Other fun events
We are paying for 30 employees to attend a Columbus Blue Jackets hockey game and enjoy some time together as a whole unit and not divisional.
This year I am renting an indoor volleyball court for the afternoon to be followed by a nice dinner. I try to look for something that is team building with a nice treat.
We usually have a company party where we rent out a room at a restaurant and have dinner and drinks for all of our employees and their families. We also have a paintball trip every November (before it gets too cold) that the guys really enjoy—probably because they get to shoot the bosses!
Bonuses, prizes and other gifts
Cash is king, and all of our project managers will receive cash bonuses. Additionally, our most productive project manager will receive a 42-inch plasma TV. The others will receive smaller versions.
We've always distributed 25% of our cash profits to our employees the week before Christmas.
We plan on giving everyone a mini gift catalog from which they can choose from a dozen or so items within a certain price range.
Year-end bonuses and unpaid “paid time off” checks are distributed at our annual Christmas party, which often includes funny presentations of special gifts, a gift raffle, a video program and the presentation of company awards.
Our annual Christmas dinner party includes the presentation of our Craftsmanship and Master Craftsman Awards. We also present fleece and leather jackets for those who have been with the company for three and five years.
We always try to have some kind of holiday party, whether formal or just an afternoon at the shop with food and drinks. We give all of our “key” people holiday bonus dollars. Most of our crew members also get a holiday bonus, along with company-branded winter clothing, jackets and sweatshirts.
Bonuses that reward everyone
When it comes to "Christmas bonuses," one Colorado contractor likes to make sure all of his employees and customers are taken care of. Here's what he does:
Production employees – They receive up to 0.5% of the dollars they produced over the last half of the year. (They received a similar bonus earlier for the first half of the year.) The bonus is based on staying with the company through the end of the year, and for meeting certain critieria:
- Customer compliments vs. complaints
- Minimal damage done to customer property and equipment
Key managers – They receive up to 10% of their pay based on hitting key numeric targets such as revenue, expense, margin, labor efficiency, no days off, and no claims due to accidents. Managers also get to attend GIE+EXPO and other industry events—all expenses paid.
Customers – The top 40-50 customers get a fruit basket. A member of the admin staff enjoys assembling them, but management delivers them to customers. The response has been better than anything else this contractor has done. "Everyone likes fresh fruit, the personal touch, and being appreciated," the contractor says.
Gifts that keep on giving
We have a live tree in my office which we make the family tree. The employees bring in different things to hang on it, and I try to find ornaments that represent something that has happened in their lives over the last year.
Our company has been supporting World Vision, a Christian humanitarian organization aimed at tackling the causes of poverty and injustice, in lieu of holiday cards. We also have a "community board" in our office that reflects on clients who have passed away. The board also shows ways in which we are helping our local community. For instance, each year we donate to a local Christmas dinner for people who are less fortunate.
We have done a variety of things, from bonuses and parties to gifts for their children. We've also talked to our employees' spouses and friends to find out something special they need or want to do, but maybe are too humble to ask for help with, so we can surprise them. This has had a major impact where tears have been shed.