By Evan Vitale
Remember the scene in “Christmas Vacation” when Chevy Chase was waiting for his holiday bonus and his plans for purchasing an in-ground swimming pool?
Welcome to the “Jelly of the Month” club Chevy. It’s probably more than others receive each year during the holidays.
Surprisingly, a high number of employees still feel they are entitled to a year-end bonus and make “Chevy Chase” plans by spending money in advance.
In fact, 78% of all employees – even today – expect the year-end bonus and are later disappointed when it never arrives.
Unless it’s written in the employee contract or handbook, you shouldn’t count on receiving a holiday bonus.
A friend told me once that his company would hand out bonuses mid-December. However, mid-year the company was purchased by another firm. My friend didn’t lose his job, but the annual holiday bonus event never happened again. Employees were crushed when they learned the rules were changed and bonus structures were cancelled. Even a few started looking for new jobs after the holidays.
In times of slow economic growth, companies continue to struggle to keep their doors open let alone offer holiday bonuses.
Since bonus expectations might be running high, companies should clearly communicate their bonus plans (or lack thereof) well ahead of the end of the year so employees know whether than can expect a bonus or not.