It’s the one question that doesn’t come wrapped neatly in a little red bow for most employers. The holiday bonus – to give or not to give cash?
In some industries it’s a standard incentive, a sign of a job well done at the end of the year. Employers show their appreciation with an extra check around the holidays. In other fields, it isn’t quite as common as a the holiday party. With economic times as challenging as they are companies have scaled back. But the question still faces those in positions of leadership.
What do you do about the holiday bonus? Small business owners are left to their own discretion to set a precedent for such things. Gifts might replace a cash bonus. According to Inc.com:
Owners can establish gifts around the holidays as an act of goodwill or as part of employees’ pay package, says Harry Dannenberg, chairman of the New York City chapter of SCORE, a national nonprofit organization that offers small business counseling and advice. “It’s such a personal issue that there’s not a precedent for it,” he says. “Different industries have different attitudes about it. If you’re a mom-and-pop operation and you’re part of a business family, you might have a more generous approach to the holidays than if you run a chain.”
The same article, titled “What to consider when giving a holiday bonus,” noted that 64 percent of employers offer a holiday bonus. The article warns that cash is precedent-setting and being too generous in a good year could become a challenge in a less prosperous year. That’s why some employers opt for gift cards, fruit baskets or turkeys, even a nice bottle of wine.
How do you feel about a holiday bonus? Would you prefer cash or gifts – and does it matter whether the amount were going to be rather small?