Offering Retention Bonus

Corporations often use retention bonuses to motivate high-performers to stay. We had a superb office manager we didn't want to lose. We thought she was happy and well-paid, but we wanted to be extra-sure she didn't leave unnecessarily. This letter is terrific, and she appreciated the thought, but she declined the bonus and moved out-of-state with her fiance—something we had not anticipated. Monika was our Senior Vice President at the time.

August 17, 20—

Nan Zacarias
Office Manager
10475 Park Meadows Drive, STE 600
Lone Tree, CO 80124-5437

Dear Nan,

When I hired you four years ago, I said you'd be the quarterback in the office-everything would revolve around you.  That has proved to be true.  You really do run our entire operation, and, as we've told you many times, your performance always exceeds our highest expectations.  The consultants like you, the clients like you, all our vendors like you.  You are universally admired and appreciated, and we thank you for everything you have contributed.

In asking ourselves, "How can we retain this top talent, this leader in our company," Monika and I have come up with the idea of paying you a special bonus.

Naturally, we'd like you to stay as long as the company is in business.  But for purposes of the bonus, we've picked an arbitrary target date close to the time our current lease expires.

The bonus might work like this:  We would set aside $25,000 for you, to be paid in full on December 31, 20—, if you're still employed here.

In order to receive the bonus, you would have to be working here full time on December 31, 20—, and you couldn't be on suspension or probation for poor performance, or for any other reason.  If you resigned or left the company earlier than December 31, 20— for any reason, you would forfeit the bonus.

Nan, part of the reason for the bonus is that we want to acknowledge your impressive past performance.  Part of the reason is to acknowledge that you have a longer commute now, and you make daily sacrifices for our collective success.

We really appreciate you, and look forward to continuing our long, successful relationship.  If you accept this bonus offer, we'll write it up as an amendment to your employment agreement.

With many thanks,

William S. Frank

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