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The holiday season brings with it the joy of giving, and for many companies, this translates into the much-anticipated Christmas bonus. 
Take a look at a few basics that really do help you avoid big issues. Yes believe it or not, the gripes and moans of a poorly thought through well intended bonus are sadly many. 

Tip 1. Transparent Criteria: 

At the heart of a successful bonus is a transparent (and easy!) set of criteria. Clearly outline the factors that contribute to eligibility, whether it's based on individual performance, company performance, team performance, or a combination. 

Tip 2. Communicate Eligibility: 

To avoid ambiguity, communicate the eligibility criteria to all colleagues. Specify whether the bonus is universal, contingent on a minimum tenure, or linked to specific performance benchmarks. This information ensures that expectations are managed effectively, reducing confusion, and with that the likelihood of the dreaded grievance. 

Tip 3. Align with Company Goals: 

I love this one. If you want speed towards a team and company goal. Do make sure that the bonus criteria align. Sounds simple, I know, though look at yours now, and just see if it really is going to drive your goals or not? 
When colleagues see a direct connection between their contributions and the bonus criteria, they get it, it feels fair and reinforces the idea that bonuses are a celebration of shared accomplishments. 

Tip 4. Be Inclusive: 

Inclusivity should be a guiding principle in bonus distribution. Consider including all colleagues in the bonus scheme to create a sense of unity and appreciation. If budget constraints exist, explore options for providing smaller yet meaningful bonuses to ensure everyone feels recognised and valued. 

Tip 5. Provide a Channel for Feedback: 

The team get what you do… they’re the ones delivering it. So, when they say things like, this makes no sense, why are we earning a bonus on this when if I do that it stops us achieving that. Valuing colleague input is crucial in crafting a bonus policy that resonates with the team. If you can get information on how effective the bonus is at driving the business forward, then it enables you to leverage the bonus criteria that’s working and tone down or off the areas that’s not. 

Tip 6. Timely Communication: 

This one hurts business owners time and time again. Its tricky balancing everything! Do communicate the bonus policy well in advance, creating a sense of anticipation and excitement among colleagues. 

Tip 7. Recognition Beyond Bonuses: 

While the Christmas bonus is a significant gesture, complement it with other forms of recognition. Highlight individual and team achievements through shout-outs, certificates, or a dedicated celebration. Recognising contributions in multiple ways reinforces a culture of appreciation and encourages ongoing excellence. 
Have fun, and get in touch with your local transformation consultant if you think you need some bonus policies writing for your business to help clarify those messages for your teams. 
Tagged as: Bonuses
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