Year end is always time to reflect and dedicate time for family, friends, fellowship, and fun. It’s also time to give thanks for what you have and what’s important to you. And it’s time to prepare and plan for your year end holiday activities or company party, customer thank-you gifts, and what kind of annual bonuses your company will give this year.
Perfect Holiday Parties
Start by determining the true meaning and purpose for your annual holiday party or celebration. Is it to build a tighter team, have lots of fun, build more involvement with employees and their spouses, reward those who made a real difference, or what? Depending on your true meaning, develop an agenda and event that focuses on what you are trying to accomplish. If you are trying to build comraderies, set up the tables with pre-assigned name tags and then do several interactive fun games and competitions to get everyone to work together and get to know each other better.
If you are giving out awards, make them reflect what really made a difference in your company like providing a positive attitude, delivering a great customer experience, who is a great team builder, who recruited the most new players, who learned a new skill to improve the company, who did something to enhance profitability, who championed a company improvement, who went the extra mile, who accomplished more than anyone else, or who grew into a leader.
Great Customer Gifts
To thank good customers, stop giving out the same old fruit basket or tee shirt with your logo on it. Customers who allowed your company to make money deserve to be treated special and with meaning.
Make a list of your top 10 or 20 customers and think about what kind of personalized gift they would really appreciate. Rather than invest $2,000 in cheap gifts for 200 customers, budget $100 for your top customers only. This will give you a real bang for your buck. For example, if you have a customer who golfs, get them a golf shirt and hat from Pebble Beach and a dozen Titleist Pro V1 golf balls. They will appreciate this gift and remember you for the appreciation. And then be sure to personally deliver each of the top customer gifts in person.
Bonuses are either gifts based on the owner’s generosity or earned rewards based on actual results that were measured, tracked and accomplished. If you don’t have a measurable incentive rewards program based on employees achieving specific results, then bonuses are really gifts based on what the owner arbitrarily thinks or feels is right.
For gift bonuses, the goal is to make them meaningful based on something each employee accomplished versus a standard $1,000 for everyone. For example, pay bonuses for achieving some kind of desired milestone such as on-time completion, on-budget job cost, change order management, no punch-list or call-backs, doing paperwork properly, getting a referral from customers, no accidents, equipment maintenance, tool management, or just having a positive attitude. Every bonus check should be for a specific reason that’s meaningful to the recipient based on accomplishing something like following company standards, achieving milestones, or living the core values, even if you didn’t measure it.
Earned compensation is measurable based on actual results such as company profits, job cost production, sales growth, or any other multiple measurable factors you want to reward.