How much is a good Christmas bonus?

I need to know how much to give my staff. I broke even this year, but made no money on my own. I have three staff members. What is a good bonus? Is 2 days pay appropriate?

$500 is a nice round number that nobody will critisize you for. I would give all people in non-management positions the same amount.

The only Christmas bonus I’ve ever received was $50. To me, this was really good considering I’d only worked there about a month and wasn’t expecting one at all.

I think 2 day’s pay would be fine.

For a company as small as yours, I think 2 days is fine. Larger office type companies usually do a week’s pay. Where I currently work it is two weeks pay, but they are very generous here. Retail places like Blockbuster and such don’t give bonuses at all, so what business you are in should also be taken into consideration.

Cowboy, who owns a small business himself, usually gives his guys about that. He’s got four kids working for him this year; last year he included the part-timer in the bonuses too.

Much better than my company, who are sending out a picture-book of the company’s history. Oh, goody. Beats what I got last year though, which was bupkiss. Big company too.

I personally think that ANY bonus is a good one. Seriously. I agree to work for a certain amount. Any amount above that is a bonus (that’s why they call it that.)

I think that the fact that you want to do anything is a great thing and two days pay is fine.

The only problem with a “days pay” approach or a flat percentage is if you’ve got one employee who’s underpaid relative to other employees, and knows he’s underpaid, it’s a bit of a slap in the face. (“Yes, I know we should be paying you twice as much as you’re making, because that’s closer to what Phil over there is making. But to help make up for it, here’s a bonus check for half of what Phil’s is.”)

If you’re still at the break-even stage, I’d say that anything over $100 is fine…


I believe any amount of money is a good Christmas bonus. To the OP and everyone else giving bonus’ or planning Holiday parties, there is “always” someone who whines about how it’s not good enough.

Where is it written that a Christmas bonus is an absolute? Take what you get,and say thank you.

To the OP. Two days pay sounds good to me.

I’ve never gotten a dime as a Christmas bonus. Frankly, I don’t believe they really exist. You’re making this up, aren’t you?

I like the idea of a flat bonus. It sucks enough that I work with people that make more than me and may not deserve it- why should their gifts be bigger, too? Really, the people who make less money would appreciate the money more than the people who make more. If the better-paid don’t appreciate the bonus just because it’s not a percentage of their check, screw 'em.

I was 28 before I had a job that paid bonuses, and there they were typically an extra paycheck (we were paid twice a month). One year it was a whole month’s pay, but there were a couple of years without.

The only situation in which I gave bonuses, I followed the practice I’d seen and gave an additional bi-monthly paycheck.

Apparently, bonuses are not all the same. At my current employer, bonuses are an acknowledged part of the incentive package offered to professionals, and were stated upon offer of a position to me as being potentially 10-50% of regular compensation. Although we’re not supposed to discuss them, I’ve never heard of a 50% bonus. My own experience has been 6-30%, and I know of no bonus cases. I have no idea what the bonus situation might be for the receptionists, secretaries, righands, etc. Nevertheless, while the bonus I described in my first paragraph is along the lines of what Khadaji mentions, i.e., just a goodwill “extra,” in many positions it’s a key part of what allows a company like my employer to keep professional staff around at slightly less than industry standard salaries.

There are still jobs with Christmas bonuses? :confused: Next you’ll be telling me employers offer health care…

Uh, yeah, I’ve had my teeth fixed up to the point where my dentist said, after my last three year set of dental x-rays, “There’s nothing left for me to work on.”

I went 10 years without seeing a dentist while I was independent. Since I’ve been a corporado I’ve been a regular at his office. If I want to maintain the relationship, I suppose I’ll have to develop a relationship with candy.

I don’t think that gift certificates to the dentist are really appropriate for a Christmas bonus Ringo. I can see people getting behind a free eye exam though.

Our place is much the same. The bonus is an incentive to stay. None-the-less, I still believe what I said, that anything over what I agreed to as a salary is a true “bonus.”

I have recently heard that we will not be getting a bonus this year because the business unit we are tied to did not perform and I’m a little discouraged. Not for me, mind you, but for my team. We had a very agressive schedule that we were told would be a keystone to being competitive in the market. My staff worked long hard hours and hit the schedule and I would like to reward their didication. But I am not in full control of that. :frowning:

The best Christmas bonus I ever got was a 5 Lb, spiral cut, honey baked ham from our Delivery & Installation team at Sears. Everybody in the departments that used D&I got one.
Now I work for a company that gives us 2 bonus checks. The first one in late November is attendance based. Miss less than 5 days and you get a check.
Our Christmas bonus comes in the second week of December. It is for $100 gross but once Uncle Sam gets his hands off it, we’re left with $67.35.
Is it just me or does 1/3 seem a bit high for taxes?

wait, there are employers who don’t announce shortly before the holidays that they are taking away holiday days off … and give bonuses, too?

where are these mythical companies?

I’d be very happy with 2 days pay as a holiday bonus. My current employer gives us a frozen turkey for Thanksgiving and a $25 gift card to a local grocery store chain for Xmas.

Two days’ pay? Heaven! I got two hours’ pay as a bonus this year, and they took tax out of it. I know they have to take tax out of it, but I think it would be classy if they upped the bonus amount so that the actual cash to the employee was the stated bonus amount. The stated amount was the same dollar amount that I got the last time I got a bonus. In 1993.

So I suppose I’m one of those ungrateful people who bitch about the amount of their bonus, but like Ringo I work for a company that includes bonuses as part of the compensation package. And I think the amount they pay out in bonus is cheap as hell, especially since I disburse bonus checks to other employees who get thousands of dollars.

My company doesn’t give Christmas bonuses, but has a reasonably generous incentive award program which distributes payments early in the following year. Specific goals are set out for the company to achieve as well as for us as individuals, and if we meet them, we get the bonus based on a percentage of salary. That’s the bonus that every one cares about.

For Christmas we’re usually given a gift of some kind; it’s a media conglomerate so this year we got a couple of DVDs. Everyone got the same thing, which is one benefit from the point of view of the lower-paid workers. In past years, we have received store gift cards, again with everyone getting the same. Actually, last year, we got prepaid debit Master Cards worth $50.

My suggestion for the OP is that you do something similar. What you give should be more in the nature of a “present”, and not a “bonus” which would be entangled with all sorts of equity issues that are better dealt with at another time of the year.

Would it be a possibility to give everyone a couple extra days off around the holidays instead of money? I don’t know how other people feel about it, but where I work (a university) no one gets bonuses – they close the campus between Christmas and New Year’s instead, and I think it’s a great benefit. Just another idea.