Workers who don’t quit this Orlando company could win a mortgage-free home

December 14, 2021, 4:57 PM UTC

Employees of Mechanical One, an Orlando-based air conditioning and plumbing company, have a good incentive to avoid participating in The Great Resignation. If they stick around for at least another year, they could win a house.

The HVAC company says it will hold a drawing next December and give two employees new three-bedroom, two-bath homes, mortgage free. The homes will be built over the next year and the company has budgeted $500,000 for the construction costs. (Lots have already been purchased in two Florida counties along the Atlantic Coast.)

Jason James, Mechanical One president and CEO, told The Orlando Sentinel he considered other incentives, including a car or vacation, but decided on homes in part because a number of employees are renters.

Eligible employees must stay with the company for a full year and take a financial literacy class, which Mechanical One will pay for. They’ll also be required to perform 20 hours of volunteer work at a nonprofit they choose.

The novel employee retention plan flies in the face of an accelerated number of workers quitting their jobs nationwide. In September, 4.4 million people quit their jobs, a record high. That has less to do with job availability than it does with a change in workers’ priorities, with some saying they’re not coming back to the workforce at all.

The mass defection has spurred many employers to offer higher salaries and bonuses. Target, Chipotle, CVS, Walmart, and others have raised their minimum starting wage to $15 an hour, and some are bettering that in certain markets or circumstances.

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