Rewarding Employees This Year – How It’s Happening And Who Should Benefit

Posted: Dec 12  |  By: Trey Gunn

The holidays can bring a lot of things. There are gatherings with families and friends, vacations, gifts – and the costs that come with them. There is also the expectation of a year-end sweetener, like a bonus, fun holiday party or other perk. This year is certainly no different and there are some things to be aware of as a manager when it comes to rewarding employees.

Bonus Time

For many companies, the holidays mean bonuses. According to the Holiday Bonus Survey from our sister company, Accounting Principals, more companies are opting to go the cash bonus route. In fact, 75 percent of respondents said that they would be giving bonuses this year. Half of all companies paying bonuses will dole out figures in excess of $500, with the average company bonus expected to be just under $1,100. Not too shabby.

So what does this mean for your company if you opt not to give out bonuses? Well, if you want to remain competitive with other companies in your area, you might want to reconsider. Rewarding employees and showing appreciation are important, and a bonus is a perfect way to show them that they matter to your organization. Can’t swing an additional bonus right now? That’s OK. Even a non-cash bonus could work.

Non-cash Rewards

The survey asked the 25 percent of companies who were not giving out cash for the holidays to explain why. A number of them simply give out bonuses at other times during the year, in accordance with their budgets, cash-flow schedules, and so forth. About one in ten lack the financial performance to provide one. However, nearly four out of ten actually preferred to provide other perks, such as additional time off, holiday parties, or tangible gifts. These are all great, cost-effective ways to recognize a job well done.

Decision Time

Unless you’re in a company that gives out bonuses equally to everyone, you’ll need to determine who deserves which piece of the pie. Most managers and executives note three simple behaviors to make that choice. Is the employee staying motivated? Is the employee positive year-round? Does the employee volunteer to take on new responsibilities?

So, which of those three behaviors is most important? More than half of those surveyed said staying motivated was the top way an employee could increase his or her chance of a year-end reward. Another 45 percent of respondents said that a positive attitude was the key to success. It’s easy to see that simply showing up, doing the job, and going through the motions won’t cut it. That’s the middle-of-the-road and deserves a middle-of-the-road bonus, at best.

Employees who go the extra mile, support their colleagues, and keep growing and working towards their goals are usually the ones who get rewarded. And hey, even as an executive, these are pretty important traits to remember for your own work habits.

Whether you’re an executive trying to determine how to take care of your staff or an employee trying to secure that year-end bonus, this time of year can be tricky. Holiday bonuses provide big benefits but can also make or break an employer-employee relationship.

For more insights on rewarding employees and holiday bonuses, take a look here and remember, our 2017 Salary Guide is available now to help guide you in any year-end salary decisions you might be making.