Bye Bye Bonus: Why Salary Boosts Might Be Worth More

woman holding coins over purse

(DGIwire) – What do fashion industry employees find more valuable: performance bonuses or higher salaries? For those who work at the online clothing-rental startup Rent the Runway, the verdict is clear: higher salaries. As Business Insider recently reported, the company is eliminating performance bonuses and instead incorporating previous bonus potential into each employee’s salary.

The decision to end bonuses and boost salaries, the CEO told Business Insider, came after repeated feedback from employees who said the potential of a bonus was a distraction. Employees, she said, tended to provide 100 percent positive feedback on their coworkers’ performance because they didn’t want to affect a colleague’s take-home pay. The absence of constructive criticism, she added, had the consequence of stunting the growth of employees and the company as a whole.

The drive to keep fashion industry workers happy by boosting their incomes could help contribute to their overall job satisfaction—an issue of key importance for employers. As noted in the 2016 Fashion Industry Benchmarking Study conducted by the U.S. Fashion Industry Association, 83 percent of fashion companies plan to hire more employees in the next five years, so attracting and retaining the most qualified workers is and will remain a priority.

“By taking a closer look at what motivates its employees, an organization may sometimes find that overhauling its pay structure is in its best interest—not only to boost employee satisfaction but to strengthen its own bottom line,” says Michele Mavi, director of internal recruiting and content development at Atrium Staffing. “A happy employee is a productive employee. Listening to feedback from workers and incorporating their views into company policy makes sense on every level, from the personal to the financial.”

Atrium is a New York City-based talent solutions firm, focused on providing contingent workforce solutions for mid-size and Fortune 500 companies in nearly every industry. Atrium’s expertise includes regional Temporary and Direct Hire Staffing, national Payrolling Services, national Independent Contractor Compliance and Intern Program Design. The company has extensive experience matching the right candidates for a range of positions within a variety of industries.

“A company wishing to make a change to its compensation structure might be wary of what is involved in making the change. Working with a team of experts with substantial experience in this area could be a wise move to ensure a smooth transition,” adds Mavi.

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