The gesture is part of an effort by technology companies to keep employees happy during the pandemic and make sure they stick around while many are still away from offices. Such care could help reduce impact from a feared trend dubbed the Great Resignation as companies reopen facilities and workers consider job changes.
The bonuses will cost Microsoft about $200 million and are a gesture to show appreciation for efforts that employees made with customers and partners in the past year, a spokesperson told CNBC on Thursday, after The Verge first reported the news. At the end of the first quarter the company had over $125 billion in cash, equivalents and short-term investments.
Kathleen Hogan, Microsoft’s chief people officer, announced the news about bonuses in a message to employees on Thursday. The bonuses will go out in July or August to employees in the U.S. and abroad, although Microsoft’s corporate vice presidents won’t receive them, nor will employees of Microsoft’s GitHub, LinkedIn and Zenimax subsidiaries, the spokesperson said.
Special payments are one way that technology companies have shown appreciation to their employees in the Covid age. Some companies have supplied their employees with credits for food-delivery apps such as Uber Eats to help pay for meals. Other companies have distributed care packages or offered additional time off. Microsoft also granted workers five extra paid vacation days earlier this year, the Puget Sound Business Journal reported.