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Are you going to stay after you get your bonus? 

“I’ll hang on till I get my bonus” 

December marks the time for holiday parties and usually the handing out of bonuses. The size of the bonus can have several factors – culture of the organization, organizational performance that year, and judgements about the individual’s performance. 

That takes us back to virtual vs. in-person. How are we measuring the performance of those who do most of their work virtually? Do we really measure by results? 

I use the “Horizontal Maslow” in my coaching. It’s a simple tool to see where you are putting your time and attention across 14 different major life areas. The stay/leave decision is best done understanding that this career decision is really a life decision. How are other factors affected? 

During the year, the emotions often take over. As we get closer to bonus time and the decision is more imminent (and we really have to “Walk the Plank”), we consider what I call the “two umbrellas” – financial and family. How will my decision affect them? 

The other side of the coin is the management/leadership and the organization. Have they “earned” the person’s loyalty and commitment to stay? How well do they know you, your situation, and your drivers? Have they set you up for success? Do you really feel valued? We use a simple “Continuum of Commitment” to assess that. 

More and more people are discovering their “Why?”.  Yeah!!  I love Daniel Pink’s simple summary of people’s drivers in the book “Drive” – Autonomy, Mastery, and Purpose. So … back to the bonus: 

  • Can I find those three things in my work? 
  • Am I valued? 
  • Do Sunday nights suck? 
  • How good is my personal network? 
  • What impact does my family and financial situation have on this? 
  • Is my current work a good stepping stone to my next desire? 
  • Is there someone that can help me think through and make my decision? 

The return to work issue is pretty major now. I know the organization’s arguments – unused office space, rent, a tighter office culture, etc. All those matter. But, individuals will be thinking about themselves – Will I still be able to work remotely? Do I miss my friends/colleagues? How “healthy” is the organization? Am I being left behind (out of sight; out of mind)? Do I have a mentor to continue to help me grow? 

Not easy. The more thought and rigor you put into this question, the more likely you are to execute the decision. 

But … then you get your bonus J 

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