Some Insights on an Effective Bonus System

It’s that time of year when business owners are thinking about ‘how do I reward my team’ or ‘they are expecting a bonus … what do I do?’

I am a believer in sharing the financial rewards with your team. AND I believe it is important that there is some structure and education in place or else it can and usually does lead to entitlement or a misunderstanding what the ‘bonus’ is for.

Here are the key points to ‘Bonusing’

  • Profit Share vs Bonus. Profit sharing should be based on how the company does financially. Bonusing can be more subjective and less effective. Lots of profit, lots of sharing. No profit, no sharing. We are all in this together.
  • Be sure people understand what has to happen in order for the company to have lots of profits. Education is key. And make it transparent so they have the power to impact the result.
  • Keep your formula simple. I like x% over a certain amount of profit (remember to keep enough profit in the company to finance growth and reward shareholders) goes into a pool. That pool is then divided up equally or divided up based on salary levels.

It may be too late this year to put a structured system in place and do the education necessary. If that is the case for you then certainly bonus but make sure you position that moving forward you will be developing a system so everyone can have an effect on how much they get at the end of next year. Managing expectations is very important.

The points I’ve outlined above really are just the high level things to consider. For a details understanding of what I believe to be the best, simplest and most effect system read Brad Hams “Ownership Thinking”

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