The holiday season should be a wonderful time for friends and family to gather. It should also be a time for everyone at your company to come together and celebrate another year wrapping up as a team. But, the holiday season can be very stressful at work. One of the reasons is the tug of war over giving staff a holiday bonus.
It’s not that you’re cheap. A lot of contractors I’ve worked with have taken money out of their own bank account, or even worse, out of their own personal holiday fund, to pay these bonuses. That’s just not right, let alone sustainable.
The other nasty truth is that most of you feel obligated to give staff members a certain sized bonus (if not more) because once upon a time in the past you gave it to them. They may not even be producing or be worthy like they once were but you’re stuck because now that you've given a certain amount to them once it’s nearly impossible to take it away or even lower it.
So, how do you end this insanity? Well, I have good news. There is an annual holiday bonus program that actually makes sense.
What I teach my clients to do instead of giving an arbitrary and obligatory holiday bonus is to implement the Company-Wide Bonus Game.
Can you do it this year? No! The reason is it’s too late and you need time to put together the details of how it works and educate the team. You also need to start with some solid financial work to do it right. In fact, if you want to have this in place and working by the end of next year you need to start as soon as possible.
The cool thing about the Company-Wide Bonus Game is that it pays employees a bonus based on the money they create rather than from money out of your pocket. All my reward games are designed to reward the individual and the team on the additional money they bring in. In the 7-Power Contractor system, reward games are a key element of gaining Sales Coaching Power.
Typically, the bonus is 2 to 3% of annual salary. Commissions don’t count because you can’t know this when you do the budget. Remember, start low by going with 2 to 3% the first year so you have room to go higher in future years.
A good company-wide game should address the measurable profitability in an objective way. This profitability goal is the one you used to create your annual budget and your annual sales goal. The cost of providing this special bonus for all full-time staff is an excellent way to bring the company together once a month to talk about how we all play a role in sales and profitability.
A big graphic representation displayed on a white board that is updated with the progress toward their goal weekly and monthly makes it more fun—and more real. Once again, any reward programs must be self-funded. They are only rewarded if they hit the goals, which means that they pay themselves the bonus!
The real purpose of a company-wide game, however, is to allow for open discussions on what role a good Customer Service Representative a good Dispatcher and a good Tech play in sales and profitability and how each person is dependent on the other to win.
It’s a win-win-win for customers, staff and owners alike.
Get started now and make next year’s holiday bonus a Ho Ho Ho vs. a No No No!