December 7, 2014

Did You Get Your Holiday Bonus Yet?

The holidays are a busy time of year. People are juggling vacations, work, office holiday parties, families, and so much more. One long standing holiday, or year end, tradition is the holiday bonus.

A holiday bonus is meant to be a thank you from your company for all of your hard work this year. They are often a direct reflection of the company’s profitability and your individual performance throughout the last calendar year. It can be big or it can be small. It can be a gift or it can be cash. Or you might not get anything at all.

Unfortunately, holiday bonuses are not guaranteed. So whatever you do, don’t count on receiving one. According to Business Insider, only 29% of small businesses plan to give a holiday bonus this year. That’s a drop from 54% in 2005.

If you haven’t seen a holiday bonus yet, don’t fret. Take a look at how your company did overall this year. Put yourself in your boss’s shoes and ask yourself if you would give holiday bonuses. If you really think you deserve one, ask your boss.

Here are a few tips to help you ask your boss for a holiday bonus:

  • Time it appropriately. Make sure your boss is in a good mood and don’t wait until the last minute.
  • Sell yourself to your boss and be persuasive.
  • Consider how long you’ve been an asset to the company. If you started work in November, you might not have proven yourself yet.
  • Don’t plan on slacking off prior to asking and for a long time after.
  • Be ready to tell your boss why you deserve this extra incentive. Can you prove it through quantifiable data?
  • Know what you need to do in the future to show your worth to the company.
  • Ask your boss face to face. Don’t email.
  • Do not tell your co-workers. Keep it between you and your boss only.
  • Don’t appear desperate.

Don’t be surprised if you get shut down, but if you do get something, be grateful for whatever it is. It’s kind of like asking for a raise. Be sure to thank your boss profusely.

Remember there is no magic rule with holiday bonuses. It’s entirely decided by your boss and the company. Maybe you’ll get a box of chocolates or a $500 check, but chances are you won’t get anything. Whatever happens, smile, keep up the hard work, and enjoy the holidays.

If you really, truly deserve a bonus don’t be afraid to ask for it.

About this Author 

Derek Lennon is a skier and writer who lives, works, and plays in the mountains. He travels the globe in search of snow and adventure. Life has allowed him to live and work all over the world doing cool jobs and loving every minute of it.

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