How a holiday bonus can become a teachable moment

Written by
Peter Dunn

Over the course of the last year, your employees have worked hard, exceeded expectations and helped your organization succeed. It’s time that you reward them with their hard-earned holiday bonus.

When handled correctly, rewarding your employees with a holiday bonus presents a number of opportunities for you to improve the financial wellness and overall morale of your organization. A holiday bonus:

· Communicates to your employees that you value the work they do

· Has the ability to improve their financial wellness

· Increases incentive to work harder in the coming year

· Provides a “teachable moment” in regard to your employees’ financial planning

That last bullet might have given you pause (hopefully). Let’s talk about that bullet.

When you give a holiday bonus, the worse thing that can happen is that it disappears into the black hole of an employees’ financial irresponsibility or exacerbates a dire financial situation. In the wrong hands, a holiday bonus will be viewed as “extra spending money,” and can become gas to throw on an already-raging financial fire.

In order for you to help them maximize the benefits of their holiday bonus, increase their financial wellness, and get out of debt, you can use the few months leading up to and immediately following the holiday bonus to help your employees become more resourceful. Offer free resources, articles, and financial planning workshops that will help them become more aware of how they’re budgeting their money. You can start by signing up for a one time e-guide dedicated to this topic.

This is not to suggest that you tell your employees how to spend their holiday bonus as you hand them their checks (that would be bad…and could cause a riot). Don’t preach, present. The goal is to help your employees become more resourceful before they gain more resources.

In a perfect financial planning world—where everyone adheres to their ideal budget, financial stress is a myth, debt is extinct, savings accounts overfloweth and people strive not to afford more but to need less—your employees would be receiving financial tips year-round from a trusted financial advisor. But the holiday bonus is a great place to start.

Step up your financial wellness game.

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