A bonus to fight inflation

To combat the skyrocketing cost of living for its employees, a Beauce company introduces a monthly bonus to help them fight inflation.

After establishing an attendance bonus of $3 an hour, now SBC Cedar (SBC), which produces cedar shingles in Saint-Prosper, is innovating by offering an inflation bonus to attract job seekers and promote employee retention. labor.

“Of course, recruiting helps when you give bonuses like this, but it’s more to help our employees in the current context,” explained Francis Bélanger, vice president of sales and administration.

From May 2022, SBC will pay a bonus to all its workers, both in Quebec and New Brunswick, which will be calculated according to the Consumer Price Index (CPI) in Canada when it exceeds 5%.

This means that if the CPI rises to 6.7%, as in March, the company will pay its workers a bonus of 1.7% on their monthly salary.

For SBC, this is “another great way to demonstrate the company’s family and collaborative spirit”.

“With the current context, which means that the cost of living is rapidly increasing, SBC wants to help its employees by offering them a monthly bonus during this difficult period of high inflation,” continued Mr. Belanger.

Impact

“It will cost the company several tens of thousands of dollars. We estimate it to be about $100 per employee per month, depending on how the rate works. It will help pay for groceries, gas and all the things that are more expensive right now.”

The company has a total of 155 employees, including about 30 in New Brunswick.

“We continue to do different things to try to share with everyone,” he added.

Combination

The bonus to fight inflation is added to the presence bonus that has been paid since last fall.

“I’d rather not put in too many numbers, but it cost several hundred thousand dollars, but it still pays a lot. Our absenteeism rate has dropped and that has allowed us to recruit. In the end, it’s a positive.”

“Obviously every dollar we pay is an expense. We are lucky. We are in an industry that is still doing very well at the moment. We can afford to make these kinds of rewards for everyone. It has an impact, but on the other hand, it allows us to fill our jobs and ensure that everyone is motivated and present. So, finally, we recovered,” said Mr. Belanger.

Even offering tempting bonuses, the company still has about ten vacancies that are currently unfilled.

“It’s a daily challenge,” he added.

Robotization

Like many, SBC has accelerated robotization projects in recent years.

“There are other problems there, which is that the parts are not available. Subcontractors are busy several months in advance.”

To ensure their productivity, companies offer trips to the south for their employees, referral bonuses, telemedicine packages, etc.

“Everyone is trying to innovate and do things differently. Not everyone is capable. You have to be financially able to do it. It is not a competition between companies. You have to find something different because everyone offers the same thing. This one is new. I think we are the first to do so. We told the employees, “I think you’ll be the only ones who will be happy when inflation goes up, because it will pay off more in your pocket.”

For the Conseil du patronat du Québec (CPQ), these measures are good, but they do not solve the basic problem.

“Cash incentives can certainly help a company stand out in the eyes of candidates, but it’s not a panacea. The auction war has its limits and we have not solved the root of the problem: the number of people ready to work is simply not enough”, reacted Karl Blackburn, president and executive director of CPQ.

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