My company has changed their bonus policy practically annually since my employment began. Frankly, my bonus isn’t a large percentage of my annual salary anyway, as I’m not in sales or an executive position. But it’s been kind of frustrating to see the weighting for determining the bonus size switch between things like my personal contributions to departmental contributions to how the overall company does and then back again. It’s been a roller coaster ride between things clearly within my control like personal performance versus things that I, as a mid-level employee only have some indirect impact over, like company profits.
Taking this a step further, I just read that Eli Lilly will actually start tying employee bonuses to the success of their pipeline (BusinessWeek). Not only is pipeline development and success completely outside the control of the vast majority of employees in a large pharma, it would surely be difficult to measure and compare the results annually since so many pipelines are now tied to acquisitions, in-licensing, and the development lifecycles that span multiple years. Does a production manager on a legacy drug product line out in the Midwest have anything to do with drug development and clinical trial success? Probably not. Upon reading the article, it seems apparent that the company isn’t going to be giving something like “extra bonuses” to all employees when a new drug is approved; I suspect this will come at the expense of some other portion of the traditional bonus. They don’t appear to be in a position to be adding compensation to employees randomly when the industry is consolidating and laying off (market forces simply don’t support such a move).
This got me thinking about all the different ways people are compensated and rewarded. Some people can pretty much expect the same bonus each year (but remember Grizwald in Christmas Vacation?). Others are heavily reliant upon their bonus as a sizable portion of their overall income based on their sales accomplishments. And then, many get no bonus at all.
What is Your Bonus Structure Like?
Does It Work For You?
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