By Evan Vitale
Let’s talk more about your holiday bonus or, perhaps, the lack of a holiday bonus.
Here are some scenarios that could happen this year and some steps you can take so you’re not left in the dark when it comes to receiving a holiday bonus.
First, if you’ve never received a holiday bonus at your new job, don’t plan on getting one this year. If it’s something your company has never offered to employees, don’t expect a surprise envelope.
Second, refer to your employee and benefits manual to find out if there are any provisions for a holiday bonus. In some cases, a bonus check may be based on tenure and performance. If you’re worked at your current job for less than a year, you may not be in line for a bonus due to employee policy. Talk to your human resources person – or the owner of the business – for more details.
If you’re still in the dark, the best course of action is to have a discussion with your HR person; department manager or the owner of the business. Just ask, but don’t show any emotion either way when you receive your answer.
Remember, a bonus is actually what its name implies – a bonus. It should never be expected and you should never feel (or act, say, e-mail, etc.) that you are entitled to a company bonus.
Don’t overspend during the holidays in anticipation of a holiday bonus. Note: a friend of mine and his fellow employees did this all the time because bonuses would be handed out the Friday before Thanksgiving. Unfortunately, the company was purchased in October and the holiday bonus structure ended (without notice). Instead of a check at Thanksgiving, employees were given a coupon for a free turkey from a local supermarket. Some employees cried on the spot and a few turned in their notice to end employment.
So, the moral of story is don’t spend money before you have it. Don’t plan on a holiday bonus until you have the check and don’t expect a holiday bonus. Keep working. Be happy with your job. Look at all the other positives and benefits you enjoy every day with your current job!