Money Alternatives for Christmas Bonuses

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Small businesses often provide employees with monetary bonuses at Christmas; this long time tradition is a nice gesture to show thanks for hard work and dedication to a company. Though the thought is always from a good place, monetary compensation and bonuses can easily turn into resentment or jealousy by employees towards management or owners. It is often a damned if you do or damned if you don’t scenario.

Some companies have done away with monetary bonuses and have been more creative with the bonuses they offer. By providing alternative bonuses and making an even playing field, these companies have been able to increase moral and minimize negative feelings.

  1. Vacation Bonus – A vacation bonus can be a great way to not only boost moral but also provide an easy and less impactful solution to the money issue. Employees appreciate time off and providing one to three bonus days can be greatly appreciated. Make sure that these days are not eligible for compensation if not used. The point is to have these used at some point during the year.
  2. Gifts – Providing gifts to employees can be a fun way to give during the holidays. Though it is fun to personalize gifts, doing this may inject the potential for issues. A better option is to get everyone similar items, we don’t mean the Jelly of the month club here, “Christmas Vacation” reference, and instead gifts should be relevant.

No Matter what you plan for a bonus it is important to not create an expectation. What this means is change it up yearly. By doing this you will have less of a chance of disappointment. If employees have been accustomed to business owners providing something every year, the expectation is often that each year owners need to outdo themselves. Avoid getting into this cycle. The most important thing is to have fun and keep bonuses fair and equal.


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