Some Creative Substitutes for Employee Year-End Bonuses

By: First Union


Some Creative Substitutes for Employee Year-End Bonuses

Given the way 2020 is going, many small business owners are scampering just to make it through the day to day. Coming up with extra cash at the end of the year for traditional bonuses, simply may not be in the cards for many. That is not to say that owners should simply eschew bonuses all together—especially for those who have diligently stuck by you and the business through the crisis. There are creative ways to reward hard-working employees and ultimately recognize their contribution during perhaps the most difficult year faced by many companies in decades, if not longer. Certainly, many employees can use the cash this year, but most do understand the strains that small business owners are facing, and will be thrilled at whatever you can do by way of a year-end "bonus."

  1. Give them an experience. From a cooking class perhaps, to a subscription to an online course, you can offer your employees a more tangible experience—even if it is a virtual one. They will appreciate the sentiment and of course, get some benefit from the experience in question.
  2. Reduce the cost of healthcare. That is to say, perhaps you look into ways of cutting down on their healthcare premiums, or even just reduce the cost of prescription drugs to your employees. While not breaking your bank, this will help them save some much-needed money.
  3. Stock the breakroom. Maybe not a luxurious bonus, but it goes a long way when you do provide food and beverages in the break room. This doesn't necessarily have to be a lavish display, healthy snacks, organic drinks, things of that nature.
  4. Increase paid vacation time. Yes, this does cost you, but not as much as a traditional bonus would. You could for instance give employees 2-3 more days paid time off and it in turn helps them balance their worklife dynamic more effectively.
  5. Subscription memberships. Companies such as Blue Apron for instance have gained incredible popularity during the past few months. And while it isn't cold hard cash, it is meals for their families for a specified amount of time.
  6. Establish a Wall of Fame. People do love to be recognized for doing good work. Creating a very visible wall of fame on which you post pictures/certificates, such that commemorates a job well done during a very difficult period will mean a lot.
  7. Bring your dog to work day. Dog lovers adore their dogs. Instituting a bring your pup to work day, while certainly not a typical bonus per se, really will win you some points with your team.

First Union Lending understands the hardships that every company faces right now. Things are tight, budgets dwindling, and so we want to help. If you require additional capital to keep your company afloat, we have a loan program for you. From short term loans to lines of credit, among other products, we custom tailor all lending solutions to fit your needs. Call today!

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