on the steps of the Plaza Hotel while taunted by an advertising banner. An airline can make employees happy at the expense of customers, or vice versa, but if they try to screw both at the same time, it sows the seeds for blowback, and not just with people taking their business elsewhere or quitting their jobs - but rather by joining together to take on management and winning.

Last edited by WineCountryUA; Mar 3, 18 at 4:39 pm Reason: removed response to deleted content
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Old Mar 3, 18, 3:07 pm
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Is management delusional?

And the prizes for the raffles, a Mercedes C class car? What's a person making $12/hour going to do with a brand new Mercedes?
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Old Mar 3, 18, 3:09 pm
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Originally Posted by blueflyer3 View Post
A "sense of accomplishment"? Reminds me of Electronic Arts' PR disaster a few months ago.
This sort of mismanagement is what is making me decide to move to a different carrier for my business. Yes the big three (or four) are basically all the same, but United is going downhill faster than Delta. I dont like that Delta only gets 4 upgrades per year on international, but Uniteds management just really has no clue what the employees and customers want.
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Old Mar 3, 18, 3:11 pm
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Originally Posted by enviroian View Post
Exactly. I really don't understand why people on here are upset. They are just another company. If the employees don't like what they get then move to another company. I could careless about United's employees comp plan--it's of total irrelevance to me. Do I check out the bonus plans of Toro Mfg when I buy a lawnmower? When I buy a pair of Levi's should I be concerned if Tom Smith got his quarterly bonus? Of course not. What a bunch of silly responses on here.
Employee satisfaction and how the company treats their employees is highly correlated to a "good business."

Pissed off employees don;'t tend to handle irritated customers well either.
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Old Mar 3, 18, 3:16 pm
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Originally Posted by ContinentalFan View Post
There’s one interesting twist I heard on the eligibility issue: one sick day and an employee doesn’t qualify for the bonus (lottery). So you can be lazy, surly and mean with a perfect attendance record, yet still qualify for the bonus. If you’re dedicated, customer-focused, provide great customer service, but forced to take one sick day, you’re ineligible.
Because nothing says a customer is valued like encouraging sick employees to come to work and spread their plague to the customers sharing close quarters with them?

Yes, I do want the flight attendant who is battling influenza pouring me a drink?
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