1 in 3 HR managers recommends asking your boss for a bonus this year
This could be a big bonus for you.
Holiday bonuses are increasing in monetary value, but decreasing in quantity, according to data out this week from financial and staffing firm Accounting Principals.
The average bonus that employees will receive will rise by 66% this holiday season to $1,797. And, these bonuses can be even more lucrative depending on the field you work in, with the highest bonuses coming from energy and mining (where employees can earn a median reported bonus of up to $10,000), hardware and networking (up to $9000 in bonuses), software and IT services ($8000), consumer goods ($7500), and finance ($7100).
That said, fewer organizations are actually planning to award them at all — 63% of hiring managers say their companies will this year, versus 75% who said the same in 2016.
Why the drop? “Employers are favoring non-monetary alternatives to reward their employees, or plan to give out bonuses at other times of the year. There has also been a notable increase in organizations providing charitable donations in lieu of bonuses,” to underscore their core values, said David Alexander, president of Accounting Principals, in a statement.
Even if you’re in an organization that doesn’t typically give bonuses, you don’t have to resign yourself to a perk-free holiday: One in three HR managers say that asking for a bonus significantly increases the likelihood of you getting one — up from just 15% who said so the year prior.
New York University business professor Anna Tavis told Moneyish that now is a good time to approach your manager to ask for an end-of-the-year bonus. “Start the conversation focused on your work and your impact on the business, your delivery, and really focus on performance. Say that you hope that this is going to be recognized by the company,” Tavis advised.
This is one thing you’re likely not negotiating at work — and it could cost you $1800 a year https://t.co/v8ahtQyweP
— Moneyish (@Moneyish) November 4, 2017
Here are some strategies for how to ask for a bonus the right way.
Be prepared with facts: Author and executive coach Marc Dorio also stressed that you need to come armed with “quantifiable” benchmarks. It’s not enough just to argue that you deserve a bonus; your manager needs to be convinced as to why. “If you quantify your accomplishments — like reduced downtime, doing something quicker, reduced error rate…” you’re likelier to “make your case” as to why your manager should reward you.
It’s important to distinguish what qualifies as bonus-worthy work, versus what’s just expected by virtue of holding your job, so Dorio recommends requesting a “stated performance expectation” of what your job requires ahead of asking for a bonus (or look at your letter of employment). If you don’t have one, speak up early and ask your boss what constitutes the expected, versus going above and beyond.
Know your value: Consult bonus surveys on websites like Glassdoor and Indeed to gauge what bonuses typically are in your line of work, Tavis suggests. Plus, it’s important to look back at your original employment offer — find out if the offer states a maximum bonus amount you can earn.
Reach out to your manager: “This is something that you do face to face,” as “it’s harder for someone to turn you down,” in person, said Dorio. Ask your manager for a few minutes of their time in a private meeting, and make the bonus request in that conversation, he adds
Negotiate: If you ask for say a 20% bonus, but your boss counteroffers 10%, experts say that it’s okay to barter. That’s why “your relationship with your boss matters,” Tavis says. You’re well within your rights to negotiate, but you don’t want to “pick a fight with your boss,” and you should remember that bonuses are just that — bonus, not obligatory.
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