Christmas Bonus: Etiquette

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cbr shadow
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Christmas Bonus: Etiquette

Post by cbr shadow » Wed Dec 20, 2017 4:53 pm

I work for a very small company that staffs me at a major tech company. I work at the major tech company 40 hours/week and don't people at the small company very often at all. Recently I stopped in to check in with everyone and said hello to the owner. During our conversation he said he appreciates the hard work I'm doing and that I have a bonus coming next week. This week I received the bonus. What is etiquette here? Do I call/email thanking him for the bonus? The bonus just showed up in my paycheck with no communication from the owner or my direct supervisor. I leave for Christmas holiday tomorrow.

I assume the answer is Yes that I should thank him, but a close friend (who is in sales) said I do not thank them since this bonus was earned for doing a good job. This advice seems a bit odd to me though. This is the first real bonus I've gotten in my career. It amounts to about 5% of my annual salary.

livesoft
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Re: Christmas Bonus: Etiquette

Post by livesoft » Wed Dec 20, 2017 4:56 pm

I suspect everybody got a bonus and not just you. I don't think you need to thank anybody. It is just business.
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DaftInvestor
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Re: Christmas Bonus: Etiquette

Post by DaftInvestor » Wed Dec 20, 2017 4:57 pm

Its bad etiquette for them not to personally thank you for a year's work of hard work and explain WHY and WHAT you did to earn the bonus BUT in any case - you should definitely drop them a note saying you noticed the bonus and thanking them for it.
I used to manage a large number of employees - I always felt that those that didn't thank me were unappreciative and therefore I might be wasting money to give them another bonus in the future if I had other employees that were equally deserving (There is often only so much to go around).... unless communication went out about it being a company wide program.

mak1277
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Re: Christmas Bonus: Etiquette

Post by mak1277 » Wed Dec 20, 2017 5:00 pm

If there is a stated, formal bonus program, then no thanks are required. I do think a "surprise" discretionary bonus is worthy of at least a thank you email. There's nothing wrong with showing gratitude for something that was not expected.

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flamesabers
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Re: Christmas Bonus: Etiquette

Post by flamesabers » Wed Dec 20, 2017 5:03 pm

Perhaps the ideal time to say thank you was when the owner told you about your upcoming bonus?

Otherwise I think it depends on your company culture (is anyone else in your company thanking the owner?) and the stipulations for getting a bonus.

J295
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Re: Christmas Bonus: Etiquette

Post by J295 » Wed Dec 20, 2017 5:06 pm

Send thank you notes.

Chip
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Re: Christmas Bonus: Etiquette

Post by Chip » Wed Dec 20, 2017 5:07 pm

Think about this way: Give that it's a very small company the owner just took some money that was his and gave it to you. I would say thanks are in order. What could it hurt, anyway?

cbr shadow
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Re: Christmas Bonus: Etiquette

Post by cbr shadow » Wed Dec 20, 2017 5:12 pm

All good points.

The bonus is a surprise and I know for sure that not everyone got one
There is no stated bonus policy. It's discretionary and was decided by the owner and my direct supervisor
I did say thanks to the owner when he said I have a bonus coming

Capsu78
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Re: Christmas Bonus: Etiquette

Post by Capsu78 » Wed Dec 20, 2017 7:00 pm

I was once given a bonus by my "client" as I was a paid consultant at the time. Took the time to write a short thank you note saying how unexpected it was and how much I appreciated being considered part of his team. It was an opportunity for me to do a little positive relationship work.

My daughter is currently on maternity leave from a small business where she was hired by the owners. I told her to write a thank you to them for her maternity leave... "even though I know maternity leave is considered a basic condition of employment, I realize the checks you have been sending me are coming straight off our payroll budget line. Thank you. I'm so glad I had this chance to spend time with my new child and look forward to my return" .

fmzip
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Re: Christmas Bonus: Etiquette

Post by fmzip » Thu Dec 21, 2017 10:05 am

Capsu78 wrote:
Wed Dec 20, 2017 7:00 pm
I was once given a bonus by my "client" as I was a paid consultant at the time. Took the time to write a short thank you note saying how unexpected it was and how much I appreciated being considered part of his team. It was an opportunity for me to do a little positive relationship work.

