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Delta Giving Employees Bonus of Two Months’ Pay

When an employee feels appreciated and well-rewarded, it often leads to better performance, which ultimately improves the business.

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It’s safe to say Ed Bastian is a firm believer in that notion. The Delta Air Lines CEO announced that the company would pay its employees $1.6 billion in profit-sharing bonuses on the heels of a strong 2019.

That means all eligible employees will receive a check next month for 16.6% of their annual salary, which is the equivalent of an additional two months’ pay.

“Delta would be nothing without our 90,000 people. They deserve all the credit,” Bastian said on LinkedIn.

The profit payout to employees for 2019 is a record amount. It is also the sixth year in a row that the company has paid out more than $1 billion to workers, a Delta spokesperson said. The profit-sharing plan started in 2012 following Delta’s merger with Northwest.

“Delta Airlines knows the value of their people and are sending a very clear message that if you take care of your people, they take care of you,” said Scott Cawood, president and CEO of WorldatWork. “This shows the incredible power a well-designed total reward program has on both the employees and the organization’s ability to thrive. If you want to increase employee productivity, commitment, and inspiration, the solution is always a meaningful total rewards program.”

The Atlanta-based carrier’s 2019 earnings increased by nearly 30% over 2018 for an operating cash flow of $8.4 billion and $4.2 billion free cash flow, according to its release.

Since 2015, GM, Ford and Fiat Chrysler, wrote nearly $5 billion combined in checks to their workers, which is the equivalent of six months’ extra pay per employee, according to Automotive News.

Payouts to the level of Delta’s are not common, however.

WorldatWork’s “2019 Inventory of Total Rewards Programs & Practices,” survey found that 18% of organizations offer cash profit sharing. Additionally, WorldatWork’s “2019 Incentive Pay Practices Survey for Privately-Held Companies,” found that profit sharing plans are used in 12% of organizations, a decline from 26% in 2017.

About the Author

Brett Christie Bio Image

Brett Christie is a staff writer at WorldatWork.


About WorldatWork

WorldatWork is a professional nonprofit association that sets the agenda and standard of excellence in the field of Total Rewards. Our membership, signature certifications, data, content, and conferences are designed to advance our members’ leadership, and to help them influence great outcomes for their own organizations.

About Membership

Membership provides access to practical resources, research, emerging trends, a professional network, and career-building education and certification. Learn more and join today.