It’s the thought that counts… Yeah, right. Ask Clark Griswald about that.

This is the first year my company is financially able to offer Christmas bonuses to the great people who work for me and it has me in an entrepreneural quandry.

I know that, somewhere, there are unwritten rules for such bonuses: Is it one week’s earnings?  Two?  An equal bonus for everyone or does employment longevity enter into the equation?  Company profitability?  The Clark Griswald model?

I realize my decision today could set an unrealistic precedent for future years’ bonuses.  But then again, because of them, 2006 has been a year that will be difficult to repeat in terms of growth.

Knowing my penchant for going overboard this time of year, my Jinni has cautioned me to keep in mind that even though Double Hung has extra money in the bank right now, future months may not enjoy similar balances.  What good is giving an overly generous bonus now only to find you can’t make payroll next March?

Anyway… unlike in years past… the decision is a good problem to have.

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7 Comments

  1. Posted December 21, 2006 at 10:17 am | Permalink

    My company offers’s nothing to its employees; however, I try to give a day’s salary to each employee out of my pocket because they have made my job much easier.

  2. Posted December 21, 2006 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

    Bonuses in large companies are based on formulas. In smaller companies, they’re based on two things: some sort of equity (everyone gets the same, because they talk to each other) or there is a value associated with an amount of money (Joe is great and does good work; Sally saved my a** every month with an “r” in it), and more valuable employees get more money.

    If your group understands that getting anything is great and there is a differential based on value, then they could work for the group that is trying to do the same thing to teachers. So it should be fine, right? No hard feelings among the workers because we all know that some are more valuable than others?

    Sorry for the cynicism, there’s no easy answer. We bonus based on contribution (profit on customers for which these employees are primarily responsible) plus my own old and aged common sense.

  3. Posted December 21, 2006 at 1:20 pm | Permalink

    Perhaps a contribution on your employees’ behalf to the Human Fund.

  4. Posted December 21, 2006 at 3:44 pm | Permalink

    Mr. Wonderful didn’t expect anything because he is a new employee. He was given something nonetheless. He LOVES his new job and the people he works for.

    When you’re an hourly employee a little extra cash, no matter how small, is appreciated. Even a gift card to WallMart would be nice because you could use it for gifts or put it towards a nice turkey for Christmas dinner.

    And remind me never to go to work for Roch! Jeez!

  5. Posted December 21, 2006 at 9:22 pm | Permalink

    Backdate their options so that the differential between market and strike price equals the amount you want to bonus. Backdating is ok if you disclosed to shareholders, which I’m sure you did!

  6. Posted December 22, 2006 at 9:37 pm | Permalink

    What a nice problem to have, particularly for someone who has had more than his share of worse ones in the past couple of years. :-)

  7. Posted December 25, 2006 at 11:00 pm | Permalink

    If you like, drop me an email or call and I will let you know how we handled this year.

    Merry Christmas.