We know it's better to give than to receive, but when it comes to business owners giving their employees holiday bonuses, that may be easier said than done.
Some 75 percent of HR and hiring managers surveyed plan to give monetary holiday bonuses this year, according to a survey conducted by recruiting firm Accounting Principals of human resources managers in 2016. But if you're not able to give such a hefty gift to your employees, there are still ways to help show you appreciate your team. How? A number of experts all suggested the same thing: Just ask them.
"Determine what your employees value," says Laura MacLeod, a human resources expert. "Is it time off, education for advancement, more vegetarian choices in the lunchroom, [a] better break area? Maybe you arrange some flexible time off or offer to supplement the cost of professional development, find some low-cost vegetarian meals or paint the break room. It is not always a splashy party that workers want [or] need. Figure out what they want [and] need, and they will be grateful."
—Tamika L. Morrison, CEO and founder, The T. Morrison Agency
"We often believe that bigger is more; however, meaningful is more," says Tamika L. Morrison, CEO and founder of The T. Morrison Agency, a PR and brand development company based in Atlanta. "Giving money sounds good, and yet most people pay bills with bonuses and then forget the joy of the bonus because paying a bill—no matter how fulfilling—just isn't fun. Most people want experiences. Think vacations and getaways [or] fun evenings out. Give them something they wouldn't spend the money on for themselves."
It can come down to giving back time and/or money to your employees, claims Ryan Hulland, vice president of MonMan, an HVAC solutions provider. But a little something extra doesn't hurt.
"I think all employers should give their employees small gifts of appreciation at Christmas time," Hulland says. "Good gifts are personalized. If you know an employee has been feeling stretched thin and overworked, send them to the spa. If one of your sales guys keeps talking about playing golf with prospective clients, but he can’t even play putt-putt golf, spring for a few golf lessons."
Read more articles about motivating employees.
A version of this article was originally published on December 16, 2015.