Richard Branson has bought an island off the coast of Australia as a reward for staff at his low-cost airline Virgin Blue. For the rest of us, rewards are normally somewhat more prosaic. Nic Paton outlines the top 10
The oldest incentive in the book and, in uncertain times, still one of the most popular. The main downside, of course, is the expense and the fact that even a small across-the-board increase can mean a large hit on the books without staff necessarily feeling much benefit.
2. Bonuses/performance-related pay
The advantage of being able to target increases on the best and brightest has to be weighed carefully against its potentially divisive effect. Bonuses can also be expensive and, after a time, lose their impact if staff begin to see them as the norm.
3. Pension scheme
An increasingly rare bird - particularly final salary schemes - and as such becoming a more important comp&ben bargaining chip. But the retention and goodwill that comes with having a good scheme has to be set against its cost.
4. Share schemes
Still a useful way to encourage employees to take a stake in long-term growth, performance and stability. Firms also do not have to deduct the cost of options from their income, as they must with salaries. Main drawback? The stock markets, of course.
5. Health insurance/corporate healthcare/gym access
Increasingly sought after, despite the cash injections into the NHS. With absence levels still worryingly high, and an ageing workforce, being able to offer health benefits can be a useful, and not overly expensive, retention tool. However, its impact can dissipate over time, particularly if it doesn’t get used.
6. Company car
Still something of a status symbol, even if changes in tax rules and environmental c