Situation: A company has historically given Christmas bonuses at the rate of 10-20% of salary in a good year. The CEO is concerned that employees may stay until their bonus is received, and then leave for another job. What are your plans for 2011 bonuses?
Advice from the CEOs:
- First, what is your objective in granting bonuses? Which among the following are you trying to achieve?
- Showing appreciation.
- Acknowledgement of effort.
- Effort above and beyond the norm.
- Once you determine your goal, design a structure that will effect this goal.
- What practices are typical for your industry – your competitors, vendors and clients?
- Background research on industry practices provides a basis for your own practice. You can then evaluate whether varying from industry practice can give you an advantage.
- Company performance should be a factor in determining bonus payment. So should performance against individual employee goals and objectives.
- How much discretion should be given to managers for setting bonuses for their direct reports?
- Talk to your managers and get their input on how they would handle bonus evaluation.
- A number of companies give managers a pool guideline, and have them produce a spreadsheet of recommended bonus distribution for executive review and approval.
- Individuals should not decide their own bonuses. Bonuses for all employees/managers should be decided by their direct supervisors.
- Should the CEO be concerned if an employee takes their bonus and then leaves?
- If an employee has earned their bonus, then you are granting them an earned reward. Their departure likely has much less to do with whether or not they receive a bonus than other factors.
- Human resource research consistently demonstrates that compensation is at the bottom of the ladder of reasons that workers remain or leave – particularly workers who exercise critical thinking and judgment in their jobs.
Key Words: Strategy, Team, Bonus, Annual, Christmas, Incentive, Objective, Industry, Reward, Performance, Measurement, Discretionary