Bonuses reign as top employee reward, CFOs agree

Yet another study confirms that bonuses are an important part of an organization’s reward programs. According to a recent Accountemps survey, despite lean budgets for many businesses today, most financial executives say cash is king in recognizing their teams’ hard work. Thirty-four per cent of chief financial officers (CFOs) interviewed for the Accountemps survey cited bonuses as the most effective way to acknowledge a job well done. Another 28 per cent of CFOs, however, indicated that they do not reward employees after major projects.

CFOs were asked, “Which of the following do you feel is most effective in rewarding your accounting team after major projects?” Their responses:

  • Bonuses we key for 34 per cent.
  • Time off  was the second most important element, at 15 per cent.
  • Departmental lunch or social gathering were appreciated by 11 per cent of respondents.
  • Tickets to sporting or entertainment events were valued by 8 per cent.
  • 28 per cent of respondents do not reward at all while some three per cent of respondents didn’t have an answer. ( Survey does not equal 100 due to rounding.)

 “Offering bonuses for a job well done can be an effective way to motivate and retain employees,” says Kathryn Bolt, president of Accountemps’ Canadian operations. “For those workers taxed with additional responsibilities as a result of staff cutbacks, offering recognition demonstrates that their contributions are valued.”

Bolt acknowledged that bonuses may not be feasible for some firms. “While some companies may be challenged in offering compensation-based rewards, investing in budget-friendly recognition programs will help motivate staff and protect companies from the threat of employees leaving as the economy improves.”

The Canadian study was developed by Accountemps, a division of Robert Half International and the world’s first and largest specialized staffing service for temporary accounting, finance and bookkeeping professionals. It was conducted by an independent research firm and is based on more than 270 telephone interviews with CFOs from a random sample of Canadian companies with 20 or more employees.

Accountemps has more than 360 offices worldwide and offers online job search services at Follow Accountemps for workplace news at