My daughter is currently on maternity leave from a small business where she was hired by the owners. I told her to write a thank you to them for her maternity leave... "even though I know maternity leave is considered a basic condition of employment, I realize the checks you have been sending me are coming straight off our payroll budget line. Thank you. I'm so glad I had this chance to spend time with my new child and look forward to my return" .
Exactly this!

If people would show more gratitude even for the "expected", they'd be surprised how much more they will actually receive in return. Even employment itself isn't owed to you. ;)

p0nyboy
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Re: Christmas Bonus: Etiquette

Post by p0nyboy » Thu Dec 21, 2017 10:22 am

My work doesnt even let us out early anymore for major holidays...they used to give an hour or two. Such a shame.

DrGoogle2017
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Re: Christmas Bonus: Etiquette

Post by DrGoogle2017 » Thu Dec 21, 2017 11:21 am

It’s nice to receive a bonus, I’m sure your boss made it sounds personal, but I think everybody got one.

voodoo72
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Re: Christmas Bonus: Etiquette

Post by voodoo72 » Thu Dec 21, 2017 11:27 am

cbr shadow wrote:
Wed Dec 20, 2017 4:53 pm
I work for a very small company that staffs me at a major tech company. I work at the major tech company 40 hours/week and don't people at the small company very often at all. Recently I stopped in to check in with everyone and said hello to the owner. During our conversation he said he appreciates the hard work I'm doing and that I have a bonus coming next week. This week I received the bonus. What is etiquette here? Do I call/email thanking him for the bonus? The bonus just showed up in my paycheck with no communication from the owner or my direct supervisor. I leave for Christmas holiday tomorrow.

I assume the answer is Yes that I should thank him, but a close friend (who is in sales) said I do not thank them since this bonus was earned for doing a good job. This advice seems a bit odd to me though. This is the first real bonus I've gotten in my career. It amounts to about 5% of my annual salary.
You should absolutely say thank you, it cost you nothing, ignore your friends advice, as an owner of a small business it means a lot when employees thanks you..Also he went out of his way to tell you how much he appreciated your hard work.

voodoo72
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Re: Christmas Bonus: Etiquette

Post by voodoo72 » Thu Dec 21, 2017 11:30 am

cbr shadow wrote:
Wed Dec 20, 2017 5:12 pm
All good points.

The bonus is a surprise and I know for sure that not everyone got one
There is no stated bonus policy. It's discretionary and was decided by the owner and my direct supervisor
I did say thanks to the owner when he said I have a bonus coming
'

Nice! And trust me bosses are human they remember these little things from time to time :twisted:

TTBG
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Re: Christmas Bonus: Etiquette

Post by TTBG » Thu Dec 21, 2017 11:44 am

The owner has shown appreciation for the hard work you've done this year. Unfortunately, not all bosses do that :?. I would thank him.

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BolderBoy
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Re: Christmas Bonus: Etiquette

Post by BolderBoy » Thu Dec 21, 2017 1:38 pm

When I was an employee (and not a partner) I made a point of thanking each of the partners personally and to say that I recognize that the bonus was coming to me directly out of their partnership shares and I was most grateful for it. (this was in an employment scenario where bonuses were never guaranteed either by existence or amount)

Some of the partners commented that I was the only one thanking them.
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Dottie57
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Re: Christmas Bonus: Etiquette

Post by Dottie57 » Thu Dec 21, 2017 2:12 pm

livesoft wrote:
Wed Dec 20, 2017 4:56 pm
I suspect everybody got a bonus and not just you. I don't think you need to thank anybody. It is just business.

