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Golden handcuffs

 

Disciplines > Change Management > Creating Change > Golden handcuffs

Method | Example | Discussion | See also

 

Method

When you want someone to stay with you who may be tempted to leave, make it worth their while to stay by putting significant benefits in their middle-term future.

Example

A company is closing down a division and needs a few key players to stay engaged until the bitter end. They offer them significant bonuses to stay on to the final date, even though they could leave for a new job earlier.

A company wants to retain managers with particular knowledge in a new acquisition. They institute a rolling investment system, whereby each quarter they are given share options which they cannot cash in for 12 months (and leaving the company would cause them to lose this 'investment').

An engineer is kept on a dull project by promising him that he will work on a sexy new project that is starting in six months time.

Discussion

When loyalty and the joy of the job are not enough to keep people, then they may need some financial or other rewards. However, paying them today could still lead them to leave. The promise of future reward, however, may be enough to keep them engaged.

The promised rewards cannot be too far out or they would not be enticing -- usually reasonable reward needs to be within a twelve-month timeframe.

When a reward is gained, this could be a point at which the person leaves. If you want them to stay, you may need to keep a rolling handcuff system.

See also

Investment principle, Exchange principle

 

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