December 22, 2008

The Many or the Few?


My work had been giving out $10 gift cards on a monthly basis, for successfully tracking billable time, on time, as we migrated over to a new system. Nine months ago, they removed this incentive system, and replaced it with a winner-take all $1000 grand prize at the end of the year, with a smaller 2nd and 3rd prize.

Shortly before the drawing, I suggested that whoever wanted to, could go in together as a group, and if any of us won, we would split the money evenly.

I had no takers.

After the drawing, three people left happy. I was not one of them.

I would have been happy with my gift card and think this was a poor business decision.

1) Do you agree? 2) Would you have gone in with me?

7 comments:

Tim said...

it depends... how many people were you envisioning going in with you? theoretically, if there are less than 100 people in the company, you could have all gone in on it and won more than the giftcards you were getting initially

Sabai said...

Over the last 9 months, I would have received $90 in giftcards under the old incentive plan. If EVERYONE had joined in my group, and we had split the winnings evenly, we each would have made $32.

So, WAY less than the monthly giftcards, hence the corporate reasoning for the switch.

But I'd rather take the sure $32 than the long shot at a grand. I was alone in that.

Tim said...

my bad... I wasn't thinking about the giftcards being a monthly thing. I agree with you, the gift cards add up to much more than you could have won had you all pooled your chances togther.

Sabai said...

well, no, that's not one of the options.

because the company decided on the lottery idea. So, the only options are to go into the lottery as a group or alone.

Steve said...

Probably depends on the size of the group for me. While an assured $32 dollars is nice, it might not be enough to remove the temptation of winning $1,000, even though rationally I know I should probably take it. An improved chance at winning $100 or $200 dollars would probably be enough to get me to enter the group.

I have no idea where the cut off would be.

Marc said...

I would not have gone in with you.

Simply because $10 is not an incentive for me. It's not a prize, it's an inexpensive meal. It's most of a CD, or a trip to the movie theater (sans popcorn).

$10 simply does not hold enough value for me to choose its certainty over the possibility of a thousand dollars, which affords the possibility of expenditures previously unavailable to me.

Sabai said...

well surely, the odds of that possibility would influence your decision, marc?