Small Business Ideas

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Christmas Bonuses!

by Taylor White

Some of you read this post subject and think…AWESOME, I love getting a Christmas bonus! Well, who doesn’t? But now I’m on the other side and instead of getting the bonus, I’m giving it. It’s better to give than to receive, right?

It is sometimes painful to give bonuses at the end of the year and around the holidays, but it’s a part of the deal – the deal of owning and running a business AND of keeping your employees happy. I say painful because this is the time of year when our cash flow is the most, shall we say, limited.

How do you feel about Christmas and/or end of year bonuses? The pros are that they help your employees with their extra expenses during this time of the year, they let employees know they are important to your business, they make your employees feel good about you and your business, etc…

I can remember one of my bosses from early in my career gave me $100 cash – a $100 bill in fact! Man, I thought that was very cool and I greatly appreciated it. When I started giving Christmas bonuses I gave cash as well, but I have since stopped that.

Now I combine Christmas with the end of the year and I provide the bonus on my employee’s final pay check of the year – but they know the amount earlier in the month. I base the bonus on a number of factors, including: overall business performance for the year and that employees effort and overall role in the year’s performance.

I normally determine an acceptable amount of money based on year-end profit and then I divide the money up among my employees (but not equally) – sometimes I include myself and sometimes I don’t.

Do you give Christmas and/or year-end bonuses? How do you determine the amount to give? Is it a percentage of their salary or do you use some other formula to determine amount per employee?

Another thing to consider besides a financial bonus could be a combination of time off and maybe some other small perk, leave a little early a few days during the holidays, allow them to attend to a party for a client or vendor, divide up any gifts from clients or vendors among your entire team.

Whatever it is you do, and however painful you may think it is, I strongly believe it’s important to do, if you can. The employees of our small businesses are our most important asset. They are our front-line, so we need to reward them above and beyond their normal compensation, when possible.

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