Reddit users decry hospitals' bonus systems

The verdict is in: Workers prefer money, not pens, when they serve a health system for five years. But if they are going to receive an anniversary check, there are certain dollar amounts that remain "insulting[ly]" low, according to a popular post on Reddit.

The original post, made three months ago on the subreddit "antiwork," displays a chart with financial anniversary incentives for workers at Salt Lake City-based Intermountain Healthcare. After five years with the health system, an employee will receive a $25 bonus. After 10 years, $50. Employees are paid bonuses after every five years of labor, but the increases per payout are marginal. When an employee has spent 55 years with Intermountain, they will receive $200. 

"My wife sent me her 'reward program' from working at a huge hospital," the original poster captioned the image. "What an absolute joke …" 

Other users — some healthcare workers themselves — were quick to chime in. As of Aug. 11, the post has more than 9,300 upvotes and 1,100 comments. 

"Looks about right," wrote one user. "I work at the largest hospital in my state. For my 5yr gift I got 'points' to purchase a gift from a website. Just enough to get a black and decker jigsaw (not even cordless)...Then they taxed me for it on the following paycheck." 

The saw in question runs for less than $30 on Amazon

"The hospital I work as a nurse at lets employees pick a reward from a gift catalog every 5 years, with new tiers of options being unlocked each half-decade," another user commented. "My first 5yr reward I remember struggling to pick between a fancy pen with the company's name stenciled on the side, or a chocolate bar. I don't remember what I picked because the reward never materialized; covid was newly upon us and we had to make 'sacrifices.'"

"For my upcoming 10-year I'm eyeing a coffee mug that was too high-tier to select at the initial 5yr mark," the user continued, noting that the hospital is highly ranked in its specialty. "To be fair, I'd rather get a lump of cash…" 

Becker's reached out to Intermountain to inquire about the image. The health system confirmed that these incentives apply to all employees when they reach certain milestones. 

It also mentioned a "competitive benefits package" and an annual incentive plan, which issues payments to all employees based on the overall achievement score of annual KPIs. In 2022, full-time employees received $558, according to the health system. They can earn up to $300 more if they participate in an employee health and well-being program. 

Becker's also asked how the dollar amounts for anniversary bonuses were decided and when they were last updated; the health system declined to comment. 

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