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Thread: Work Bonus Scheme

  1. #1

    Work Bonus Scheme

    My boss last year kindly implemented a bonus scheme which I managed to hit a £1,500 bonus off the back of securing a fairly hefty chunk of advertising circa £65k.
    Fast forward to this week and I was expecting much the same sort of scheme but surprise, surprise the conditions have changed and for the same target of £65k it is now proposed i would receive just £250 bonus! Needless to say, I think it is a bit of a joke in terms motivating me to hit £65,000 revenue - I had it in writing for 2018 but now the goal posts have changed dramatically.
    I am keen to negotiate with my boss but feel we are quite far apart in terms of last year. Am I bound to my bosses decision?

  2. #2
    Craftsman
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    Annoyingly that's general how performance related bonuses work. The goal posts are always moved and usually in one direction. Your boss probably didnt know where to set the Target at last year and may think it was achieved relatively easily so has therefore reassessed the position this year.

    Edit: To actually answer your question I think you just need to start a discussion with your boss about it and just be honest. Ultimately a bonus is that so unless there is a specific bonus calculation included as part of your contract then you are bound by your bosses decision.
    Last edited by Gerald Genta; 12th March 2019 at 11:55.

  3. #3
    Craftsman Maysie's Avatar
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    OP, to answer your question, I think it depends on if your bonus is part of your contractual agreement and what the terms set out therein state. To change the goalposts without letting you know seems rather odd though and is a certain way to get your goat.

    This is one of the problems with bonus driven incentives. If they are not of a size to motivate genuine additional effort to achieve they can have the opposite effect and actually demotivate the staff member involved.

    Your salary is what 'should' motivate you to do your job, with bonuses awarded for 'extra-over' effort. Unfortunately nowadays so many salaries rely on bonuses to get an artificially lowered salary back to where it really should otherwise be without the bonuses.
    Last edited by Maysie; 12th March 2019 at 12:44.

  4. #4
    Bonuses are discretionary and donít form part of your contractual terms of employment.

    Suck it up, or look for another job.

  5. #5
    Presumably you were happy with your salary before the bonus scheme was introduced? Any bonus is just that.

  6. #6
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    A similar thing happened to me a couple of years ago, targets went through the roof with no increase in benefits, I tried hard for three maybe four months then decided to pass on the effort, no increase in base wage either was delivered despite many promises so, in the end I just left.
    If your contract doesn’t state bonus earnings you’re at the employers mercy, good luck.
    Last edited by Pitfitter; 13th March 2019 at 17:43.

  7. #7
    Grand Master Andyg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by noTAGlove View Post
    Bonuses are discretionary and donít form part of your contractual terms of employment.

    This was certainly my experience.

    Whoever does not know how to hit the nail on the head should be asked not to hit it at all.
    Friedrich Nietzsche


  8. #8
    I would be asking myself whether the extra effort is worth £250 (I presume that's before tax as well)?

  9. #9
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    My niece was selling advertising at a national newspaper/website. She was really good at it, so hauling in big bonuses. They changed the scheme because "it was embarrassing for the other staff". Hang on a minute! The other staff aren't selling the space - surely you want to reward the behaviour that will make the company money?

    My niece took her talents elsewhere.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Boots2 View Post
    My niece was selling advertising at a national newspaper/website. She was really good at it, so hauling in big bonuses. They changed the scheme because "it was embarrassing for the other staff". Hang on a minute! The other staff aren't selling the space - surely you want to reward the behaviour that will make the company money?

    My niece took her talents elsewhere.
    Can see other staff POV, they're all contributing to making the company money.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by noTAGlove View Post
    Bonuses are discretionary and donít form part of your contractual terms of employment.

