Retaining Leaders in Bonus Season 

Bonus season is upon us and, as these payments are made, we expect the usual uplift in resignations across the sector. 

How can real estate companies retain their best performing, senior staff?

It’s been a unique time, with very little job movement during covid followed by a record number of job vacancies last year (known as ‘The Great Resignation’) that drove average salaries and bonuses up. Although more cautiousness has since crept in, we see unwanted talent gaps within organisations that will be further compounded by imminent resignations. 

Are you paying ‘just enough’?

Money clearly talks. The primary reason why key talent leaves a company is the “opportunity to earn more pay elsewhere”, according to research commissioned by World at Work in 2012*. People will most likely see their largest salary increases by moving to a new employer.

A study undertaken by Workhuman and Gallup last year** establishes the significance of bonuses: employees are more likely to strongly agree they belong (30%) and that they see a path to grow at their organisation (41%) when their organisation offers financial rewards. Many companies pay ‘just enough’ to keep on par with market expectations when it can make more sense to pay an extra 10% to keep a valued employee.

Other reports also agree that pay is the main hygiene factor, so what else can organisations to do fulfil their senior people when financial seduction looms? For senior employees, factors such as culture and values, the quality of senior leadership and career opportunities matter even more, according to research by Glassdoor***. 

Recognising contribution: 

The Workhuman and Gallup study reports that recognition is not a major strategic priority for 81% of leaders. Companies should prioritise embedding a culture of appreciating employee contribution.

Values and Culture: 

The first step in improving workplace culture is to better understand it and put a cultural change programme in place to boost retention and performance. 

Diversity and Inclusion: 

A diverse workforce will have a plethora of views and needs. Are these being met to retain and attract the right people?


Strong ESG credentials can have a significant, positive impact on employee wellbeing and retention. In a 2021 survey from Morgan Lovell, 62% of office workers said it was important to them that their employer had a commitment to ESG****.

Career opportunities: 

Recognising and investing in employees’ paths to advancement recognises their worth and becomes a potent incentive to stay at the company.

Companies should develop retention strategies that work from the top down. If you want to enhance your talent strategy, get in touch.

*World at Work Retention of Key Talent and the Role of Rewards, Survey on Reward and Engagement. 2012

**Unleashing the Human Element at Work: Transforming Workplaces Through Recognition

***Why do Workers Quit? The Factors that Predict Employee Turnover. Glassdoor, 2017

****ESG in the Workplace, Morgan Lovell 2021

Back to News & Insights
Working From: 91 Wimpole St, Marylebone, London W1G 0EF
Registered Address: 71-75 Shelton Street, Covent Garden, London WC2H 9JQ
Copyright © Madison Lincoln