· 1 min read · Features

Bonus dissatisfaction could lead to City churn

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City workers are more likely to leave over compensation than in previous years

More than six out of 10 (61%) City workers are prepared to move jobs if they are not satisfied with their compensation package in this year’s bonus round, according to research by recruitment firm Astbury Marsden.

This figure has shown an increase in recent years, with 51% of respondents saying the same last year, and 45% in 2013.

However, 27% of those polled said they would look for an internal move, and 22% said they would attempt to lobby their manager for more money. Only 13% said they would do nothing at all, a drop from 17% who said the same last year.

Adam Jackson, managing director of Astbury Marsden, said that banks are facing another difficult bonus season. “On one hand, shareholders and politicians have made it clear that they want to see bonus levels kept firmly under control,” he said. “On the other, line managers are aware that they could lose key staff if they think the package they’re awarded fails to reflect their true value. Reconciling the two will be no easy task.”

He added: “Our findings suggest that City workers are more confident about their job prospects than they have been for several years if their expectations aren’t met. This reinforces the importance of ensuring that staff feel that their contribution is being recognised. Employees are feeling far less inclined to remain loyal if they are not rewarded as expected."

This research coincides with the CIPD’s survey, The view from below: What employees really think about their CEO’s pay packet, which found that seven in 10 (71%) employees believe CEO pay in the UK is ‘too’ or ‘far too’ high, and six in 10 (59%) employees say the high level of CEO pay in the UK demotivates them at work.

Charles Cotton, CIPD reward adviser, said that it is time to “fundamentally rethink” CEO pay. “Too often, high reward levels are explained by the power and personality of the CEO, the make-up of the remuneration committee and the need to compare favourably to existing market rates, rather than clear measures of individual and sustainable and balanced organisational performance,” he said. “There’s also very rarely any ramifications for poor performance.

“As a result, reward has just continued on an upward trajectory and as many businesses seek to restore trust from their employees, customers, and communities, it’s time to address the issues and challenge the direction of travel.”