Saying thank you is always appreciated and never wrong.

livesoft
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Re: Christmas Bonus: Etiquette

Post by livesoft » Thu Dec 21, 2017 2:15 pm

^That is so true. Thanks! :)
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new2bogle
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Re: Christmas Bonus: Etiquette

Post by new2bogle » Thu Dec 21, 2017 3:00 pm

I gave my manager a gift basket this year. This is at MegaCorp. I have never done that before, but my current manager regularly goes out of his way to make sure I am satisfied and I know he fights for me during review time. Sure, the money is not coming out of his pocket or his bonus, but this is my way of saying thank you to him.

At a smaller company I would do the same. There is never any harm in saying thank you.

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David Jay
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Re: Christmas Bonus: Etiquette

Post by David Jay » Thu Dec 21, 2017 3:06 pm

Dottie57 wrote:
Thu Dec 21, 2017 2:12 pm
Saying thank you is always appreciated and never wrong.
+1
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VictoriaF
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Re: Christmas Bonus: Etiquette

Post by VictoriaF » Thu Dec 21, 2017 4:52 pm

If you don't have a lot of face time with your boss and colleagues, the bonus provides you with a great reason to see them in person. Visit your company and personally thank your boss.

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dmcmahon
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Re: Christmas Bonus: Etiquette

Post by dmcmahon » Thu Dec 21, 2017 11:31 pm

VictoriaF wrote:
Thu Dec 21, 2017 4:52 pm
If you don't have a lot of face time with your boss and colleagues, the bonus provides you with a great reason to see them in person. Visit your company and personally thank your boss.

Victoria
This.

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bardenay
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Re: Christmas Bonus: Etiquette

Post by bardenay » Fri Dec 22, 2017 12:00 am

In addition to being good manners, showing appreciation also falls under the adage of, “praise behavior you would like to see repeated!”

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Watty
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Re: Christmas Bonus: Etiquette

Post by Watty » Fri Dec 22, 2017 12:06 am

Dottie57 wrote:
Thu Dec 21, 2017 2:12 pm
livesoft wrote:
Wed Dec 20, 2017 4:56 pm
I suspect everybody got a bonus and not just you. I don't think you need to thank anybody. It is just business.

Saying thank you is always appreciated and never wrong.
+1

Even if it somehow was not needed the person receiving the thanks would not be offended by getting an unneeded thank you.

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FIREchief
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Re: Christmas Bonus: Etiquette

Post by FIREchief » Fri Dec 22, 2017 12:43 am

Very interesting responses. While at Megacorp, I received "good" raises and "bad" raises (there really is not such thing), good bonuses and not as good bonuses, attractive new assignments and questionable new assignments. I always provided a professional "thank you for the raise/bonus/opportunity" and left it at that. It served me well and got me to FIRE. YMMV.
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Goal33
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Re: Christmas Bonus: Etiquette

Post by Goal33 » Fri Dec 22, 2017 1:04 am

cbr shadow wrote:
Wed Dec 20, 2017 5:12 pm
I did say thanks to the owner when he said I have a bonus coming
I think that took care of it for you. Nothing else needed.
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SR II
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Re: Christmas Bonus: Etiquette

Post by SR II » Fri Dec 22, 2017 1:31 am

p0nyboy wrote:
Thu Dec 21, 2017 10:22 am
My work doesnt even let us out early anymore for major holidays...they used to give an hour or two. Such a shame.
Hey, the last place I worked before retiring last summer had my whole department working as "freelancers" so they wouldn't have to pay us extra for working on weekends and holidays. This is the mega corp that touts itself as the premier family entertainment company. What a facade.

stoptothink
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Re: Christmas Bonus: Etiquette

Post by stoptothink » Fri Dec 22, 2017 7:48 am

David Jay wrote:
Thu Dec 21, 2017 3:06 pm
Dottie57 wrote:
Thu Dec 21, 2017 2:12 pm
Saying thank you is always appreciated and never wrong.
+1
I don't personally thank my boss for my Christmas bonus or get him a Christmas present as I have heard others do, but I do write him a very personal Christmas card every year. It definitely hasn't hurt.

