Remember when the main question surrounding holiday bonuses was “How much?” We all know that “How much?” has become “If.” Whether the bonus was to award individuals for their performance, or just a holiday gift that all employees received, bonuses have been used to keep morale up and encourage performance.
With the state of many companies’ budgets today, they cannot afford to give these bonuses anymore. So, when you’re considering giving bonuses this year, consider a few things first.
- Is our budget big enough for this?
- Is there an alternative form of appreciation we can give that will still drive productivity?
- Will bonuses be company-wide or performance driven?
- Is everyone involved?
If you do decide to continue with giving employees bonuses, it’s important to carefully structure the bonus plan. Be sure that it’s fair and consistent throughout the entire company. If there are any questions that can be anticipated, make sure that you can respond thoroughly and competently. Also, never make any promises about the bonuses. Make it clear often that these bonuses will be given at management’s discretion. This way, the expectations of employees are kept at bay and people do not start to think that bonuses are owed to them.
Above all, remember that these bonuses are meant to recognize and appreciate employees. If a monetary bonus is not feasible, think about other creative ways to recognize employees (time off, thank you notes, pay one bill for the employee, gas cards or even a simple ‘thank you’).