9. January 2024

Why is everyone talking about… the ‘bonus bounce’?

Personio Pulse: This Week in HR - 1

Welcome to Personio Pulse: This Week in HR, where each week we take a look at the latest trends in the world of work, what you need to know about them and what they mean for you as an HR professional. 

This week we’re covering the ‘bonus bounce’, why 2024 may bring the biggest quitting spree in 20 years and what that means for your HR team.

What you need to know

New year, new company? While making resolutions, some employees might be realising that your organisation isn't the right fit for them any more. The ‘bonus bounce’ refers to an increase in resignations every January by employees who may have waited until their pre-Christmas December paycheque (and/or bonuses) before handing in their notice.

But is it true that attrition increases in January? Forbes predicts January 2024 will bring the highest quitting rates in 20 years. Additionally, CNBC reports we could see a season of CEOs stepping down. In the UK, it’s estimated that one in five workers will quit in 2024. Research also points to January 31st as the most popular day of the year to quit.

Unfortunately for some, the ‘bonus bounce’ is the real deal.

What others are saying about it 

“People are entering a reflective period. With this can come a desire for change”, explains Stephanie Kukoyi, Senior People Scientist at Culture Amp. “Where there’s uncertainty in relation to career development within their current organisation, employees look for alternative external opportunities to meet that desire to develop further in their career.”

However it isn’t the only factor at play: “For some employees, reaching end of year targets can lead to burnout. With the opportunity to reflect, employees consider ways to prevent a repeat of this stressful period by seeking new opportunities.” And then there’s a level of natural attrition: “Additionally, some employees may have been considering leaving their role for some time; a new year presents itself with an opportunity for a fresh start.”

What that means for you

You’ll need to look at both engagement and performance. Firstly, it’s an ideal time to take the temperature on employee satisfaction. Stephanie advises: “Consider the motivators behind employees' intent to leave or remain by conducting engagement and stay surveys.” Look to address areas of dissatisfaction and structure your work environment around what is motivating employees to increase satisfaction and tenure.

Secondly, HR teams may also want to reconsider their approach to development for the year: “Clear, regular career development conversations throughout the year will also support employees in developing a career path and setting realistic goals. When people reflect at the end of the year, this will enhance their sense of achievement and motivation.”

What else should I read? 

That's all for this week's edition of Personio Pulse: This Week in HR. Check back next week as we continue to dissect the latest trends impacting the ways we work. 

Hannah Popham

Hannah Popham

Hannah is a Senior Content Marketing Manager at Personio. She loves writing about the ever-changing ways that we work and how they intersect with our lives outside work.

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