Viral Bonus Plans: Are You Spreading the Wealth?

viral bonus

In a post for TNLT, Ann Bares looks into the idea of a viral bonus plan and discusses its merits for growing companies.

“Who is in a better position to identify your company’s top performers – management or their peer employees?” she asks. Bares argues that having a bonus plan that incorporates all of your employees can be hugely beneficial to morale as well as employee development.

Recently, IGN Entertainment, a division of News Corp. that creates content and communities for gaming, developed a unique profit sharing system. It allows employees themselves to help determine how much of the unit’s profits should go to each worker.

Twice a year, IGN creates a basket of tokens based on how much profit there is to share.

Then, Bares writes, the company distributes the tokens among employees and has them give their tokens (worth $1 each) to whatever other employees they want, as recognition for a job well done.

The only three rules are you can’t award any tokens to yourself, all tokens have to be given away, and IGN’s president isn’t eligible.”

The benefit, Bares says, in addition to confirming who the star performers are, the program helps identify the “unsung heroes” who are considered indispensible by their peers.

(See Is Your Sales Incentive Structure Fulfilling Its Purpose)

It also doubles as a motivator for lesser performers who are inspired to figure out why they got so few tokens and to do better in the next round.

For more on how viral bonus plans, read Bares’ full post here.