"Each year, as December 31 draws near, there's one question that is the center of every lunchroom conversation: "Do you think we'll get annual bonuses this year?" For newer employees or those who've never received a bonus before, this can cause some confusion," says Sara Jones.
"The truth is that annual bonuses can be a bit confusing. Sometimes they happen, and sometimes they don't. Some companies pay them. Others don't. And the amount you get can also differ from company to company and from year to year," she continues.
"A year-end bonus can be a powerful tool for reminding your staff that their hard work and commitment and the company's overall growth and success are closely intertwined. And according to a recent survey, 57% of American companies plan to award year-end bonuses in 2022," according to Robert Half.
1. Be Clear About the ‘Why’ Behind Employee Annual Bonus Pay
No matter what you decide regarding “when” and “how much” to give employees, you also need to make clear “why” you are awarding extra pay. And the answer to that question will depend on the type of bonus.
Year-end bonuses: They are intended to foster goodwill with employees as well as promote a positive company culture. They are a celebratory reward that benefits everyone.
One-time bonuses: These annual pays at the end of the year work as incentives for individuals or teams working toward a specific project or goal. These bonuses are also often structured with specific metrics and milestones.
Performance bonuses: Firms often give to employees following their year-end performance review, and are also tied to specific metrics and objectives for that year.
2. Be Thoughtful About How You Communicate the News
If all staff-level employees are to receive a similar type or amount of year-end bonus, then a group announcement is fine for sharing the news. But if you are distributing an incentive offering such as a performance bonus only to select employees, you’ll want to have private, one-to-one conversations with those workers.
3. Have a Solid Plan B for When an Annual Bonus Isn't an Option
If your business cannot award annual bonuses to all (or any) team members this year, there are alternative rewards to consider. For example, employee benefits, such as schedule flexibility or extra vacation days, are likely highly valued by your staff.
Does your company usually give annual bonuses? Let us know in the comments section below.
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