    Suck it up, or look for another job.
    Not sure itís possible to conclude that with certainty without a full analysis of the facts. Many, many bonus schemes are contractual - either explicitly or otherwise.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by barty9 View Post
    My boss last year kindly implemented a bonus scheme which I managed to hit a £1,500 bonus off the back of securing a fairly hefty chunk of advertising circa £65k.
    Fast forward to this week and I was expecting much the same sort of scheme but surprise, surprise the conditions have changed and for the same target of £65k it is now proposed i would receive just £250 bonus! Needless to say, I think it is a bit of a joke in terms motivating me to hit £65,000 revenue - I had it in writing for 2018 but now the goal posts have changed dramatically.
    I am keen to negotiate with my boss but feel we are quite far apart in terms of last year. Am I bound to my bosses decision?
    Wish Iíd got 2.3% of the value I added in my career (as well as my salary). Iíd be able to afford a new Rolex from WF!

    Many employers (slave) drive their employees by applying constant ďraising of the barĒ. You are expected to do better every year just to stand still.

  13. #13

    Thumbs up

    Quote Originally Posted by Casper View Post
    I would be asking myself whether the extra effort is worth £250 (I presume that's before tax as well)?
    This is correct

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Maysie View Post
    OP, to answer your question, I think it depends on if your bonus is part of your contractual agreement and what the terms set out therein state. To change the goalposts without letting you know seems rather odd though and is a certain way to get your goat.

    This is one of the problems with bonus driven incentives. If they are not of a size to motivate genuine additional effort to achieve they can have the opposite effect and actually demotivate the staff member involved.

    Your salary is what 'should' motivate you to do your job, with bonuses awarded for 'extra-over' effort. Unfortunately nowadays so many salaries rely on bonuses to get an artificially lowered salary back to where it really should otherwise be without the bonuses.
    Sadly bonuses not part of my contract. I did get the terms of my bonus in writing for last year but I have a funny feeling it will be a verbal shafting this year. Bizarrely, I have direct control over this particular project so it could be a yo-yo year in the sense that I won't put the effort in this year in order to reduce the targets for 2020.

  15. #15
    Craftsman Templogin's Avatar
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    Chill for a year. It's bound to move the other way!

  16. #16

    Cool

    Quote Originally Posted by Templogin View Post
    Chill for a year. It's bound to move the other way!
    Keep Calm and Blame Brexit

  17. #17
    A bonus is usually defined and based on hitting a target or achieving an objective or maybe a company wide bonus based on company performance, I would call the remuneration described by the OP as commission which is a completely different thing.

  18. #18
    Master wileeeeeey's Avatar
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    You need to explain the initial bonus. Is this something, regardless of contract, that you were expecting?

    In my role I have targets with pay outs and bonuses linked to performance but this is fully expected and without hitting a reasonable OTE I would leave immediately. My wife on the other hand has a discretionary bonus linked to other KPIs, some individual and others company wide. She might get a bonus she might not and so never expects one but always hopes for one.

    Are you in the first bucket or the second?

    If you're in the first negotiate a salary increase, a reduced target, or a different payout. If you're in the second you'll have to suck it up.

  19. #19
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    Vote with your feet then if it is a deal breaker.

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by wileeeeeey View Post
    You need to explain the initial bonus. Is this something, regardless of contract, that you were expecting?

    In my role I have targets with pay outs and bonuses linked to performance but this is fully expected and without hitting a reasonable OTE I would leave immediately. My wife on the other hand has a discretionary bonus linked to other KPIs, some individual and others company wide. She might get a bonus she might not and so never expects one but always hopes for one.

    Are you in the first bucket or the second?

    If you're in the first negotiate a salary increase, a reduced target, or a different payout. If you're in the second you'll have to suck it up.
    I was given a small pay rise last year to bring my salary in line with the industry norm and then added to that was the bonus structure which was made clear was outside of my contract.

  21. #21
    Master wileeeeeey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by barty9 View Post
    I was given a small pay rise last year to bring my salary in line with the industry norm and then added to that was the bonus structure which was made clear was outside of my contract.
    My bonus isn't in my contract but it's about the same as my basic salary (and fully expected) so if I was told no bonus next year or similar to what you were told I'd be off.

