What if our company paid us a nice bonus now if we are >100% utilized, then had a clause that we would have to pay it back if we left within 1 - 3 years. Something like this may resolve the retention issue.

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If you’re >100% utilized you’ve earned that bonus. You should not be on the hook for it. Would be nice if the bonus was correlated to your % over you utilization goal. Now that might help retention since people would feel they are being compensated for extra efforts. Imagine receiving a year end bonus that equates to hours over target x hourly rate?? Now that might keep people around and working hard

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I’m on board with you @GT1. I think if you polled the associate pool they would feel like the time they put in is not being fairly compensated. I did some time at the Siegfried Group after leaving PA and for all the knocks against it, they have their compensation/incentive plans locked down. Across the board, people feel fairly compensated there because the compensation is designed to reward hard work and the stuff that sucks about our jobs.

That sounds like a lot of work

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Anecdotally they are already doing this for people trying to leave. They don't want to do it firmwide because then they're paying more to people who weren't planning to leave

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Can you elaborate? What are they doing?

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Agree with you but if you earn that bonus they can’t take it it back.

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A while back part of PwC paid each year’s bonus in 3 annual installments. For example, your 2021 cash would be a third of the bonus earned from 2021 performance + 1/3 of 2020’s performance + 1/3 of 2019’s performance. Cash paid only if still at PwC.

So if (when) you left PwC, you’d always be walking away from significant unpaid bonus. This also allowed for larger percentage bonuses since the firm knew that some would never get paid.

Not suggesting it’s a great idea, just providing some historical perspective.

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People will use the bonus as a negotiation tactic to find more comp elsewhere

For people who are billed hourly (non fixed-fees)- you should get a % of the net billed fees. That would encourage working more hours and people would feel more invested in the work.

That would set off a firestorm of competition to only be assigned to certain engagements. Nobody would want to work on fixed fee engagements or be involved with any not-for-profit work.

And what’s stopping people from booking egregious hours to get over 100%?

Nothing, but you can have 0% or 10000% and you’re still not getting any bonus directly tied to it.

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how is utilization calculated? Not in big 4 but curious

How many hours you work divided by how many hours are in a normal work year. There are all kinds of adjustments to the denominator like vacation and holidays.

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That works until they abuse the ever living you know what out of you…neutering your pay to then claw back a bonus

I don’t think paying for hours is the right way to incentivize working smart and efficiently and contributing work product. If you can build dashboards and bots and not work Friday, great!

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