United Airlines employees were told on Friday that each quarter, one of them would receive a $100,000 prize—and the news reportedly landed with a thud. That's because, as the Chicago Business Journal reports, the announcement came in a memo that also informed employees that quarterly performance bonuses were being done away with. Bloomberg reports that employees used to be eligible for a quarterly bonus of up to $300, meaning up to $1,200 a year. Now, in the quarters that the airline reaches its performance goals, employees who have perfect attendance that quarter will be entered into the lottery. Employees are said to be pretty displeased with the new approach. More on the plan and the fallout:
- The prizes: The Business Journal saw the memo from United Airlines President Scott Kirby that outlines the "core4 Score Rewards" program. In addition to the big cash prize, smaller cash prizes between $2,000 and $40,000, Mercedes-Benz C-Class sedans, or vacations will also be doled out. Inc. reports that under the new system, about 1.6% of employees—Quartz reports United has 86,000—would win something.
- United's line: A rep's explainer: "We believe that this new program will build excitement and a sense of accomplishment as we continue to set all-time operational records that result in an experience that our customers value."