With the end of the year rapidly approaching, people’s minds and thoughts are beginning to turn to Christmas trees, presents, spending time with family, and maybe even a little holiday.
For others, before the break begins, many start to wonder about an all-important Christmas bonus. A Christmas bonus is the icing on the cake for a year of hard work and professional-development for most employees. The questions start to form – Will I get a bonus? And how do I even ask for one?
For most of us, asking for money is never a fun job, and can be almost dreaded. Convincing your employers that you are worth more money is a daunting and challenging task, that most of us put off for as long as possible.
There are three must-have elements to make it easier:
- 1. You must have the right things to say and show
- 2. The evidence to back it up
- 3. Ensure that there is nothing you’ve done that would prevent your boss from saying yes
Luckily, there are a few tips and tricks that can help you earning and asking for that sought after Christmas bonus.
1. Showing you go above and beyond
Your employer will always be impressed if you demonstrate that you are committed to your industry and your professional development. Using your initiative to upskill in your career will be a great selling point when it comes time to ask for a bonus.
Your employer will value that you have taken it upon yourself to seek further education and advancing your skills in your own time. You can continue your job during the day, and commit to bettering your skills at night. This level of dedication to your company and career will put you ahead when it comes to asking your boss for a bonus.
Online learning can be a great resource for this type of study. It can give you the flexibility to work as fast or slow as you need, to take breaks where needed, and still come away with knowledge and skills that will contribute.
2. Gathering your evidence
If you’re hoping to convince your employer that you deserve a bonus, a great way is to initiate an end of year performance review. Even if you’ve had one earlier in the year, asking for another review willshow your boss you are a go-getter worth backing.
Here are some positive ways of approaching common review questions so you can prepare evidence and answers that will impress your boss:
What have you done well/what are you most proud of achieving?
It’s okay to gloat a little bit in this situation. If you’ve worked hard to get where you are, then your manager should know about your efforts. Accomplishments like organisation, intuition, achieving deadlines, teamwork, and positive customer feedback are all worthy of a mention.
Also use this time to showcase things that your manager might not have seen. Was there a time you used your leadership skills successfully? Did you play a key role in the success of a project?
Being humble is admirable, but in this situation, it’s okay to boast, in fact, it’s encouraged. Be proud of your efforts and make sure your manager knows that you back yourself.
Are there improvements that you can make?
It is always important to tread carefully around this question, You don’t want to put your foot in your mouth and say something you regret, but honesty is also important. If you are aware of an area of weakness that is reflected in the organisation as a whole, your manager probably knows about it too. Be honest, and tell them the truth. Ensure you follow that up with stating your desire to improve and even offer a solution as to how.
Do you have what you need to do your job well?
Here is the opportune moment to highlight how you’ve sought further education and study in your field. Your manager wants to know what tools and resources you’ve put in place to help you succeed at your job. Now is the time to advocate for your initiative in seeking to understand your industry, and succeed at your role.
Go for it and ask.
Once your manager has finished asking you questions, it will be your turn to have the floor. You need to find the courage deep down to ask for your bonus. At this point, you’ve cited your strengths, acknowledged your weaknesses, and advocated for your initiative in improvement. Your managers will already be impressed by your efforts, and there is simply no harm in asking. The worst thing that could happen is that they say no. If that happens, you can leave the door open by asking to be considered for raise next year.
3. Get the Yes!
Asking for a Christmas bonus can be a brave step to take. However, there are things you can do to put your best foot forward and nail those conversations.
Correct any mistakes as soon as you become aware of them. Make a note of the error, what you did to solve it and the result. Mistakes happen, but the important part is in the learning.
Take the initiative during the year to work hard and advance your skills, take note of the things you do well, the areas that you can still improve on, and continue to develop confidence in yourself and your skills.
Ultimately the key to asking for a bonus and getting the yes is preparation. As the saying goes “those who fail to plan, plan to fail”. Your confidence and organisation will shine through and be so obvious that your boss will have no choice but to give you that Christmas bonus you deserve.