An innovative self-promotion
A technology company in Shenzhen, Guangdong province, has parked 10 Mercedes-Benz cars in front of its building with two huge placards that read “2013 year-end bonus” for elite employees. This has drawn the attention of passersby, many of whom have taken photos of the display and posted them on the Internet, giving free but effective publicity to the company, says an article on gmw.cn. Excerpts:
The Shenzhen company has made a smart move of giving cars to its well-performing employees as bonus, provided they stick with their jobs for another five years, after which they could be complete owners of the vehicles. The company, which has about 500 employees, started the practice last year to recruit and retain talents.
Some netizens have rightly observed that by advertising its annual bonus, the company is not only boosting employees’ morale, but also raising its own profile. Also, the move will help it to retain talented employees for at least five years, which would yield greater returns — including the sum saved as tax — than the amount spent on the cars. It is apparently a win-win choice both for employees and employer.
Irrespective of whether the bonus is to retain talents or to legally avoid taxation, it is innovative. Employers who understand that “talents matter the most” are in the minority. The company has been open with its terms and it depends on the employees whether they would accept to work for it for five more years to finally get the car’s ownership.
What and how to give as year-end bonus to employees could turn into a morale-boosting advertisement for a company. Short-sighted employers may see it as a waste of money, and thus disappoint their employees, but smart companies would use the practice — even if it means giving a luxury car — to hog media attention and generate a public debate, both of which will boost their image.