  22. #22
    Master Kirk280's Avatar
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    Whatís a bonus?!

  23. #23
    Grand Master Chris_in_the_UK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kirk280 View Post
    Whatís a bonus?!
    3 free camo Nato's?........
    When you look long into an abyss, the abyss looks long into you.........

  24. #24
    I think it needs to be taken into context. In general, for someone bringing in revenue I wouldnít be paying any bonus unless they were bringing in at least 3 times salary in fees, and possible much much higher depending on the exact quantum of the total cost to the organisation of bringing in and servicing that extra work. Too many variables and unknowns to say if itís fair or not - but worthy of an open discussion about expectations and reward with the boss.
    It's just a matter of time...

  25. #25
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    Some good answers in this thread. Iíve been in many sales bonus schemes and they are nearly always discretionary, they iterate all the time as management tweak and refine to drive behaviour. You have to live with it under those circumstances.

    What staff often forget is that revenue <> profit and that standing costs need to be met before any bonus is paid. What businesses often forget is that once those costs are met then they are only rewarding margin and should never resent paying the bonus, itís just a slice of the action. The happy medium is one that drives the right actions, makes staff sticky and generates the outcomes the business needs. No mean feat as the OP is discovering!

  26. #26
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    My company have paid a bonus for the last three years, the first two based on sales as we having been growing rapidly. The trouble was growth came at the cost of profitability so bonuses were handed out whilst the company was losing money, and so losing even more.
    Last year we were profitable due to a major overhaul of how the business is run and a large new customer who accounts for about ten percent of the companies turn over which I managed to win, by putting in a lot of time and effort outside of company time, and I continue to do so, and in return we now supply 100% of the products that company sell in our sector.
    Bonus time came around and the owner did what he always does and everyone gets the same bonus, all be it much smaller this time.
    In one of the meetings I have with him a couple of times a week he apologised for it being a small bonus, when I explained I knew why it was small and agreed Iíd have done the same or no bonus, he said the directors wanted to give me more but didnít want to give me a large bonus and the others who in the main put in the minimum required amount of work a small bonus as they didnít want to upset them.
    I walked out with an 18% pay rise and more importantly a change in my working hours I have gone from 1 Saturday off in 12 to working 1 in 4.
    Iíd have just taken the change in hours but when I was offered the pay rise I took it.

  27. #27
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    I have a bonus element as part of my salary package, set at 8%. Payment, or part thereof is based on local and coordinate metrics.
    As it happens, my company had stellar year and I’m due to get 140% of this bonus element.
    I should say, I’m not in sales, so this isn’t based on me generating revenue.

  28. #28
    Master Mark020's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Boots2 View Post
    My niece took her talents elsewhere.
    Vote with your feet indeed. I have worked in bonus jobs most of my life and if you feel you're being shafted: go

  29. #29
    Master IAmATeaf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark020 View Post
    Vote with your feet indeed. I have worked in bonus jobs most of my life and if you feel you're being shafted: go
    All the companies I've worked for which had/have a bonus scheme it has always varied according to metrics/measures, so unless it was written as a "this is exactly how much you will get" then I'd regard it as normal. If it was fixed don't forget that in a few years you might well be complaining to say it's now not worth as much as it used to be a few years ago?

  30. #30
    Quote Originally Posted by IAmATeaf View Post
    All the companies I've worked for which had/have a bonus scheme it has always varied according to metrics/measures, so unless it was written as a "this is exactly how much you will get" then I'd regard it as normal. If it was fixed don't forget that in a few years you might well be complaining to say it's now not worth as much as it used to be a few years ago?
    Iím happy for the increased target I just think it needs to be realistically attainable. I work in food wholesale so would expect the percentage increase to be minimal in comparison to our profit.

  31. #31
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    Iíd speak with the boss and talk through your thinking. Hopefully he will do the same in return.