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heartwood
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Re: Christmas Bonus: Etiquette

Post by heartwood » Fri Dec 29, 2017 11:28 am

I didn't post to this thread previously because others had made similar sentiments before I got to it. I would have urged a hand written note. I sent some to my bosses over the years. I was fortunate in some of my bosses to get a few handwritten thank-you notes from them.

Reading today's WSJ (12/29/17) I thought of you while reading Bob Greene's op-ed piece ' "I wish you bad luck," He said with good intentions', recounting Justice Roberts commencement address at his son's 9th grade graduation.
For those with access, here's a link: https://www.wsj.com/articles/i-wish-you ... 1514499865

Greene highlights Roberts' advice to handwrite short notes often.

"“Once a week, you should write a note to someone. Not an email. A note on a piece of paper. It will take you exactly 10 minutes.” Then, he urged, put the note in an envelope and send it off the old way: via U.S. mail.

The handwritten note, he said, might express appreciation for someone who has helped you out or treated you with kindness, and who may not know how grateful you are.

If you do that once a week for, say, 10 months, “40 people will feel a little more special because you did, and they will think you are very special because of what you did.”"

As the year ends I realize its not too late to write a note or two, even if only for Christmas gifts received.

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Re: Christmas Bonus: Etiquette

Post by Mudpuppy » Fri Dec 29, 2017 4:07 pm

new2bogle wrote:
Thu Dec 21, 2017 3:00 pm
I gave my manager a gift basket this year. This is at MegaCorp. I have never done that before, but my current manager regularly goes out of his way to make sure I am satisfied and I know he fights for me during review time. Sure, the money is not coming out of his pocket or his bonus, but this is my way of saying thank you to him.

At a smaller company I would do the same. There is never any harm in saying thank you.
Make sure you are not violating company policy by doing this though. It's against my agency policy for anyone in a supervisory or managerial role to take substantial gifts from employees or vendors (e.g. if someone offers me a cookie, that's okay, but a gift basket or gift card is not). The policy is in place to prevent favoritism during employee decisions or when awarding vendor contracts.

We have a new employee from a culture where it is common to give one's boss a gift during the holidays. He gave me a Christmas card with a gift card in it. I had to have a "thank you for the sentiment, but it's against policy for me to accept this" conversation when giving the gift card back to him. I really hate having to have that conversation (I've had it in the past with other employees), because I know that's a cultural norm for these employees and it seems very ungrateful of me to return the gift. But I have to follow agency policy if I want to keep my position and be considered for higher positions in the future.

Back to the OP, I'll echo the sentiment of the others. There's no harm in saying thank you to your boss for the bonus.

ImaBeginner
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Re: Christmas Bonus: Etiquette

Post by ImaBeginner » Fri Dec 29, 2017 9:47 pm

I give 35 people bonuses each year. This is money that they are given beyond expected pay. It comes straight out of my earnings.
I received one thank you text, and one email, none in person. The lack of a response honestly makes me debate giving bonuses for Christmas in the future. I still will give them because I appreciate my employees, and want them to have a little easier Christmas time, but it would be nice to hear they appreciate it.

So...I would recommend a simple “thank you for the bonus, hope you have a good holiday” email at the minimum.

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tainted-meat
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Re: Christmas Bonus: Etiquette

Post by tainted-meat » Fri Dec 29, 2017 9:56 pm

I would write a card or say thank you in person, maybe both.

Either way I would acknowledge it with appreciation.

reimann
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Re: Christmas Bonus: Etiquette

Post by reimann » Fri Dec 29, 2017 10:06 pm

I run a business with 10 employees. I give every employee a xmas bonus that is about 5% of their gross every year. Some say thank you. Most don't. I remember the ones that are appreciative.

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