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We’re officially in October which in business terms, means Christmas is just around the corner. While the festive period is all mulled wine, tinsel and cosy nights in front of Home Alone on the surface, for business-owners, it also means a whole load of extra planning and organisation.

Seasonal marketing strategies need to be put into action, deadlines need to be aligned with annual leave and provisions need to be put into place to cover the festive lull in business. Another thing business-owners need to start thinking about as the Christmas period fast approaches is staff bonuses.

When your employees have been working hard, you naturally want to show your appreciation at the end of the year. What’s more, according to research by Unum, 56% of 18-25-year olds actually expect a Christmas bonus from their employer, as do 34% of workers age 55+.

For large companies with ample capital, this typically means a financial bonus on top of regular monthly pay packets. However, for small businesses or start-ups, budgets might not stretch to cover this type of financial Christmas bonus.

If this is the case, there are plenty of non-monetary gestures that you can make to show your gratitude during the festive season such as:

Give your workforce the gift of time

If there’s a commodity more valuable than money when it comes to work, it’s time – time to spend with loved ones, time to travel or even just time to relax. If you can’t afford to give out a monetary Christmas bonus this year, give your staff an extra day’s worth of annual leave instead.

Treat staff to a festive lunch or round of drinks

If you’ve got a bit of budget set aside to treat your staff during the Christmas period but not enough to gift everybody a significant bonus, consider taking them out for a meal or a few drinks instead. This is a great way to show your appreciation, bolster team-bonding and get everybody in the spirit without having to break the bank.

“Oh, it’s only something little!”

As the saying goes, it’s the thought that counts so if you’re worried about Christmas bonus budgets, think about just gifting something small as token of appreciation. It could be a bouquet of flowers, a box of nice chocolates or a bottle of fizz – as long as the sentiment is there, the cost shouldn’t matter too much.

Do something to show you care

Workplace wellbeing is hot topic right now and an important one at that. With this in mind, you could consider introducing free weekly yoga classes or another fitness initiative in the new year that demonstrates concern for physical and mental health. This could be paid off throughout the year as opposed to given in one lump sum.

Are you a business owner who has found some great alternatives to the traditional Christmas bonus? Leave your thoughts in the comments below or let us know via Twitter or Facebook.


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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