Part of the Business terms glossary:

Golden handcuffs are a type of financial incentives designed to motivate employees to stay with a company longer than they might otherwise do. 

Golden handcuffs agreements are often part of an employment contract. In a more general context, the term "golden handcuffs" is used to refer to salaries that are lucrative enough to prevent highly-valued  employees from seeking positions elsewhere. The practice is most common for executive-level employees for whom there is likely to be competition. 

The financial incentives are usually expressed in a formal document as a specific amount of money and/or some other type of benefit, to be disbursed at specified points throughout a contractually-mandated time period. Bonuses and stock options that will vest in the future are common examples of financial incentives. 

The agreement may also stipulate penalties in the event that an employee leaves the company ahead of the contracted date, such as requiring repayment of bonuses. Other constraints may include non-disclosure agreements (NDA), which prevent the employee from divulging sensitive corporate information and non-compete clauses (NCC), which prevent the employee working for competitors if they do leave the company. 

See also: golden handshake, severance agreement, severance package, voluntary severance package, professional emancipation

This was last updated in September 2013
Contributor(s): Ivy Wigmore
Posted by: Margaret Rouse

Related Terms

Definitions

  • key risk indicator (KRI)

    - A key risk indicator (KRI) is a metric for measuring the likelihood that the combined probability of an event and its consequence will exceed the organization's risk appetite and have a profoundly ... (SearchCIO.com)

  • Predictive Index (PI)

    - The Predictive Index (PI) is a theory-based, self-report measurement of normal, adult, work-related personality that has been developed and validated for use within occupational and organizational ... (WhatIs.com)

  • How to write a business case document

    - A business case document is a formal, written argument intended to convince a decision maker to approve some kind of action. This guide explains what to include in a business case document, how to ... (WhatIs.com)

Glossaries

  • Business terms

    - Terms related to business, including definitions about project management and words and phrases about human resources, finance and vertical industries.

  • Internet applications

    - This WhatIs.com glossary contains terms related to Internet applications, including definitions about Software as a Service (SaaS) delivery models and words and phrases about web sites, e-commerce ...

Ask a Question About golden handcuffsPowered by ITKnowledgeExchange.com

Get answers from your peers on your most technical challenges

Tech TalkComment

Share
Comments

    Results

    Contribute to the conversation

    All fields are required. Comments will appear at the bottom of the article.