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07 March 2018, 11:38 | Maryann Sutton
United Said It'll Give Out $100K Prize. Workers Despise the Idea
"Our intention was to introduce a better, more exciting program, but we misjudged how these changes would be received by many of you", said Scott Kirby, president of United Continental, the holding company for the airline, in an email to employees.
The new program rolled out by United Airlines attempted to replace the quarterly performance bonus with a lottery; according to the leaked memo, airline employees who met certain performance metrics would be entered into a lottery system whereby winners were to be selected by a random draw every three months.
When United first unveiled its plans for the program, called "core4 Score Rewards", the airline said it hoped offering meaningful rewards would "build excitement and a sense of accomplishment with more bang for the buck".
United Airlines (NYSE:UAL) is forgoing cash bonuses and will instead reward employees by entering them into a lottery in which they have the opportunity to win cash, a auto or a vacation, according to the Chicago Business Journal. He pledged to solicit feedback from employee groups after staunch opposition to his plan to replace steady payouts with high-stakes drawings for prizes including $100,000 and Mercedes-Benz C-Class sedans. It seems that negative publicity is not leaving United Airlines no matter what they do. The lottery system was meant to replace a program that allowed each employee to receive a bonus of up to $300 per quarter if the company hit certain operational targets.
Southwest Airlines Co. has its own lottery system that awards a small number of employees cash prizes based on the number of company goals achieved each year, a spokeswoman for the carrier said. Employees are said to be pretty displeased with the new approach.
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"So, we are pressing the pause button on these changes to review your feedback and consider the right way to move ahead", the message continued.
Pilots, flight attendants and other workers vocalized their distress on an internal employee website dubbed "Flying Together", where just four of roughly 500 posts were positive, according to another published account.
The rewards program also drew ire in more public social-media forms, with some taking to Twitter to question the logic behind it. The memo announcing the program reportedly said a maximum of 1,361 employees would receive a bonus each quarter.
Based on employee reactions, the program wasn't inspired by United's staff needs and requests. We will be reaching out to workgroups across the company and the changes we make will better reflect your feedback.
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