IAM members at United Airlines’ Houston hub have made a suggestion to management that would create a “Christmas Bonus” from their monthly incentive bonuses. Put simply, the proposal would allow eligible employees to be able to decide how they get their bonus money, either month to month, or by signing up to defer their smaller monthly incentive bonuses (earned when certain performance targets are met), into a larger lump sum payout at the end of the year. Employees that choose this option would get their yearly bonus earnings just in time for Christmas. Anyone that would rather collect the smaller incentive bonuses throughout the year would still be able to do so.
It’s a popular idea. Many employees barely notice the extra $25 or $50 bonus amounts that are added to their checks for hitting customer service goals or for good MBR numbers. But bundled together, all of these checks would combine to make a more notable impact, and such a larger bonus payout would be especially welcome at Christmas time.
United Airlines would also benefit from such a plan, since the company would be able to hold that money for a longer period of time. This would represent an interest free loan from participating employees, generating enough revenue to help pay for the costs of implementing the program.
The suggestion made its’ way to Stephanie Buchanan, United Airlines’ Vice President of Airport ops in IAH, who responded by stating that she loved the idea, and by further promising to pass it on to the team that works on the incentive plan for next year. That does not guarantee that the idea will become company policy, but it is a step in that direction. It also means that the company is taking seriously at least some of the ideas that the rank and file union members are developing from the front lines.
We want to know what you think. If you had the choice, would you want to sign up to get your monthly bonuses all at once at the end of the year? Or would you rather keep getting them like you do now? Tell us about it in the comments below; we would love to hear from you.