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Bonuses and salaries in 2024: Expectation vs. Reality in talent retention

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A recent survey by international specialist recruiting firm Robert Walters reveals a significant gap between employee expectations and the reality of bonuses and salaries in the year 2024. With more than 68% of those actively seeking new job opportunities this year after not receiving substantial bonuses at the end of last year, it’s clear that the job landscape is undergoing major changes.

The study found that about one-third of organizations did not allocate budgets for bonuses, nor sizable raises at the end of the year, resulting in 41% of employees not expecting to receive bonuses this year. This lack of financial recognition is taking a toll on worker morale, with more than half (68%) seriously considering leaving their current jobs due to lower-than-expected bonuses or the complete absence of them in January.

Alejandro Paz, Country Director at Robert Walters Mexico, commented on the situation: “The importance of year-end bonuses in talent retention is evident. 75% of companies consider them crucial to keeping their best employees. However, the discrepancy between employees’ expectations and what they actually receive is a challenge that companies must address to avoid talent drain.”

In line with these figures, 34% of employers decided not to give bonuses in January, citing a “difficult 2023” as the main reason. This further underscores the importance of bonuses in employee retention, as 81% of professionals are considering pursuing new opportunities this year.

Alfredo Araneda, Country Director at Robert Walters Chile, added: “It is critical that companies take a holistic approach to retaining talent, which goes beyond monetary benefits. While bonuses are important, employees also value things like work flexibility, a competitive salary, a positive work-life balance, and good development opportunities.”

Ultimately, the study highlights the importance of companies understanding their employees’ expectations and offering a comprehensive compensation package that includes not only competitive bonuses and salaries, but also benefits and development opportunities that promote talent satisfaction and retention in an increasingly competitive labor market.

This involves a thorough review of compensation and benefits policies, as well as a proactive approach to addressing employee concerns and offering customized solutions that demonstrate the company’s commitment to the well-being and career growth of its staff. Investing in skills development and fostering a strong organizational culture also play a crucial role in long-term talent retention.

View the Global Compensation Study here

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