Holiday bonuses have been a traditional gift given to employees by employers each year as a big “thank you.” While many managers and business owners want to give their hard working employees a bonus at the end of the year, the unfortunate truth is that many cannot afford it in today’s economy. As a result, many companies have had to get creative by offering their employees something enticing that is not a cash bonus. The experts at Optimum Employer Solutions have gathered together some of the best non-traditional holiday bonus ideas we have run across to help inspire you this season:
- Throw a Holiday Party – If you do not have the budget to give bonuses to your deserving employees, consider spending a little cash and throwing a great holiday bash instead. One major draw at office parties is a gift raffle. This is a great way to stretch funds because you are only buying one nice gift. In addition, you could consider having the office party early in the day and letting your employees leave early with full pay as a great morale and productivity booster.
- Give the Gift of Time – Rather than giving your employees a monetary bonus, consider offering an extra day or two of paid vacation. This is a great alternative to cash because it’s something your employees will still value and be glad to receive.
- Offer a New Benefit – In addition to vacation time, you could offer your employees a new type of benefit. Not all benefits revolve around retirement or health insurance. A great benefit that can have lasting positive results is a discount at a nearby gym. You could also treat the office to lunch one day a month. These unique benefits cost far less than company-wide bonuses, but still remind your staff how much you appreciate them.
- Create a Beneficial Partnership – By partnering with other vendors or businesses, you can have the capability to provide products or services at a discount to your employees.
- Give Gift Cards – While $50.00 in bills and $50.00 in gift cards are technically the same amount of money, receiving a $50.00 gift card to a favorite restaurant or coffee shop will feel more personal. Consider offering these in lieu of cash.
When the holidays come around, the first thing you need to do is assess and determine if you can afford a cash bonus. For many business owners, this is a viable option during lucrative years, but in lean times it is not. If your company is unable to give an expected cash bonus to each employee, try your best to let employees know as early in the year as possible. Many employees who believe they are getting a bonus count on it and factor it into their household budget as part of their yearly earnings. Though you should let them know it is not going to happen this year, be sure to follow it up with a positive spin. By sharing this information in a timely manner and followed up with something positive, you will help soothe hard feelings.
If you need help determining if you can offer new benefits or a cash bonus this holiday season, speak with your experienced and knowledgeable HR representative at Optimum today.