July 9, 2019 8:00 am Published by

A Bonus is Not Required #102

Most of my clients have questions and challenges around bonuses. They provide a great banter among CEO peer groups annually and there’s rarely a clear-cut answer that works for every business given the circumstances at the time.

I find most entrepreneurs are excited about bonusing their employees when they exceed expectations and company performance is excelling. They look forward to sharing and being generous.

It seems once employees have received a bonus, especially if it’s happened more than one time (even annually) there’s an expectation it should happen consistently thereafter. Meaning, it’s moved from being a bonus – “something extra or additional given freely;” to an “of course” – meaning, there is some expectation it should happen or it’s required – regardless of whether expectations and performance were exceeded.

Exceeding expectations and goals are what determines a bonus. It can be that simple. The rest is in the minds and conversations of those involved, which is challenging. Managing expectations, grounding them in performance evaluations, data and results (or lack thereof) is the key to reducing stress when something extra or additional is given or not.