    Itís quite typical for goalposts to move, and jumping ship is not always the solution IMHO.

    If he doesnít engage though, thereís arguably more of an issue than the amount of bonus.


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  32. #32
    Quote Originally Posted by barty9 View Post
    Iím happy for the increased target I just think it needs to be realistically attainable. I work in food wholesale so would expect the percentage increase to be minimal in comparison to our profit.
    How much do you have to hit to retain the same level of bonus as last year?

  33. #33
    Quote Originally Posted by BSB View Post
    How much do you have to hit to retain the same level of bonus as last year?
    £90,000

  34. #34
    Quote Originally Posted by Tahiti View Post
    Iíd speak with the boss and talk through your thinking. Hopefully he will do the same in return.

    Itís quite typical for goalposts to move, and jumping ship is not always the solution IMHO.

    If he doesnít engage though, thereís arguably more of an issue than the amount of bonus.


    Sent from my iPhone using TZ-UK mobile app
    I am inclined to agree. Iím going to outline my points by email and see what comes back. Often though if he doesnít like the content he simply ignores the email which is infuriating!

  35. #35
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    There are 2 types of bonuses: Active and Passive.

    An active bonus is there to motivate to hit a target. You clearly felt your £1500 target was one.

    A passive bonus is just a little bump that serves to reward employees when the company does well - you'll either get it, or you don't, regardless of your drive and intent. Clearly the £250 one has now become this.



    Therefore, I would accept that you might end up with a little extra, you might not, doesn't really matter. In many ways, it would be better if you don't. That would send the signal that the amount offered no longer has the effect of motivating staff, and should encourage them to learn from their mistake.

  36. #36
    Quote Originally Posted by barty9 View Post
    £90,000
    Unless the industry with which your publication/website deals is booming, I would suggest that's quite some increase. I would have thought up to 10% would not have been unexpected.

  37. #37
    Quote Originally Posted by barty9 View Post
    Iím happy for the increased target I just think it needs to be realistically attainable. I work in food wholesale so would expect the percentage increase to be minimal in comparison to our profit.
    Could consider that a bonus is just that. Not to be counted on but a reward for better than expected (exceptional even) performance.

  38. #38
    Craftsman Templogin's Avatar
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    In the sort of jobs that I have worked in bonuses have never been enough to buy anything that I really wanted, so I have just worked normally, and if a bonus came along then that's great, and if it didnít I wasnít that worried either. It's only money. There are better things.

  39. #39
    With apologies for the Daily Wail link:

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/fo...hard-work.html
    Although no trees were harmed during the creation of this post, a large number of electrons were greatly inconvenienced.

  40. #40
    Grand Master Dave+63's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Backward point View Post
    With apologies for the Daily Wail link:

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/fo...hard-work.html
    Freddos are 25p now? Wow, itís not that long ago that they went up to 10p!

  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by barty9 View Post
    I am inclined to agree. Iím going to outline my points by email and see what comes back. Often though if he doesnít like the content he simply ignores the email which is infuriating!
    If he specifically ignores these emails (and your verbal approach) there is likely more of an issue than goalposts moving IMHO.

    Practically speaking though, on moving you have the risk of the grass not being greener. He has the risk of employing a numbnuts and having to spend time and money recruiting.


    Sent from my iPhone using TZ-UK mobile app

  42. #42
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    At my work they have a bonus scheme linked to your personal development reveiw the last few years a few people got it this year it's been changed so that it's practically impossible for anyone to get

  43. #43
    Grand Master
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    I totally disagree with bonuses, the logic is fundamentally flawed.

    Youíre paid to do your job fully and well, you either do that and stay in employment or, as my first boss told me at the tender age of 15......íget your coat on and bugger off homeí.

    Work?.....been there, done that, took me 36 years to realise how much I disliked it!

    Almost everyone I speak to whoís still working moans about it, whether theyíre young or not so young everyone seems to complain.

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