I can’t Afford to give My Employees Christmas Bonuses this Year, What can I Do Instead?

This year, a good number of businesses will continue to face the very unenviable position of not being able to afford employees’ holiday bonuses. For a sizable percentage of companies, it became an inescapable reality last year, obviously, due to the large-scale shutdowns across the country and overseas. While many businesses have recovered and regained a sense of normalcy, a significant portion still struggle. This means having to make hard choices when it comes to expenses that are not part of the business’s day-to-day operations. Fortunately, there are some alternatives to giving employees cash.

Turn a Negative Situation into a Positive One

When the economy or an industry takes a downturn, most entrepreneurs will take a good hard look at their books to determine exactly where they stand. Some make the mistake of cutting back too deeply, becoming too lean to fully operate, and only prolonging a bad set of circumstances. However, others embrace it as an opportunity to eliminate redundancies, reduce extra expenses, and put their resources where they most matter.
A holiday bonus is a traditional gift given to employees by employers each year as a big ‘thank you.’ Many managers and business owners want to give their hard-working employees a bonus at the end of the year. The unfortunate truth is that many cannot afford it in today’s economy. As a result, many companies have had to get creative by offering their employees something enticing that is not a cash bonus. —Optimum Employer Solutions
The latter strategy is obviously more effective because it makes the company more efficient. This type of audit should be done regularly since it’s so very easy to become blissfully ignorant of what’s actually happening with the business’ finances. Company owners who enjoy a nice regular profit line are typically the ones blindsided most when things change and go in the wrong direction. Regardless, if you really can’t afford holiday bonuses this year, be honest and upfront with your team members. This way, they will understand the gravity of the situation and be grateful for whatever you decide on as a substitute.

Employee Bonus Alternatives

Before you panic, be sure to know the exact numbers. The situation might not be as dire as you think. Although, if it isn’t truly feasible to give your employees holiday bonuses this year, here are some great alternatives:
  • Extra paid time off. What’s wonderful about this alternative is that employees will appreciate this just as much as bonuses. People like extra time off when they don’t have to forfeit anything and this will not cost the business anything directly out of pocket.
  • Incremental pay raises. Another option is to schedule incremental pay raises for every quarter over the next year. If possible, start this in the immediate future and your employees will feel appreciated and valued.
  • Better benefit packages. Yet another alternative to giving out bonuses is to give your employees better benefits which they can always use. Look into better health insurance, dental insurance, and other benefits
What other employee bonus alternatives would you suggest? Please take a moment to share your thoughts and experiences so others can benefit from your input! Interested in learning more about business? Then just visit Waters Business Consulting Group.

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