Don't try to keep staff by withholding annual bonuses

14:07, January 21, 2010      

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According to some recent media reports on annual bonuses, in order to prevent job-hopping, more than 20 percent of enterprises surveyed have decided to pay their employees after the Lunar New Year. Some of them might even delay payment until as late as May.

The news has touched off an enthusiastic public discussion. Was it a last resort of the human resource managers to keep staff or just a technique of stakeholders to bluff their way through? I now feel inspired by the small annual bonus deposited in my account; I believe I should cherish my job more and work harder.

Job-hopping is like divorce. If the employees have made up their mind to say goodbye to the company, then the bonus withheld would not be very helpful. Instead, it might even prompt them to leave because it cannot convince their heart to stay.

From an employee's perspective, especially for those key members of a company, they would not think about job-hopping unless they were forced to through personal reasons.

As such, if a company wants to keep its talents, it needs to give more incentives instead of delaying the payment of bonuses. Naturally, some staff might later leave because of losing confidence in their company after their bonus is withheld.

In addition, according to Chinese labor law, annual bonuses are part of the legal remuneration for workers. They should be paid on time and cannot be delayed just because managers want to.

Even if employees decide to quit their job later, the bonus should still be paid based on performance and years of service.

It is understandable that companies worry about losing their talents.

However, they should have turned their anxiety into motivation to offer better working environments and career prospects to attract and keep outstanding employees.

They should also engage in better interaction with their staff. If workers feel a sense of belonging, they might view job-hopping as a less attractive option.

Source: China Daily
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