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10 Things You Need to Tell Your Employees About This Year’s Bonus

10 Things You Need to Tell Your Employees About This Year’s Bonus

by Frank Roche on November 14, 2008

in Communication, Pay

Bonus season will be upon us soon, and for many there is going to be a lump of coal in their stocking. With that in mind, what do you say to your employees who expected economic exhilaration and burgeoning bonuses to go on forever in some kind of perpetual motion machine? How do you let them know what goes up, must come down? How do you say buh-bye to entitlement?

Here are 10 Things You Need to Tell Your Employees About This Year’s Bonus.

  1. Pay-for-performance still works: Better talent gets more money.
  2. Variable pay means that your bonus can go up in good years and down in bad years.
  3. The size of our bonus pool depends on our company profitability. This year: Meh.
  4. Our base pay is still targeted at the median. You’re getting paid fairly.
  5. We plan to be around for a long time. We hope you will be with us when our profitability goes ballistic.
  6. Now is not the time to sandbag for next year. Being profitable takes sustained effort.
  7. There’s no hidden money; there’s no slush fund that someone else got.
  8. Executives didn’t get all the money. In fact, bonuses are a larger fraction of their target pay, so they’re affected even more when the bonus pool is reduced.
  9. We’re all in this together, and we’re all going to get out of this economic slump together.
  10. We still love you.

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