The Holiday Bonus Season Approaches. Should You Be Anteing Up?
What Scrooge wants to knock the Holiday bonus? Consider the havoc wreaked by Clark Griswold (Chevy Chase) in Nat’l Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, all for want of the precious holiday perk.
But when times are tough, as they are now for many businesses, you have to look at every expense with a jaundiced eye. And while we won’t be the ones to tell any employer NOT to hand out Holiday bonus checks, we wonder whether it was ever such a good idea, even in the boom times.
First, they’re not very motivating if everyone gets one. And if some people don’t, well, that doesn’t make for a very merry season.
Second, while fat checks during the boom times may be nice, not so nice is the consternation caused in leaner years by uncertainty over whether a bonus check will find its way into the stocking (and—if so—how large). It doesn’t seem very Santa-like to raise expectations that can be easily dashed, does it?
But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t share a little holiday cheer with your employees. While it may be wisest to save the checks for merit bonuses, there are other things you can do to make the season a little jollier for your employees.
The old stand-bys, such as turkeys, fruit baskets and gift certificates to the local grocery store, may be okay, but they may also be less appreciated than a thoughtful Employee Discount Program, or a good holiday party away from the office, or an extra day off with pay. Be creative. A gift doesn’t have to cost a fortune to be appreciated. In fact, cost may have nothing to do with impact. It’s corny, we know, but what’s important is that you show you care. This year, if you “shop” wisely, maybe you’ll discover a new holiday tradition, one you can maintain indefinitely.