A couple people at my place of work (small-medium company with < 100 employees) are starting up a lottery pool, and it got me wondering about what would happen if they won.
So my question is this, what effect could a small company expect on productivity and retention after a office-pool lottery win? Provided that the effects are not good for the business, what could/should be done to minimize the (albeit very small) risk?
Historical accounts of office-pool wins are definitely a plus here, but some other analysis could be surprisingly enlightening.
I have been at many companies where the staff runs football pools, pools lottery tickets etc. In general it tends to improve morale and build camaraderie, all good things.
I assume you are also interested in what happens on the off-chance that they win big on a lottery ticket and no longer need to work for a paycheck. I know of two such cases personally (which admittedly is not a valid statistical sample). In both cases, the employees had been with the small firms for a while and all became instant millionaires. Also in both cases they all stayed on with the companies and did not quit. This was due to the fact that they enjoyed their jobs and seeing their co-workers every day.
If this were to happen in a large, impersonal company where people hated their jobs, I am sure the results would have been quite different.
If the owners are concerned about what happens if the lottery pool wins, then they can always join the lottery pool themselves. It's a win-win.
Door swings both ways, what if the owner won and closed shop and every one lost their job? They would either expect the owner to be a good guy and share the prize. Would the employees do the same? Highly doubt it
I suspect that a lot of people would quit their jobs if they won big money, especially if they work for Dilbert/Office Space firms, as JonnyBoats suggested earlier.
In a way, this would be a good test of the management of the firm. Can they cope with the sudden departure of certain people? If not, they need to change their business to make it more resilient.
If you're worried about it, secretly buy nine tickets a week with the same numbers. Then if the numbers come up, your employees won't win enough to quit work, and you'll rake in 90% of the total winnings yourself.