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DO BONUSES WORK – WHY TWO OF OUR TEAM DISAGREE

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Following Gregg’s recent announcement of bonuses being paid to all of their current staff following a very successful 2019 for the company, a conversation opened up in our office about the power of offering bonuses. Two of our consultants had differing views on whether a bonus is enough to convince a potential employee to join, or indeed, entice a current employee to stay. Here’s what Alice Neal and Alison Banks had to say on the subject.

“Of course bonuses work!” – Alice

Maybe I am speaking from personal experience, but absolutely, bonuses work on so many levels! Whilst it is great to offer a multitude of benefits, I find that it is the opportunity of bonuses that will often drive a candidate’s choice.
We work with the best legal talent in the candidate pool, so understandably there is often more than one firm who is interested and trying to attract the person we are working with; offering a bonus, where there is no other obvious preference, will definitely help swing a potential new employee.
Bonuses also signal an appreciation for staff,
 And as humans, we want to be rewarded for going above and beyond, and a bonus allows us to aim for something more than the job description. It motivates staff to work harder and dedicate more to their roles, and not only that, it then rewards them for that hard work. I don’t understand why some firms don’t offer them, to be honest.

“There are better things to offer.” – Alison

There’s a reason why counteroffers don’t work, and in situations where they do, more often than not, the person has still left the firm within 6 months. Money isn’t the only reason people go to work, and it’s time we acknowledge that.
We work with a range of seniority levels, and so reasons for leaving roles do vary, but a reoccurring theme is a wrong cultural fit, lack of Work/Life balance and not feeling part of a team. If these are some of the things your firm is missing, then a bonus is not a replacement for them. Offering a bonus is merely a plaster to a bullet wound, and the money would be much better spent supporting your teams in the way they need.
 Also, I’ve heard horror stories of firms using bonuses for carrot dangling, and as a result, employees working themselves into a burnout – being overworked, miserable, tired and mostly, fed-up. Staff who are working themselves into the ground for a potential bonus are also the most likely to become disheartened and resentful, which is then reflected in the client care they give and the work they produce. I wholeheartedly think that there is so much more to offer your staff than a monetary bonus – now employees want flexibility, appreciation and accountability, not just extra money.

If you’re looking for a new job, bonus or not, you can get in touch with our team to discuss current opportunities in London and the South East here

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