I want my retention bonus ... or else!
I’m thinking I might want to angle for my own retention bonus.
I begin teaching a 10-week course Tuesday. I’m thinking that about five weeks into the term, about the time I’ve made myself pretty much indispensable to the students' getting credit for the course, I’ll demand a “retention bonus.”
I’ll pass the hat around the classroom. "Your money or your class credit."
Why don't more folks demand retention bonuses? It seems like a no-brainer.
Why, for instance, don’t flight stewards come down the aisle collecting “retention bonuses” for pilots. The crew may have delivered you to 40,000 feet, but what if they decide they want a little extra to get you down — at least to where you want to go?
How about the plumber's demanding a retention bonus to finish the job? Without the bonus, the plumber could just walk away to another job that pays more.
Who's to say that those corporate executives are any more “indispensable” than the rest of us?
Think about brain surgeons in the middle of a job.
Or bridge builders.
Or bus drivers.
Hey, wait a minute, you say.
What about pride in one’s work? The satisfaction from a job well done?
Customer or company loyalty? Commitment to one's students, patients, passengers, nation?
Those are all so NOT what's happening. I mean, aren’t we really all in it for the money?
Today, commitment, loyalty, perseverance now come with a price — the retention bonus.
In the case of the executives, the bonuses are hundreds of thousands, even millions of dollars — and they apparently don't even have to ask for the extra money. It's just assumed to be part of the deal. Give 'em the bonuses — or expect to pay the consequences.
Then there's the curious metaphor "golden handcuff," which is what "compensation consultants" (another timely topic) call really big retention bonuses. The handcuff image begs deconstruction—starting with the question: Is a handcuff, even a "golden" one, ever anything more than a handcuff?
In the spirit of the subject, I refuse to share any more thoughts about retention bonuses ... until I get one myself.
Sorry, but that’s the way things are.