A CHRISTMAS BONUS MEANS SOMETHING DIFFERENT TO ALL EMPLOYEES
When I lived in the UK there was no such thing as a Christmas Bonus of any description where I worked.
The last Christmas Bonus I can ever remember was when I was 10 years old and delivering newspapers door to door.
There was a little granny that lived up the road and she came to the door the day before Christmas with an envelope for me.
You see, she lived alone and any time she needed help with something and I could do it, I would.
There were times I would take the trash out for her, mow the lawn and even help her hang her wash on the clothesline in the back garden.
She was the nicest lady and always told me that one day I’d grow up to be someone’s hero.
In a way, I’m sure I was her hero because now that I’m getting older I realize how valuable the extra help can be.
As we age it becomes harder to get everything done around the house especially if there is a disability involved..
We appreciate when our weekly flyer delivery boy wheels our garbage bin to the garage when I’m home late from work.
It’s not that I can’t do it but he goes out of his way to do something nice for us.
It makes me simile although now that we have a son it will be his job after school when he gets older.
Saving Money For Christmas
That’s why this year Mrs. CBB and I have set aside some money in our budget that we’ve been saving up all year.
At first, it was going to be our Christmas reserve fund and in part, it will be but we won’t need as much.
Now that Christmas will be our little family the need for large holiday baking rituals, alcohol, and other fruits and desserts is not needed.
Although Mrs. CBB and I don’t have employees to pass along a Christmas Bonus to we still want to give back.
This year we put a little bit of cash in a card for our paperboy along with a Christmas Bonus Letter that I wrote for him.
I’m not sure if his employer will do the same but appreciation is important whether it’s from your boss or your customers.
Although we don’t pay for our weekly flyer delivery we still want to give thanks and hope that he passes it forward as he gets older.
It’s the small things that matter even when gifts or rewards are not monetary.
Christmas Gifts For Employees
You can buy Christmas gifts for employees for under $10 if you are tight on money especially if you are a small business owner.
Not all businesses are thriving or are new and still trying to get off the ground but a gesture of appreciation is always nice.
Opting for a gift card to your employee’s favourite restaurant or coffee shop will put a smile on their faces.
Successful bloggers who hire virtual assistants or freelancers, for example, might want to also send their employees a Christmas bonus.
What Employees Want For A Christmas Bonus
A new study conducted by Leger for ADP Canada revealed that working Canadians would prefer a Christmas bonus over other holiday rewards.
An online survey of 1562 Canadians was conducted between November 1 to 4, 2019 using Leger’s online panel. The margin of error for this study was +/ 2.5%, 19 times out of 20.
Please note that throughout the report, only those who work full-time, part-time or are self-employed/freelance (906 Canadians) are reported.
Of those who participated in the study, 54% of the respondents said that they would prefer a staff Christmas bonus from their employer.
Sadly, only 15% of them felt that they would get one which is not many considering how valuable employee retention should be.
Some of you may argue that employers don’t need to give their employees anything however it’s more about engagement.
When your staff is happy your business will thrive, thus earning you more profits.
There’s no point being a Scrooge when a Christmas bonus staff letter and a gift card is all you need.
Big Christmas Bonus Cut In Half
When Mrs. CBB was working for a globally large employer in our city her Christmas Bonus was outrageous.
The employees worked lots of overtime with high-quality standards for the company to thrive in Canada and for that, they were rewarded.
Come the holiday season each employee was given a $1000 Christmas Bonus cheque to spend as they wished.
The employer still had to take income tax off the Christmas Bonus but it was still money employees put to good use.
December is an expensive month for everyone especially parents who want to make the season magical for their family.
I’m not just talking about wrapping gifts for friends and family but rather decorations, food and travel costs are pricey.
As the company grew the Christmas bonus was down-sized to years-of-service which was sad for those employees who had come to rely on it.
Even still, the employees received a decent sized Christmas Bonus, more than I had ever received in my career life.
The more important part of that Christmas Bonus was the letter the employer wrote to the employees thanking them for their service.
