US bonus rethink suggests end to uncertainty

Corporate
America continues to revamp annual bonus and long-term incentive programmes to
attract and retain top performers and critical-skill workers, according to a
new survey.

Watson
Wyatt Worldwide says the trend means that the days of employee-focused cost-cutting
measures to cope with the uncertain economy may have finally run their course.

Its
survey found that cost-management measures companies implemented during the
past two years – such as reducing salary increase budgets, bonus funding or
staff – are also expected to decline sharply in the coming year.

A
total of 358 US companies, representing a broad spectrum of industries, participated
in the survey.

"The
difficult business environment and cost cutting of the past few years have
caused many companies to change their reward practices, especially the mix of
rewards," said Laura Sejen, national practice director for strategic
rewards at Watson Wyatt.

"While
fewer companies see the need for additional cost cutting in the coming year,
clearly the nature of the employer-employee deal has shifted."

www.watsonwyatt.com

By Quentin Reade

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