Show Thanks for Your Employees with These Creative Holiday Bonus Ideas

When you run a small business, some years may be better than others. Alternatively, most years may be flat out bad. Remember what we said about that six to several years wait for profitability?

It comes with the territory. And until you have employees on the payroll, it’s fairly manageable. In the sense that, at least you don’t have to worry about anyone else’s satisfaction but your own. 

Having a team working for you though is a monumental thing. Especially when you’ve established a sense of ownership culture throughout. These are the people, who share in your vision—so much so that they dedicate hours of their life towards achieving it.

Unless you’re content with poor morale and a lack of loyalty, a la Ebenezer Scrooge, giving back to your employees during the holiday season should be a no-brainer. Your profit for the year may not allow for epic holiday bonuses but sometimes small, creative tokens of appreciation can make all the difference.

A Spa Day

Small business life can be a grind when you’re on the front lines day in and day out. It’s easy to forget to relax when caught up in the chaos.

A spa treatment—think 90-minute massage, facials, acupuncture (for the more adventurous)—is probably the last thing someone’s going to treat themselves to. So, do it for them—with a day off work thrown into the mix for good measure.

Bonus Paid Time Off

You may not be able to operate off an unlimited vacation policy but there’s no harm in allowing for flexibility. Many businesses slow down, if not shut down, during the holidays anyway.

Consider surprising your staff with some bonus paid time off between Christmas and the new year. Think of it as quality disconnect time they can use to recharge and return in January ready to hit the ground running.

An Experience

You could explore the traditional holiday party route with streamers and a beer in-office. Or you could turn celebrations into an experience.

Look into quirky activities to do in your own backyard. Airbnb, for example, offers a whole host of off-the-beaten-path experiences to take advantage of whether traveling or taking a staycation. You can make a day of it with an activity during the day, dinner at night, and plenty of team bonding in between.

A Donation

Relative to your company’s mission, a donation in the names of your employees can be a great way to give back. It also engrains a sense of philanthropy into your company culture.

Alternatively, you could plan a company holiday outing that involves volunteering at a local shelter or food bank. One that ends with employees receiving a bonus check in the amount of your choosing afterward.

Cold Hard Cash

Above all else, listen to your employees. Take their feedback to heart and give something that will truly benefit them at end-of-year. Be mindful of what you can reasonably budget for and include a hand-written note that expresses just how grateful you are to have them on board.

By Staples Canada

November 27, 2019