HR & EDUCATION | Staff Reporter, Hong Kong

Nine in 10 employees expect a bonus in 2019

A majority or 73% anticipate an annual bonus of up to two months.

Close to nine in 10 or 87% of Hong Kong-based employees are expecting to receive a bonus in 2019, according to recruitment firm Randstad's first edition of the Bonus Expectations survey. Of those who expect bonuses, 73% of the respondents anticipate an annual bonus of up to two months.

Also read: Up to 4% salary hike awaits tech workers in 2019

The survey, which polled more than 125 employers and 422 locally-based professionals across various disciplines, found that receiving a bonus was not the only factor employees considered when mulling the possibility of a job change.

“[W]hen it comes to leaving for another employer, people tend to consider a number of factors beyond salary or bonus such as development opportunities, culture and workplace flexibility," Randstad Hong Kong's managing director Natellie Sun explained in a statement. She added that the firm's 2018 employer brand research supported this, with 41% of respondents citing 'limited career paths' as their top reason for leaving.

That being said, the report highlighted that four in 10 respondents said that they will start a new job search if they do not receive a bonus in 2019, with a majority of these respondents working in the banking and financial services industry at 38%.

“There is no hard-and-fast rule as to how much bonus payout should be. Employees will always expect more for their loyalty and the time and energy that they have spent in the organisation," Sun highlighted. "Therefore, it is the employer’s responsibility to manage expectations by having transparent discussions with their staff about the company’s profitability and individual performance and how their bonuses are being calculated to come to a mutual understanding.”

Also readHong Kong banker bonuses drop by a fifth as stock markets fall

According to the report, 85% of companies surveyed said they planned for a bonus payout in 2019, of which 77% are prepared to reward their staff with a bonus between one to two months. Only one company cited they would give months or more in annual bonus.

Meanwhile, a little over half or 56% of the organisations in Hong Kong were observed to practice tiered-bonuses, in which employees are rewarded based on their performance and scope of responsibility as opposed to receiving the same amount through a flat-bonus scheme.

“A tiered-bonus scheme not only rewards good performers, it also helps motivate and incentivise employees to certain milestones and work towards surpassing their goals and targets. Companies that practice tiered-bonus structure tend to have a more flexible budget which is highly dependable on the organisation’s profit," Sun noted. "However, companies will also reduce bonus budget when the company does not perform as well. As a result, employees are more driven to perform better so that they can receive more bonus at the end of the year.”

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