The holidays are upon us, and a topic that frequently comes up from our clients is Christmas bonuses. We’re a little more giving than most, so our answer is typically yes, give out Christmas bonuses. If you’re having a hard time deciding whether you should or shouldn’t, here are some factors to consider. We feel these are great rules to live by for businesses under 50 employees, but that doesn’t mean you can’t apply similar principles to your larger startup business as well.
If you’ve had an overall profitable year and aren’t scraping by month to month, please do everyone a favor and reward your employees. You wouldn’t have a profit if it weren’t for them. Even a small bonus goes such a long way around the holidays as a startup. Remember that working for a startup business is a considerable risk for most people. Reassure them that they made the right decision to stand by your side.
Regardless of what method you are using to determine what the bonus should be, be sure to include every single employee. Even if you have a new hire that hasn’t been with you long or someone that isn’t your favorite person recently, you have to include them. There is no quicker way to cause office drama than making someone feel excluded from what should be a company-wide bonus. Although some employees may generate more revenue for your business than others, every person plays a role and doesn’t deserve to be excluded. The potential resentment is not worth it.
The details are important and will go a long way with your team, so don’t forget them. Always use a personally addressed envelope, and be sure to take a few minutes to write a sincere thank you as well. You’d be surprised how many employees will keep genuine notes like this, and it can be a great reminder that they made the right choice of working for you when things get tough.
When distributing your bonuses, it’s essential that you, the owner, hand-deliver them personally to each employee. Spend quality time with each team member, and be sure to give a sincere thank you for choosing to be apart of the team and for all their hard work. It’s little things like this that separate an average leader from the great ones. Go the extra step; your team deserves it.
If you’ve had a challenging year and are unable to offer bonuses, consider offering a different type of perk for your employees around the holiday. Everyone could use some more time off, and an extra paid time off (PTO) day is a great way to say thank you. If additional PTO isn’t in the cards, consider offering a more flexible schedule during the holiday season or an optional unpaid day off for those employees that want to be with their families.
Whatever you decide, congratulations on starting your own business and be thankful for your team. Here’s to a great 2020 and many more to come!