Want to Give a 17% Employee Bonus?


By Neal Glatt

One of the biggest problems with labor today is that your employees want more money but you can’t afford it.  Some companies, however, make enough money to pay employee bonuses equal to two months’ salary! They do this while actually increasing profit.  Here’s the secret…

Delta Airlines made news this week when they managed to pay every employee a bonus of two month’s salary, or roughly 17% their annual pay.  This isn’t the first time Delta has made headlines. The profit share program has been in effect for six years.  Last year employees got a 14% bonus.  But the bonus, tied directly to profits, has increased every year as Delta's profit has increased.

Before you think this is typical of the airline industry, know that American Airlines only paid a 1.4% employee bonus in 2019.  Most companies pay little to no bonuses, but really successful ones can afford to pay employees much more.  Translating to the bottom line, Delta made 2.75 times the profit that American did in 2018 ($5.15B compared to $1.88B) at roughly the same market share (17.4% compared to 17.6%).  In 2019, Delta increased it’s profit to $6.2 Billion. So what’s so different at Delta?

For one, Delta CEO Ed Bastian helps his employees feel valued.  According to Bastian, “Employees can feel like they’re a number, they’re a cost, they’re a means to an end.  But no, they are the end themselves.”  A successful business is so much more than the right strategies, products, or prices.  It takes investing in people so they can be their best selves.

Delta started its profit-sharing program over six years ago and enables their employees to take care of customers.  The proof is in the profits.  When your employees understand your business mission and vision, how their job contributes to that goal, and how to utilize their strengths to do their best work every day, great things happen.   If you want your employees to start increasing profit for your company, perhaps it’s time to invest in them like Delta does.  GrowTheBench is here to help.

Tags: Management , Bonus , Employees , Wage , Pay ,