When they are having a tough time in the business, it makes for a difficult decision when it comes time to think about holiday bonuses, gifts or anything extra around the holiday season.
Small business owners usually do like to thank their employees with a bonus or gift at the end of the year. The personal, family feel is what makes small businesses a nice place to be. However, when finances are tight, it’s not always possible.
Will It Be a Weak Year for Holiday Sales?
According to a report from Entrepreneur, 34% of small businesses are afraid it will be a weak year for holiday sales. Weak holiday sales mean less income and a tighter budget for small businesses. How does that translate into end of year bonuses, gifts and festivities?
It, unfortunately, does mean that more businesses are cutting back on the extras – less bonuses, less holiday parties, less year end gifts, but it doesn’t mean that employers don’t want to show their staff their appreciation. Some are just doing it in different ways.
Take a look at these ways to compensate for the lack of funds but still show your employees you are grateful for all they do:
â¢ Giving a full or half day off for shopping or other holiday prep (no vacation or personal day needed).
â¢ Donating to charities (this can be a tax write off).
â¢ Getting together and helping out a non-profit together instead of a holiday party. There is very little cost, if any, and the satisfaction is big.
â¢ Scaling down holiday parties but still hosting them, maybe a pot luck instead of a catered affair, or a dessert bar instead of a full meal.
â¢ Give gift cards or gift baskets instead of hefty year-end bonus. It’s not quite the same, but does show appreciation, and can even be more personalized than cash.
If you do need to scale back this year, let your employees know that it is not because they are any less appreciated, but that your budget just does not allow it.
Because small businesses have fewer, closer employees, it’s important to thank them at the end of year, and let them know why there was a change (if it’s a big one) from past years.
Being upfront will pay off, there won’t be hard feelings or employees wondering what is going on. And maybe next year will be better.
Photo credit: employeeappreciationhq.com
About the Author: Heather Legg is a freelance writer who covers topics related to small business and social media.