Tuesday, March 06, 2018
United Airlines is embarrassed for what it almost did to employee bonuses. It had proposed to take away individual rewards and to conduct a lottery in which one employee would win $100,000 each quarter and other employees would win vacations, cars and/or cash prizes. Needless to say, the proposal didn't go down well with its workers. They revolted and the airline put the program on hold. The message was clear. Don't take away my bonus. An external observer might say the unhappiness was to be expected. Individuals depended on the bonus and to see it turn into a game of chance was maddening. It meant that most employees' hard work would go unrewarded. United blundered internal relations on this one. It was smart to pull back as quickly as it did.