Home / Employment  / Employers, here’s how to hold onto your talent after December bonuses

Employers, here’s how to hold onto your talent after December bonuses


It’s that time of year when your office starts buzzing about performance bonuses and 13th cheques. It’s an exciting time for employees, with the promise of extra cash in the pocket. A less pleasant consequence of this time is the fact that many top employees are probably just waiting for the cheque to clear before handing in their resignation letters.

It’s an unfortunate situation which causes damage to employers, but the fact is that employees are unlikely to resign if they know that their annual bonus is around the corner.

To avoid starting off the New Year looking for new employees who will have to hit the ground running to help finalise projects, there are some things employers can do to increase the retention of their top employees.

The power of 8lucky-8-ball-pool-snooker

According to a survey conducted by Career Junction some employees will not be satisfied with staying in a position very long regardless of the salary it pays, bonuses and paid leave days it offers. Despite the size of your company, believe it or not, your employees will need more. Experts agree these are the eight ways to get your employees to stay, without forking out bigger pay cheques.

#1 Create a clear career path

Synonymous with this should be the concepts of promoting from within whenever possible as well as employee development. These all go hand in hand: By providing training and developmental support to employees who do not believe there is room to grow at your company, you run the very real risk of them leaving as soon as they have up-skilled themselves.

The answer is not to stop assisting employee development though; you need to ensure that employees are aware of the opportunities within the business. Your company should have regular career planning discussions with your employees and training should entail information sharing on the different kind of opportunities and career paths available within the business.

#2 Practice transparency and an open-door policyopen-door

A great salary package and loads of extra perks won’t be enough to keep your employees happy. Employees need to have a sense of job security and a big part of this is not having to guess or engage in water cooler gossip on the state of your business. In a nutshell, employees need to feel comfortable addressing managers with any issues without fear of negative repercussions.

#3 Make work-life balance a priority

It’s no longer just about creating a work environment where your employees are able to focus on a balanced lifestyle. It’s about presenting them with an environment where they feel connected and enriched as a result of a positive work experience. The job must become an integral part of a rich and fulfilling life.

#4 Give recognition and reward freely and when due

Getting the recognition and reward where it’s deserved is a big deal for employees. If an employee goes above and beyond to get the job done, does an exemplary job, or takes risks the company should acknowledge this performance and reward accordingly. An extra day off, tickets to a show/rugby game and dinner are all small gestures that will uplift the entire office.

#5 Encourage a healthy lifestyle among your employeeswork-out-gym

Not only will this help you control your workforce’s productivity, it will also leave you with happier employees. No studies show that one programme is a clear front-runner for guaranteed results; it is about encouraging walks during lunch time, taking part as a company in health-focused events like fun walks for charity, or even an office gym if your company size justifies it.

#6 Offer benefits beyond the basics, and make them flexible where possible

Offering benefits such as travel, childcare or gym assistance will go a long way in showing your top employees that you care. Offering more than the basic benefit, and keeping it flexible, shows that you recognise each employee’s needs and personality.

#7 Cut back on stuffy emails and meetings, and focus on keeping in touch

Chances are good your employees feel that a constant string of emails and formalised meetings are a waste of productive time. Consider cutting back on these methods of connecting with your employees, replacing it for a more personal chance to connect and work on the employee and employer-manager bond.

Whether you have a one-on-one breakfast meeting or drinks after work, or take the whole team for dinner, it will assist in making employees feel good about their understanding of you and working with you.

#8 Ask your employees for their opinions and ideasPg 6 Doing Business_photo by Inner City Ideas Cartel

Create open shared spaces where employees can talk freely and share ideas. This will further create an open line of communication between you, managers and employees while also forming a fantastic space for idea generation.

In addition to this, approaching employees directly for input when you feel that they can make a valid contribution will make the employee feel needed in the company while also instilling the idea of being part of the bigger picture of the business.


Mariette Steynberg is a qualified economist with a post-graduate diploma in financial planning. She has enjoyed working on holistic financial plans for clients in various stages of life, as well as a development economist assessing the socioeconomic impacts of new developments. When she is not working, Mariette enjoys parenting her quirky, delightful toddler girl. Cloth diapering, Eskimo kisses and the importance of reading to your child are all causes close to her heart. Mariette is passionate about financial education and hopes to use the experience she has gained to share knowledge with HomeTimes’ readership. Her goal is to provide information that is implementable by everyone.

Review overview