Disappointed with bonus

I have just received my annual bonus and am quite disappointed. I would jump ship, but the job market is looking shaky.

Dear Laurence,

I work in the internal training unit of one of the bigger banks in Singapore. I have just received my annual bonus and am quite disappointed. A large part of my compensation is variable but is tied to the bank’s overall performance, and not individual or team KPIs. I would jump ship, but the job market is looking shaky at best. Is there any other way I can let my bosses know that I feel ripped off and possibly revert to a larger proportion of fixed salary?

Worth more than this, Singapore

The way you phrase your question leads me to question your motivations for being with that company. If it’s all about the money then by all means, you should feel free to move on if you can. But first, I think you should stop to consider whether everybody has had to live with this reality this year, because the market really is that tough and the bank – despite your great efforts – has not done as well as hoped.

If however you feel that you’ve been uniquely singled out for unfair treatment, then yes, you should raise the issue with your direct manager and with the head of compensation and benefits if necessary. And that should be dealt with properly and supported by an ombudsman if you have one.

If however this is common across the bank, then I think you need to recognise that it has been a tough year for the organisation. They need good people to bring them out of that in 2017. Are you one of them?

Laurence Smith is a board-level advisor to Smartup.io. With 25 years of working experience in consulting and HR, his career has spanned across different industries and countries, including stints and projects with LG Electronics, GE Capital, McKinsey, the World Bank, and as Managing Director of Learning and Development for DBS Bank.

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