Human resources

Sunday, November 30, 2003

How to hand out bonuses
with Vince Crew

Q. We’re a small company. How do I give bonuses to deserving employees without creating bitterness in others?

A. The short answer is “just give them and so what?” The longer explanation is that there are at least three issues here:

1) Bonuses are one method of rewarding performance. Those who achieve deserve - those who don’t, don’t. While some may feel resentment, it is simply reinforcing the objectives and values of your business. Give winners their due without hesitation.

2) The real difficulty with recognition and reward systems is that they must be attractive AND available to everyone. Money is good but people get excited about other things - consider contests, opportunities to work on different projects, job promotion, attend learning/ seminar events, extra vacation or time off, restaurant or store certificates, etc. Open your recognition/ reward programs to the whole company. Your receptionist’s efforts are just as important in growing your business as the delivery guy. Your bookkeeper deserves recognition as much as your salesman. Don’t overlook ‘behind-the-scenes’ people.

3) Perhaps a more philosophical point, but one that goes to the core of running a business - a boss’s concerns should be to ensure there are nothing but high achievers on-board and they are rewarded, not guarding against the feelings of non-performers. Keep the BEST, circulate the rest! For more perspective on this last point, get your FREE copy of the checklist “What Management Owes Workers” - send an e-mail to me.

Vince Crew is a strategic growth adviser and founder of REACH Development Services and author of Keeping the Very BEST (Lighthouse Dec, 2003). Reach him at (239) 455-0816.