Every good employee reaches a point where they need to ask their manager for a well-deserved year-end bonus. Whether it’s annually, or every few years, asking for a bonus can be a dreaded occasion. Employers will not always freely give out bonuses for a variety of reasons. An employee who knows their worth and knows they are due for a bonus needs to muster up the courage to speak to their boss and make a strong case for why they deserve to receive a bonus. There are tips that will help the process go smoothly and have you smiling all the way to the bank. Below are some helpful tips to convince your boss to give you that bonus you deserve.
- Schedule a good time to speak with your boss. Find the most optimal time to sit down with your manager to discuss your bonus. The conversation is more likely to go well when your boss is in a good mood and available to listen. Avoid deadline dates, Monday mornings, and late Friday afternoons. Also, make sure that the timing of your bonus request fits the current mood at the office. If the company has not been doing well and budget cuts have been made, approaching your boss about more money will make you seem selfish and unprofessional. Timing is key when it comes to asking for your bonus.
- Prepare your case. Make a stronger case for why you deserve a bonus with a prepared agenda and concrete evidence like work portfolio that supports your claims. Your boss needs to see concrete examples of your well-documented and outstanding performance to justify your bonus request. You have to be able to articulate specifically what it is that you do for the company that adds to the bottom line. Getting approved for a bonus is a far more likely outcome if you can provide the proof that your work has directly helped the company do better business.
- Sharpen your skills. Work on improving the skills you know will be beneficial to your position and to the company. For example, digital skills are in short supply. This is a great opportunity to tune up on SEO, coding, and social media to help build your company’s brand and help generate sales. Let your boss know about these new skills you’ve acquired that’s been helping you do a better job for the business.
- Take initiative. A good boss loves an employee who can take initiative and make improvements on existing business practices. Take a look around to see if there are any gaps you can improve and find ways in which you can contribute more to the company and help your boss see what an asset you are. This demonstrates your willingness to help out, take on leadership roles, and that you care about how the company’s doing.
- Play it cool. It’s important not to count on your bonus as part of your needed income since it is counted as gifts for employees. Do not appear desperate or delve into your personal finances as this will only turn your employer off. Remain cool and collected during your bonus discussion. If your boss doesn’t agree to your bonus request, calmly ask what you can do to prove you deserve a bonus the next time around.
- Aim high. If you know how much you could actually get, aim a little higher so that your boss may slightly bump the amount this year. For example, if your last annual bonus was $3,000 you could reasonably ask for $4,000. It's a decent increase from the previous year and allows room for negotiation.
- Don’t be pushy. Keep in mind that you are asking for a bonus, not demanding it. The last thing you want to do is seem pushy or unpleasant. Let your boss know that you deserve the extra compensation for your hard work, but be polite and courteous about it. If your boss doesn't agree with you about the bonus, he will at least respect the fact that you are driven and take pride in your work.
These are crucial tips to follow before you plan on marching into your boss’s office to ask for a bonus. These will help tip the scale in your favor, but it’s important to remain realistic. There simply may not be money in the pot so try negotiating for additional benefits instead. You can even ask for more training to help you become a more valued professional. As long as you keep an open mind and have an honest discussion with your boss, you will earn what you deserve.