Is your business giving out Christmas bonuses this year? Did they do so last year? Many businesses across the globe like to acknowledge the hard work and dedication of their staff at this time of year, by giving out a Christmas bonus as a token of gratitude to their employees.
History of the Christmas bonus
Christmas bonuses originated in the UK on Boxing Day, and came into popularity during the last decades of the 19 Century. They began as a voluntary gift that eventually evolved into an expected increase in December salary. In the past decades they have become something of the norm, particularly in UK and US-based private companies.
However in recent years a growing number of companies are offering them less frequently, instead opting for a glamorous Christmas party or year-round incentive programs.
The implications of handing out a bonus
In these trying financial times giving out a bonus is no longer something that can be done haphazardly. Many companies this year were forced to downsize or reduce salaries as a result of the global economic recession. Although a number of countries are slowly returning to their previous economic state, financial difficulties are still being experienced.
If you have opted to give out a Christmas bonus this year, its distribution needs to be played out with tact, thoughtfulness and consideration for all employees. After all, the Christmas bonus is something that is unique to each individual member of staff and you need to have a fair and objective system in place that assesses the merit of each individual.
Traditionally, companies evaluated the Christmas bonus based on salary level and years of services. However today, as fewer and fewer employees are hired for a long stretch of time, the Christmas bonus scheme has been replaced with a performance based bonus.
Regardless of which method you choose to adopt when giving out bonuses, there are numerous benefits to doing so:
Benefits of handing out a bonus
- Employees aspire to meet company goals and objectives
- Greater workplace productivity
- Employee feels valued
- An excellent motivator
- Strongly facilitate making employees happy