United tried to replace bonuses with a $100000 lottery

United Airline

"We will be reaching out to work groups across the company and the changes we make will better reflect your feedback", president Scott Kirby said in a memo.

In an internal memo leaked last week, United Airlines announced they were replacing performance-based bonuses with a new, "exciting" lottery system, in which the company's 80k employees would have the chance to win a handful of prizes. With this move, there's no doubt management has succeeded in achieving a united voice with all employees, but that voice is entirely opposed to and offended by this new "select" bonus program.

"As we look to continue improving, we took a step back and made a decision to replace the quarterly operational bonus and flawless attendance programs with an exciting new rewards program called "core4 Score Rewards", Kirby reportedly wrote in the memo.

Other prizes included the Mercedes sedans (10 winners), a choice between a vacation package or $20,000 (20 winners), a similar choice at the $10,000 level (30 winners) and a variety of other cash prizes. It seems that negative publicity is not leaving United Airlines no matter what they do.

For many years, United Airlines employees have received performance bonus pay on a quarterly basis; for the most senior airline workers earning higher salaries, this bonus translates into a substantial extra payment every three months. This time, however, they are in the news for replacing their employee bonus system with a lottery system, according to reports.

It felt like we had just gotten to a place where employee morale was up. In one fell swoop, it is crushed again.

The rewards program also drew ire in more public social-media forms, with some taking to Twitter to question the logic behind it.

Although, the quarterly bonus is separate from the airline's profit-sharing payouts, according to Inc.com, the news seems particularly jarring after Southwest Airlines and American Airlines announced in January that employees will receive a $1,000 bonus, thanks to projected savings from the new tax bill.

Based on employee reactions, the program wasn't inspired by United's staff needs and requests.

The lottery system, with about $18 million in rewards per year available for rank-and-file workers, may have cost the company far less. "We are pressing the pause button", he wrote. "We're going to pause this and make sure we gather employee feedback to create a program that excites our employees to continue running a great operation". A United spokesperson did not say how many people complained about the change, but it was a "significant enough number".

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