When you work for a company that doesn’t often come around and pats you on the back it’s nice to hear you’re making a difference.
Employee Christmas Party
To top things off her company also arranged a lavish all-expenses-paid Christmas party for the entire company.
There were a DJ, dancing, Christmas gifts for each employee and prizes given throughout the evening.
It’s a great way for employees to mingle and get to know one another away from the business aspect of the company.
This year my organization held a pay your own Christmas dinner at a local restaurant and we were fine with that.
Both Mrs. CBB and I attended and had a great time chatting with my co-workers.
Extra Holidays For Christmas Bonus vs. Holiday Party
From the ADP study, one-third of the employees stated that they wanted more vacation time over the holidays where 23% said they wanted a gift and 22% a holiday party.
When I picked up my first job in Canada my Christmas bonus was card and inside was a $50 gift card to President’s Choice.
I honestly, did not expect anything from my employer but year after year we would get this Christmas Bonus which helped us buy food.
I had never had a company appreciate me like that and it felt good to know that they cared.
Moving forward I don’t get a specific Christmas Bonus nor a holiday party but rather three weeks paid vacation.
I’m fine with this as I get more time off with my family for the holidays and I get paid for it.
You’ll notice that in British Columbia 21% of survey respondents were most likely to get extra vacation time over the 14% National average.
Christmas Bonus Appreciation Differs
It amazes me from the ADP study how employees view gratitude from their employer differently.
This is because when it comes to life outside of work no one knows what someone is going through.
This means that you will always have an employee who won’t be as happy as the next.
For example, that $1000 Christmas Bonus that my wife had reduced to $500 was upsetting for many employees yet new employees raved about their $100 Christmas Bonus.
When you give and take away it’s harder for employees to accept where someone new and receives a bonus for the first time.
Keep in mind you’ll also have employees want nothing at all from their employer as 11% of respondents from the study had no interest.
Rewarding Employees A Christmas Bonus
Any time you are dealing with employees open communication is very important even for topics such as a Christmas bonus.
Find out what your staff would like by hosting a survey with options that appeal to everyone including those who do not celebrate the holidays.
You have to remember that when employees have input about the company that impacts them in any way they appreciate being included.
That doesn’t mean to say they will get what they want but at least it shows that the employer is open and ready to hear what they have to say.
If you have a look at the regional results of the ADP study you’ll notice that Atlantic Canada is most likely to get a financial bonus.
That rang in at 23% compared to the National average of only 15% of employers offering a Christmas bonus.
In Alberta however, a whopping 59% were expected to go into work over the Christmas holidays.
So, not everyone gets a week or even two weeks off at Christmas especially if they work for essential services such as fire, police, ambulance, hospitals, etc.
If for some reason you receive a bonus cancellation letter after receiving a bonus accept that as it is.
Your company is working to keep everyone employed and that should mean more to employees than any bonus.
Perhaps in the future, your employer will bring that bonus back when the company is thriving again.
How To Write An Employee Christmas Bonus Letter (Sample)
City, Postal Code
Dear Employee Name/
This is just a quick note to thank you for your hard work and dedication for your role as (insert role) with-in our company this past year.
We are pleased to advise you that we are providing our valued employees with a Christmas Bonus of (Insert bonus. Gift, Gift Card, Extra Holidays, Christmas Party) for their efforts in making our company one of the most successful in the country.
Your bonus will be added to your next pay cheque
We wish to extend you our best wishes for a happy holiday season (insert company) and we will see you in the New Year.
It’s The Small Things That Matter
Oh, and the little granny that I would help when I was delivering my papers wrote me a note.
In the note, she wished me a Merry Christmas and thanked me for everything I do for her.
She left me a few coins in the envelope to do what I wanted with.
It wasn’t much but it was so much more than I had ever expected by simply being the person my parents raised me to be.
Do you expect your employer to give you a Christmas Bonus this year?
If yes, what do you expect it to be? If no, why not?
Share your comments below and I’ll be sure to respond.