Home 1 Minute Tips No Budget for Bonuses?

No Budget for Bonuses?

No budget for a bonus? You’re not alone. A survey from PublicSquare and RedBalloon revealed that 42% of small business owners said they can’t afford their usual Christmas bonuses this year.

So how should employers communicate with their team members who are hoping for holiday bonuses but not getting them this year? Recruiting and retention expert Kathleen Quinn Votaw and executive communication expert David Schreiner, PhD, offer these tips.

Communications expert kathleen quin votaw talks about how to break it to employees that there will be no bonus.
Kathleen Quinn Votaw

Quinn Votaw, CEO of TalenTrust, a strategic recruiting and human capital consulting firm, offers these strategies.

  • Be as transparent as possible and share the why behind the decisions.
  • Offer employees a clear view of what might be possible in the coming months. Include what metrics they need to achieve to attain any bonus.
  • Be certain everyone on your team knows how/why/when they might be able to achieve more compensation to motivate the behaviors you want in your organization and community.

David Schreiner

Schreiner, president/CEO of Katherine Shaw Bethea Hospital in Dixon, Illinois, add these ideas.

  • Find other ways to express gratitude, such as employee meals or discounts on local services. Look for non-financial ways to show you care. But be careful about spending money on something that could have been put into bonuses.
  • Be transparent with high-frequency: Talk abut WHY bonuses were not paid and what has to be in place to pay bonuses next year. Ensure team members feel informed and included.

Kathleen Quinn Votaw is the author of two books: Dare to Care in the Workplace: A Guide to the New Way We Work and Solve The People Puzzle: How High-Growth Companies Attract & Retain Top Talent.

Dr. David L. Schreiner is the author of Be the Best Part of Their Day: Supercharging Communication with Values-Driven Leadership.

Read our poll results on keeping staff morale up here.


Featured photo credit: Getty Images, Boy_Anupong

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