Bonus bonanza

Companies reward top performers with extra cash and trips

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Print this page by Gary Robertson
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What says it better than money? Well, perhaps nothing.

Maybe that’s the reason that many of the companies on the Virginia Business list of best companies to work for don’t mind doling it out — above and beyond salaries.

The extra cash comes in the form of bonuses for a job well done, in gift cards, in expense-paid trips to exotic locales or a local resort, in profit-sharing arrangements, and in sweetened retirements.

One health-care company offers a car for exceptional performance, so does an insurance company.

Many of the companies like to reward employees for referring prospective employees. For example, at Grow, a marketing and public relations firm in Norfolk (sixth on the Small Employers list), it pays handsomely to bring in a competent teammate. The company offers $4,000 each to employees when hirings are made as a result of their referrals.

Not to be outdone, Resonate, an advertising, public relations and marketing firm in Reston (No. 53 among Small Employers), pays $5,000 for a successful employee referral.

At Lynchburg-based Scott Insurance (No. 22 on the Large Employers list), employees referring successful sales candidates receive $5,000 and are entered in a drawing to win a $30,000 car. The drawing occurs every two years.

At the IT services firm Concept Plus LLC in Fairfax (No. 58 among Small Employers), you get not only a bonus for a successful referral — up to $3,000 based on the position being filled — but also an iPad.

A number of other companies offer around $1,000 for a successful recruit.

If you want to make an employee smile, just say “bonus.” Many companies are big — and sometimes really big — on bonuses.

At the Consumer Technology Association in Arlington, all full-time employees are eligible for bonuses.

Junior staff can receive bonuses equal to 10 percent of their base salaries; at the director level, it’s 15 percent; and for vice presidents and above, 20 percent.

Employees in the sales department are eligible for commissions as well as the bonuses.

VPs and above are eligible for a deferred compensation retirement plan and a TV in their office.

Independent Container Line Ltd. (No. 10, Small Employers), has a profit participation bonus funded by 2 percent of company profits. Bonuses are distributed shortly after close of the fiscal year.

The Ashburn-based consulting company Infinitive (No. 56, Small Employers) has a “Be Great Bonus Program” based on performance. Nonexecutive employees generally receive 8 to 12 percent of salary, according to Infinitive.

Chantilly engineering firm Ingenicom Inc. (No. 9, Small Employers) awards spot bonuses to employees whose performance or support is praised by customers.

If you are a sales employee at Carfax, a vehicle history information company in Centreville (No. 19, Large Employers), you can earn commissions, annual bonus and special contest incentives including gift cards, vacation holidays, TVs and computers. A few can win new cars.

Healthy habits pay at Bon Secours Virginia, a Richmond-based health system (No 23, Large Employers).

Employees on a Bon Secours medical plan are eligible to earn $900 by completing health/well-being requirements. The money is deposited in health reimbursement accounts as it is earned.

At Fairfax-based consulting company ATSG Corp. (No. 54, Small Employers), stellar employees can earn cash bonuses and have their names emblazoned on the “Crystal Award.” Top employees can earn trips to go along with their bonuses.

At Aerotek, a staffing company in Virginia Beach (No. 15, Large Employers), high producers can pack the suntan lotion and sunglasses for a vacation in Cancun or Miami.

Higher Logic, a technology firm in Arlington (No. 26, Small Employers), offers sales team members who meet their quotas and reach other goals an expense-paid trip to the Caribbean with the executive team.

For those not in sales, the company raffles off additional spaces for the trip.

MassMutual Commonwealth, a financial services firm in Virginia Beach (No. 24, Small Employers), sales associates can qualify for up to five company trips. One recent excursion was a golf trip to the Pinehurst resort in North Carolina.

At HumanGeo, an Arlington-based technology firm (No. 5, Midsize Employers), all employees meeting outstanding performance standards are eligible to win a weekend at a condominium in Stuart, Fla.

At Defense Point Security LLC, a technology company in Northern Virginia (No. 2, Midsize Employers), top producers can qualify for a “president’s weekend” at a local resort. There are bonuses, too, including $10,000 for the top employee of the year.

Doing a good job can be its own reward. But for employees who can qualify for bonuses, trips or a fistful of cash, it’s just a little sweeter.

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