2024 performance bonus payout – make it equitable to all

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Dear Board Members,

Thanks for approving the publication of the 2023 annual reports. I am happy to read that the company made lots of profits and excited about the upcoming performance bonus payout announcement. As a staff in the operations at the frontline, I am writing to address an important aspect of our organizational culture and reward system — the distribution of performance bonuses.

Our good performance is not just the result of the efforts of a few individuals at the top but is built on the hard work and dedication of every employee. The foot soldiers at the frontline of the business do a lot of work. We are the guys who come to work come rain or sunshine. The office must be opened, customers received and keep the systems running. It is crucial that our bonus distribution reflects this reality and rewards the contributions of all employees fairly.

We propose this year’s bonus payment is divided equally among all employees instead of paying it based on the current salary of staff.  For example, out of the Ugx 27 billion profits announced, if you approve the bonus of Ugx. 2bn, distribute it equally to all employees i.e. Ugx. 2bn/ 345 staff = UGX 5,797,101 each regardless of the pay grade of the employee. For a long time, such a bonus is paid such that people already receiving huge pay, take a lion’s share of the bonus, leaving us with nothing. For example, a senior manager earning Ugx. 14m monthly is usually given (their pay/ total gross company pay) x declared bonus i.e. ((14m/8bn) x 2bn = Ugx 3,500,000). And yet a casual staff earning a monthly salary of Ugx. 800,000, who already has life expenses stacked against them, would earn ((800,000/ 8bn) x 2bn) = Ugx 200,000! That is very unfair, Directors. Since senior managers already earn a lot monthly, find an equitable way to distribute the bonus to make life meaningful for everyone in the company. There is a weak relationship between one’s current pay and performance to deliver the results. However, the work ethic and input of the “small” cadres and folks at the frontline and the back end cannot be denied. A simple act of “forgetting” to add fuel to the generator could lead to huge losses if the power went off at peak time!

Employees at all levels play a crucial role in our operations, directly or indirectly contributing to our achievements. Recognizing their efforts through fair bonus distribution enhances their sense of belonging and appreciation. A well-distributed bonus will significantly boost morale, leading to higher productivity, better employee retention, and attracting top talent. When we the employees at the bottom also receive a significant share of performance bonuses, we reinforce the message that every role is valuable. This approach promotes a more cohesive and inclusive workplace culture. Fair bonus distribution is the best action to demonstrate your “high-performance culture” projects and all those “4Dx execution disciplines” stories, as even our children at home feel the kind of company we work for in terms of new clothes, some meat and smile on the family members.   An even distribution of the bonus will make staff feel valued and therefore more likely to go above and beyond in their roles, driving innovation and sustaining the organization’s long-term growth.

This time make the bonus payment a transparent exercise. For the past five (5) years I have been employed here, we only get to know about the bonus and a meagre “drop” on our accounts. It is done in secret, yet we are supposed to celebrate such a big milestone. Make the process transparent as this ensures that it is fair and based on merit. If the bonus is not evenly distributed to all employees, consider using a scaled percentage formula, where the bonus pool is allocated based on salary bands. This ensures that while bonuses are proportional, employees at lower salary bands receive a significant relative boost, acknowledging their essential contributions.

We hope this time around you approve a bonus distribution system that is fair, motivating, and reflective of our values as an organization. That way, we not only reward past achievements but also invest in future success through a committed and motivated workforce.

Yours,

Mr Strategy.

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