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Bonuses for Managers Rise, But Satisfaction Drops

Fifty-two percent of middle and senior managers received bonuses for 2010, versus 48 percent the year before, according to a recent Antal Russia survey, but fewer are satisfied with the size of the payout.

Antal surveyed 3,060 key specialists and managers at major companies working in Russia.

Forty-one percent said the size of this year's annual bonus was larger than last year's. One-third (35 percent) said it did not exceed 20 percent of their base annual salary, and only 12 percent said it was more than their base salary.

"Although many companies paid out bonuses larger than in 2009, the number of managers unhappy with the size of their bonuses is increasing," said Michael Germershausen, general director of Antal Russia. While last year, according to the survey, 70 percent of managers were satisfied with their bonuses, now only 58 percent are.

"This is most likely due to the fact that after a fairly unsuccessful 2009, employees had no illusions about the expected value of bonus payments, whereas the more prosperous 2010 caused them to expect a substantial increase in the sum," Germershausen said. "Such a high percentage of employees unsatisfied with the size of their bonuses is grounds for employers to think about reviewing their compensation schemes."

According to Anton Storozhenko, a partner at the headhunter Amrop Group, in 2008, at the beginning of the financial crisis, the majority of employers, not optimistic about market improvements, decided to tighten their belts and not pay out bonuses at all. At the end of 2009, it was important to employers not to increase fixed salaries but to show appreciation with various types of bonuses — as much as possible. "Practically all large companies paid bonuses to senior managers for the fiscal year 2010," Storozhenko said, "but the size of those bonuses was not always great."

But in 2011 the situation in the economy has changed, he said. Senior managers have significantly more mobility. Now employers have to revise their compensation plans. Both the fixed and variable portions of salaries will grow — but certainly not as quickly as before the crisis, Storozhenko said.

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