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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, 9:30 pm
  #106  
 
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I’m telling you, things were getting better under Smisek in his last two years, and 2016 with Hart/Munoz was very good. It’s been downhill ever sense with Kirby and Munoz, who has been a puppet to Kirby.
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Old Mar 3, 18, 9:35 pm
  #107  
 
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Originally Posted by username View Post
Sadly, I think they also do this with customers.
Right you are! That's why I never miss an opportunity to complain on those post-flight surveys. If we give them too high scores, there will be more enhancements.
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Old Mar 4, 18, 1:29 am
  #108  
 
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Originally Posted by iluv2fly View Post
Anthony Scattone
VP Total Rewards

There is a Vice President position: "VP Total Rewards"???Ironically, "Total Rewards" is the name for Caesar's/Harrah's Entertainment's Gaming Loyalty Program. How coincidental...
Total rewards is the "new" fad term for benefits and compensation, just like human resources is now "people operations," "human capital," or "talent experience."
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Old Mar 4, 18, 6:44 am
  #109  
 
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Originally Posted by bocastephen View Post
Only complete idiots, many of whom sit on the UA board, would think a service business is run for metrics and not for customers.
It's always interesting to me that people will classify an airline as a service business, but a bus company as a transportation business. Regardless, this program is a bad idea for any industry, with possibly the exception of one that employs mostly teenagers.

Originally Posted by bocastephen View Post
It's the clear the goal of this scheme is to turn employees against each other, develop an 'everyone for themselves' culture within the overall goal of improving metrics that benefit Kirby's personal bottom line. The total opposite of how Bethune (or a college sophomore doing a business simulation class) would run this company.
I doubt that's the goal of the program, and I don't think employees will turn against each other. More likely, they'll unite and grumble and complain about how unfair it is, and I agree with them. What it will do, however, is cause a great deal of resentment when one (maybe even undeserving) employee wins a BMW and 1000 customer service reps are wishing for their $100 check to buy school supplies or Christmas gifts.

Lots of discussion in this thread about whether you'd rather be given something small or have a chance for something big. I think that's the wrong angle. What motivates people? Personally, I'm going to work a little harder for something real and tangible than for a 1-in-100,000 chance to win a prize. This program will be a HUGE de-motivator.
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Old Mar 4, 18, 7:30 am
  #110  
 
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The bottom-line is the former program worked. Operations had been on an upswing lately, to the benefit of company and customers.

Now, they are just ticking off the employees that made the gains possible. I will be shocked if operational stats don't go backward now.
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Old Mar 4, 18, 9:30 am
  #111  
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Originally Posted by JBord View Post
It's always interesting to me that people will classify an airline as a service business, but a bus company as a transportation business. ....
These definitions are fluid - and that's the point. United is a service business, Spirit is a transportation business. Greyhound is a transportation business, Sleep Bus is a service business. The problem occurs when a company like United decides to be like Spirit for 99% of its customers and SQ for 1%, and then fails both. Once upon a time during the CO days, it was like working at Nordstrom, and now it's like working at Walmart. Why? Because the board of directors continually violates the principles of "From Good to Great", hiring the wrong bus driver over and over again. Most of us wanted Alan Mulally as the new CEO before Oscar - what kind of airline would United be today with the right kind of people-centric leadership?

In a way I'm glad this is happening as it will rally employees against management, and perhaps align the interests of employees and customers on the same side.
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Old Mar 4, 18, 10:53 am
  #112  
 
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Sounds like the GPU lottery on steroids

It's unfortunate that United is introducing rank & file employees to the misery of the GPU lottery. It's management that should learn how it feels to invest your loyalty and future into something that used to be more predictable but is no longer something you can count on. At least we can search for R space and sometimes find it.

I really don't get where this idea comes from. Or maybe I do.


Well, you can't have that, but if you're United employee you are entitled to...

Last edited by Mike Jacoubowsky; Mar 4, 18 at 10:58 am
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Old Mar 4, 18, 11:23 am
  #113  
 
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I had 12 years perfect attendance, the only thing I ever received were 2 region A First Class fee waived tickets....but still standby (which wasn't typically available at any time) and then I believe we were offered an extra "vacation" pass......which puts you at the front of the line when flying standby and is free....which is good for longhaul.

I think I read someone mentioned something about never knowing anyone who had won the car for perfect attendance at CO, and while I didn't either, you would see some of the Ford Explorers in the parking lot at IAH as they had an emblem on them identifying the perfect attendance. Everyone knew the chances were limited, but it also wasn't in combination with the performance goals, which if met, everyone received. Combining the programs sucks. It will be interesting to see how everyones name in the hat is done. I never liked the way the CO method was used for the car giveaways as it was one employee from each division, so, if an employee working the ramp in LAX had perfect attendance, that employee was in the hat for all ramp and ticket counter/gate agents (called airport services). Once an employee from this group was chosen, all of these employees had zero chance of winning any of the next 7 cars as it would then go to inflight, pilots, etc. It should have been everyone in the hat at all times.

