A new platform seeks to change the incentive model in companies, installing a peer-to-peer bonus system rather than a top-down handout that can be obscure and possibly unfair. Bonus.ly enables employees within the company to give monthly rewards to their coworkers in a transparent manner that emphasizes peer recognition.
The web platform works like this: a company signs up the web, and assigns each employee a monthly budget for bonuses. The employee can then reward whomever they see fit throughout the month. As monthly budgets do not roll over, Bonus.ly sends out regular emails reminding workers to use their allowance. At the end of the month, the employer is responsible for doling out the rewards.
The system is more transparent than traditional bonus schemes – each bonus given is posted on a Twitter-like feed – and it is possibly more meaningful, because it comes directly from people you work with. Co-founder Raphael Crawford-Marks says it is particularly useful in this day and age where more work is collaborative and based on a knowledge economy. He says:
Because of flatter teams, managers often aren’t aware of what’s going on in their teams. These other bonus paradigms don’t do a very good job of giving a tight feedback loop–of rewarding in a timely and publicly manner when employees do something really well.
A monthly bonus from colleagues adds an extra motivational factor to people’s work. Bonus.ly was first rolled out by the company Oracle last November, and with 78% of the staff doling out bonuses while almost 94% of the company received a reward through the system.