What would you pick if you could choose your work bonus? A personal chef? A month in Europe? An entire summer off work? Or perhaps even cash.
Employees at North 6th Agency get to chose for themselves.
The social media and brand communications agency recently began Pace Points. This program allows employees cash in points for various rewards.
Matt Rizzetta, the CEO of the company, says the new program is essential because it allows employees to choose what motivates them.
Employees have 60 rewards to choose from in six different categories consisting of travel, experience, health, quality of life, transport and housing, and dream pick.
And should someone want a cash work bonus instead, that’s an option as well. Employees earn points by their personal performances as well as in a team and as a company.
Should you refer a potential job candidate, you earn 25 points. If you’re a part of the best-performing team at the month’s end, every member receives 100 points. A Chairman’s Pick happens four times a year where Rizzetta gives a review of the staff’s performance. He then selects who he feels best represented the company and its values, giving them 800 points.
Thankfully, the system ensures it doesn’t become too competitive or heavily weighted on individual rewards that could hurt the team or company.
The most substantial cash work bonus points can buy $50,000 while the most expensive reward is a three-meals-a-day for a full year, pass. The company would give you breakfast, lunch, and dinner for an entire year.
On the lower end of the scale is $350 cash for 100 points or an extra day of PTO for 200 points. An entire summer of PTO takes 5,000 points. A whole year of free daycare costs 7,500 points and a full month island hopping in Southeast Asia or the Caribbean costs 5,000 points.
The company also gives a Golden Group reward to the leader of the best performing team for the year. The winner receives 13,000 points that they can cash in for that $50,000.
How The Work Bonus System Works and Came to be
People can either cash out their points all at once, split them between different categories, or keep them stored away for a rainy season.
These creative perks began in N6A’s culture since its inception back in 2009.
Rizzetta reflects that during their beginning, they were limited in their resources so they couldn’t offer the best benefits. They had to be creative with what they had.
In 2011, the company had their best performance trip where the best employee received a five-day trip to either Rome, London, or Paris. The company covered the tab for airfare and hotels. However, back then, they could barely afford that.
The idea came from workers when the company asked for their feedback. Many said it would be amazing to travel the world.
As the company grew, so did their rewards game.
Now, the agency has 55 employees located in Boulder, Colorado, Manhattan, and Toronto. They offer competitive pay, health insurance, and a 401(k) plan. All that isn’t considering the perks program that cost over one million dollars to plan and bring into fruition.
The Pace Points took one year to flesh together. The funds for it come from the money that used to be used for funding cash bonuses and perks.
Workers can cash out their points twice a year during either March or October. This upcoming October will be the first.
By the year’s end, the company predicts junior-level employees should have about 2,000 Pace Points. Mid-level management employees should have 3,000- 5,000 points. Finally, Senior managers could range anywhere from 7,500 to 15,000 a year.
The points program has also increased the flow of applications for the business.