Soon after the merger at Sears Tower, we would have United Management Assoc. happy hours on the 99th floor and everyone would get a raffle ticket for some prizes. After the first few that we had the legal team or tax team put a stop to it, then reintroduced it letting everyone know the employee would be taxed on the value. Was kinda disappointing it went that way. I actually won Bulls tickets and paid a chunk of change for the tax on those two tix.

Recommendation:

have these "new" enhanced bonuses drawn only once and leave the other monthly on-time checks in place.
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Old Mar 4, 18, 11:44 am
  #114  
 
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Originally Posted by FlyingNone View Post
---------------
Over 1200 comments on the employee website, 99.9% really ticked off. Flashbacks of Smisek.
=========
Now over 1800+ negative comments (as of mid-day 3/4/18).
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Old Mar 4, 18, 12:04 pm
  #115  
 
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Originally Posted by bocastephen View Post
These definitions are fluid - and that's the point. United is a service business, Spirit is a transportation business. Greyhound is a transportation business, Sleep Bus is a service business. The problem occurs when a company like United decides to be like Spirit for 99% of its customers and SQ for 1%, and then fails both. Once upon a time during the CO days, it was like working at Nordstrom, and now it's like working at Walmart. Why? Because the board of directors continually violates the principles of "From Good to Great", hiring the wrong bus driver over and over again. Most of us wanted Alan Mulally as the new CEO before Oscar - what kind of airline would United be today with the right kind of people-centric leadership?

In a way I'm glad this is happening as it will rally employees against management, and perhaps align the interests of employees and customers on the same side.
-----------
...but it won't align people, it will escalate into many, many more disgruntled, irritable employees whose only way of getting back at United is to ....(fill in the blank)....
Any or all of that will affect the customer, and not in a good way. I am not endorsing any sort of "retaliation" by employees but I'm sure that out of the 90,000 employees, there will be some who will slack, simply withhold good or extra service and just "get through the day" without killing themselves for Management, for the company, for the customers.

Last edited by FlyingNone; Mar 4, 18 at 12:10 pm
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Old Mar 4, 18, 3:11 pm
  #116  
 
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Next, United replaces Mileage Plus program with lottery with each flight mile giving the traveler a chance to win big:
  • One winner: 10,000,000 miles
  • 10 winners: 1,000,000 miles
  • 100 winners: 100,000 miles
  • 1000 winners: Actual miles flown
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Old Mar 4, 18, 3:20 pm
  #117  
 
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Originally Posted by FlyingNone View Post
-----------
...but it won't align people, it will escalate into many, many more disgruntled, irritable employees whose only way of getting back at United is to ....(fill in the blank)....
Any or all of that will affect the customer, and not in a good way. I am not endorsing any sort of "retaliation" by employees but I'm sure that out of the 90,000 employees, there will be some who will slack, simply withhold good or extra service and just "get through the day" without killing themselves for Management, for the company, for the customers.
It will be like the old Soviet system. In that worker's paradise, the workers pretended to work and the state pretended to pay them.
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Old Mar 4, 18, 3:32 pm
  #118  
 
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Based on my experience, I think probably 20-30% of the American workers really care - and they will do their jobs well regardless of the reward or compensation they get. It is their duty and they will do it. My own organization shines because of them but these are just shining spots.

Then there is probably 10% that just don't care no matter what the reward or punishment is.

Now, how do you manage the other 60%-70% whose behavior can range from "going through the motions" to "going above and beyond"? This is where the customer gets consistency and excellence. I am pretty sure a lottery system won't help as much as a well defined system to motivate.
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Old Mar 4, 18, 3:39 pm
  #119  
 
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Originally Posted by FlyingNone View Post
-----------
...but it won't align people, it will escalate into many, many more disgruntled, irritable employees whose only way of getting back at United is to ....(fill in the blank)....
Any or all of that will affect the customer, and not in a good way. I am not endorsing any sort of "retaliation" by employees but I'm sure that out of the 90,000 employees, there will be some who will slack, simply withhold good or extra service and just "get through the day" without killing themselves for Management, for the company, for the customers.
In the past disgruntled employees have tanked operations and provided poor customer service. Which customers also suffer as a result of the executives actions.

I'd welcome the return of Jeff Smisek at this point - at least United was improving in his last two years.
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Old Mar 4, 18, 3:53 pm
  #120  
 
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I just got off a flight yesterday from Munich and all i can say is what made this a great flight was the warm, personal, and friendly FA service. Mad3 all the difference and Kirby is messing with this after some healing was underway? Really? Kirby is heading down the Smisek path? Bad news for all
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