Are spot bonuses and long-term incentives effective compensation strategies for high potential talent?
HR Questions>Are spot bonuses and long-term incentives effective compensation strategies for high potential talent?

Are spot bonuses and long-term incentives effective compensation strategies for high potential talent?

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Angela asked 1 year ago

1 Answer
Riia O’Donnell replied 1 year ago

These are great tools to help you attract and retain high potential talent. The key to using them is making sure talent knows they’re available, and what they have to do to attain them.

Spot bonuses provide expected (or unexpected) kudos when talent meets or exceeds milestones or expectations. These can be in the form of gift cards, or other one-time compensation rewards. Remember to use them widely and promote them publicly, but don’t over-use them. You don’t want to have to issue a bonus every time someone makes it to work on time — you do want to use them when someone hits a milestone (like makes it to 120 days on the job), or goes above and beyond. Remember that the person getting the bonus isn’t the only one motivated: others will see the opportunity for a reward and will work toward achieving it for themselves.

Long-term incentives are a great way to retain talent. The most commonly used are pay increases at specific times of employment — a bump in pay after 90 days, for example. In today’s market, you’ll want to go beyond the post-probationary salary increase and get creative with other incentives for longevity.

Don’t just reward presence, tie rewards to accomplishment. Mastering a skill, taking a class, beginning to work independently — all these achievements have value to the organization and can be tied to incentives. They also motivate the employee to take ownership and engage with the job and the company. The more engaged they are, the more likely they are to stay.

For many organizations today’s talent market has made hiring for potential, rather than existing skill, the only option available. As you recruit and hire, let candidates know there are pathways to growth within the organization that are tied directly to rewards and incentives. Knowing these are available may give you an edge over the competition when they make a decision on whose job offer to accept.

Make sure you outline specifically what they need to do to earn the rewards, and follow-through to make sure they’re given when earned. You’ll find you’re motivating new hires and turning them into long-term employes.

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