January 7, 2013
Welcome back. I hope you all enjoyed a restful holiday season! The big topic this time of year is always bonuses. Bonuses in the United States, Europe and Australia are on a downhill slide. Experts are estimating from 30-90% decrease depending on the industry.
With difficult economic situations and strong emotions over higher taxes, healthcare and other increases in the overall cost of doing business under challenged market conditions, bonuses (especially for rainmaker types) are under close scrutiny and increasingly frowned upon in many circles. There are regulatory bodies, government restrictions, caps and claw backs where, in some cases, employers are even attempting to recover bonuses that have already been distributed!
In contrast, Asia is on the upswing and becoming more attractive to high achievers as the place for career growth, lifestyle and reward. Given those unique attractions, bonuses are different here. While the real dragon-slayers in the U.S., Europe and Australia may be unimpressed with monetary bonuses offered in Asia, bonuses in this region are more diverse and equally, if not more, as rewarding as they are in the West.
For example, new client commissions are often a bigger incentive here year-round. Bonuses can also be seen in ongoing benefits offered including housing allowance, club memberships and, of course, the opportunity for less-costly and exotic travel.
While these alternate types of bonuses are often considered a higher priority in Asia, an incremental or commission-based bonus each January is a highlight of the New Year here like anywhere else. In many Asian countries a “13th check” is a standard practice (and sometimes legally mandated) as well as expected by staff. Just don’t be surprised when they also want a percentage of each new client delivered. But that’s a win-win opportunity any smart business should be happy to offer when recruiting. Oh, and we’ll do that for you too, if needed. Just let us know how we can help you to enter and thrive in new markets including Asia-Pacific, Europe and South America!
Founder & CEO, Tiger-Consulting