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It’s the most wonderful time of the year! As well as three-layer boxes of chocolates and trashy silver screen classics on the tele, it’s nearly time to rejoice as that wonderful Christmas bonus hits your threadbare bank account. But as part of a small business, you really shouldn’t take this for granted. We’re here to help you maximise your chances of receiving a bonus this year and guide those employers who might not be able to afford such generosity.

With seasonal festivities, time off work and mass present-giving comes the need for super strict budgeting, whether you’re the business owner or trusty member of staff. No matter what side of the desk you’re sitting on, we all have mouths to feed and people to treat at the end of the year so a financial boost can be truly invaluable. However when it comes to small and medium sized-enterprises which are typically working with tight shoestring budgets, Christmas bonuses aren’t always an affordable luxury. This means that as an employee or an employer, you need to know how to make them most of the situation.

Advice for the employer

As the business owner, living up to the expectations of providing a Christmas bonus can be an extreme amount of pressure to deal with. Your employees will likely have peers who have been working for large companies for a number of years who will be receiving financial incentives at the end of the year. However they need to understand that when it comes to micro-enterprises, it’s a whole different kettle of fish.

You may have had a super successful year and the change of seasons might have you feeling particularly generous. In this case you can reward cash bonuses as a way to show appreciation to your workforce and give them an incentive to continue the hard work as they enter into a brand new year. You can carry this out in a couple of different ways by either providing one flat amount across the board or working off a percentage of each individual employee’s salary. So the latter might involve calculating the reward as two week’s pay or 20% of their regular monthly wage.

However if you simply can’t afford to give out cash rewards this year, it’s essential that you find another way to treat you staff that doesn’t necessarily require much expense. When managing such a small and intimate team, it’s in your own best interests to keep them content and working as harmoniously as possible. Employee incentives are a great way to go about this and don’t always have to involve much money. Look towards a social Christmas get-together, extra time off or development opportunities for some great non-cash rewards.

Advice for the employee

As a hard-working employee, you’d like to think that the effort and dedication you have been investing in your job all year round will be rewarded at the end of the year. You might be taking for granted the concept of Christmas bonuses and forgetting that as part of a small or medium-sized business, these financial favours aren’t always a viable possibility. If the monetary means just aren’t there then it’s essential that you learn how to accept this but there are some ways you can maximise your chances of bagging a bonus this year.

Make your boss aware of your achievements – As an employee within a small business or start-up venture, you are most probably contending with a boss who spends 50% of their time out of the office on meetings, 30% of the time locked away on their phone and the other 20% running around like a headless chicken. This means your hard work and individual might unintentionally go unnoticed so it might be worth trying to set up a lunch meeting with them to discuss your yearly progress and subtly make them aware of your personal achievements.

Don’t crumble at the last hurdle – When you’ve worked your socks off up until now, it can be tempting to take your foot off the gas when the festive season approaches but it’s not quite time to wind down just yet. As we all know, Santa only brings surprises to those of us who are good all year round so if you start being naughty as the finish line approaches, you’re minimising your chances of bagging a bonus.

Try not to resent your boss if they can’t deliver – The economic situation that the business finds itself in towards the close of the calendar year will largely dictate whether or not Christmas bonuses are an option. This means it’s important that you don’t take it personally if the answer is no and learn not to resent your boss as a result. How you respond now will have an impact on your chances of receiving financial reward in the future, which is something worth bearing in mind.

About The Author

Karl Bilby

We work very closely with our expert accountants to bring you the latest factually correct tax and accounting news. We also enjoy writing about small business news that we hope you find useful!

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