Quit smoking and get 10 percent hike in basic pay. That is the offer made by the head of a Bangalore based firm to coax his colleagues to quit smoking in 2010, reports Debi Prasad Sarangi of Bangalore Mirror.
“The idea is to ensure that employees adopt a healthy lifestyle,” says A C Ramesh, CEO, Focus Engineering Services, who plans to lead by example. Ramesh has been a smoker for the last 25 years and plans to quit the bad habit, which, he thinks, would have some positive impact on his colleagues.
Focus has close to 40 employees and its clients include the Confident Group, Embassy Group and ISRO. According to Ramesh, 50 percent of his colleagues are chain-smokers. Concerns about his and their health prompted Ramesh to come up with this idea. “I have had enough of smoking and drinking for the last 25 years. Now, I want to put an end to these vices for the sake of my health and that of my family. Suddenly, I thought of getting my colleagues also to do the same, but realized that concern for their health alone won’t motivate all of them. I expect the 10 percent bonus, in addition to the regular hike, to do the trick. And, if my men are in good health, my company will also be in good health.”
Ramesh’s colleagues have already stopped smoking when they are in client’s office or premises. But, there is a rider. “Anyone violating the pact faces a 20 percent pay cut,” says Ramesh. “I was planning to introduce the bonus for those who quit both smoking and drinking. But, after discussions with senior colleagues, I decided to start with smoking. A packet of cigarettes costs about Rs. 40 and is within the reach of most people, and, hence, has far-reaching consequences. Any person can smoke 10 cigarettes every day.”
Karthik Anand, a Project Engineer in Focus said, “I would definitely quit smoking. If my boss can do it, why can’t I? This will only help me in the future. I have been smoking for last 15 years. Earlier, I used to smoke three packets, but of late have cut down to one pack.”