Employee experience better incentive than bonuses

Organisations such as Barclays, Lloyds Group, Virgin Money and British Airways have offered their staff one-off bonus payments to help with soaring living costs, yet bonuses might not be a quick fix for companies to incentivise their workers.

Jill Cotton, career trends expert at Glassdoor, said improving the employee experience would be more effective at retaining staff than money.

Speaking to HR magazine, she said: "A one-size-fits-all solution for wooing and retaining candidates does not meet the complex needs of the modern workforce. In the current fierce battle for talent, we are increasingly seeing companies offer a wider range of benefits and incentives to stand apart from the competition.

"While being paid a bonus may be attractive to some job seekers, others will be looking for a great work/life balance or close alignment with their core values.

"The key is for companies to lean into the employee experience to understand what really matters to workers. Bonuses are motivational but if there's no history of paying out, the benefit becomes defunct."

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Research from financial advisory firm DeVere Group in 2021 found that younger workers would be incentivised by bonuses in the form of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin.

Over a third (36%) of millennials and half (51%) of gen z workers asked were in favour of receiving half of their bonuses in such a way.

Steve Herbert, wellbeing and benefits director at Partners&, said that crypto bonuses may appeal to a small number of the workforce. 

He told HR magazine: "The one stand-out element that crypto offers against more traditional benefits, bonuses, and salary payments is that chance to get rich quick. For many employees that positive will be outweighed by a similar potential for crypto investments to plunge or be wiped-out entirely. So much of the appeal will depend on the risk profile and appetite of the employer’s workforce.

"For a select few, perhaps those benefiting from significant remuneration packages already, cryptocurrency benefits may appeal."

Companies in the UK may be unwilling to adopt cryptocurrency as a form of payment, Herbert added.

He said: "The biggest barrier remains reputational risk. Rightly or wrongly, cryptocurrencies are stuck with the stigma of being the Wild West of currency dealing. Few major employers would want to hitch their wagon to something that still has the perceived potential to become a genuine worldwide media scandal.

"The catalyst for action here will probably be a major UK employer overtly adopting a crypto approach for elements of their remuneration offering. Such a move will enable and empower smaller organisations to replicate the approach, and to better understand the benefits, taxation, and legality of the situation too."