Do Retention Bonuses Really Retain Employees?

Retention bonuses are becoming popular again as companies
attempt to retain top talent in the post Great Recession

A research report titled, “Retention of Key Talent and the
Role of Rewards,” by WorldatWork found that rewards can
play an important role in retaining key employees.

However, the report noted that organizations are better
served by paying closer attention to the overall
employment environment of key individuals and by using an
array of retention methods.

HR POINTER: Compensation is important, but throwing money
at people problems seldom works and retention bonuses are
just one example.

Sure, everyone likes more money. However, most companies
are adequately compensating key employees. As such from a
Maslow’s hierarchy perspective, top employees have already
satisfied their basic security, physiological, and safety

Such individuals are looking for that sense of belonging,
appreciation, and recognition that is the relationship
glue that will hold them to companies long after the joy
of a bonus fades, which research shows is less than 30

Looking to retain top talent? Start by finding
challenging assignments and growth opportunities that will
support their longer-term personal and professional goals.

An article by Susan Cramm titled, “Retaining Top Talent:
Yes It Really Is About Them” provides business leaders
with 5 simple questions to help them find that
relationship glue for key employees. The 5 questions are:

#1 What are your proudest accomplishments and biggest

#2 What activities energize you and drain you?

#3 If you died tomorrow, what would you want your legacy
to be?

#4 What is your five-year career goal? If you don’t have
one, what’s your best guess?

#5 How would you force rank the following rewards:
financial gain, power and influence, lifestyle, autonomy,
affiliation, intellectual challenge, competence, and

The answers to these questions are critical elements to
understanding how to retain key employees.

As a business leader, do you know how your top talent will
answer these questions?

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