×
INTELLIGENT WORK FORUMS
FOR ENGINEERING PROFESSIONALS

Log In

Come Join Us!

Are you an
Engineering professional?
Join Eng-Tips Forums!
  • Talk With Other Members
  • Be Notified Of Responses
    To Your Posts
  • Keyword Search
  • One-Click Access To Your
    Favorite Forums
  • Automated Signatures
    On Your Posts
  • Best Of All, It's Free!

*Eng-Tips's functionality depends on members receiving e-mail. By joining you are opting in to receive e-mail.

Posting Guidelines

Promoting, selling, recruiting, coursework and thesis posting is forbidden.

Students Click Here

Christmas Bonus

Christmas Bonus

Christmas Bonus

(OP)
I haven't seen a Christmas bonus since maybe 2007, until this year.  My boss left this on my desk.  




Just curious if anyone is seeing Christmas bonuses.  Don't say how much, especially if it was a good one.  Just an informal survey...
 

"Gorgeous hair is the best revenge."  Ivana Trump

RE: Christmas Bonus

We've been given jackets/sweatshirts for the last 3 years.

(We also get profit sharing but that's quarterly 6-8 weeks in arrears so we got our last one for Q3 at the very end of November.)

Given the shenanigans with your employer I'm surprised it wasn't a Christmas pink slip as used to be tradition around here under previous ownership/management.

Posting guidelines FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies http://eng-tips.com/market.cfm? (probably not aimed specifically at you)
What is Engineering anyway: FAQ1088-1484: In layman terms, what is "engineering"?

RE: Christmas Bonus

We get ours in April - if available.  Helps out with tax day!!

RE: Christmas Bonus

Not so much a Xmas bonus as profit sharing... decided in October, given in January.  It's a percent of your salary here... most other places I've worked for gave me a shirt, a Jacob's ladder, similar trinkets.  I think the largest non-bonus I've received was a $100 gift card to the local grocery store.

Considering the arseholes you work for, cass, I'm surprised it's not a box of laxatives.

Dan - Owner
http://www.Hi-TecDesigns.com

RE: Christmas Bonus

Did someone say profit shareing? Would be nice, except I work for a non-profit.

The best we get is our picture next to Santa's lap.

RE: Christmas Bonus

I think I got my most recent Christmas bonus at about the same time as Cass.
 

RE: Christmas Bonus

We were blessed with a red, white and rose bottle of Germany's finest grape flavored anti-freeze.

How does profit sharing work when you make a loss? Pay your employer back some wages?

Designer of machine tools - user of modified screws

RE: Christmas Bonus

maybe there is something more to this...

whammy  [hwam-ee, wam-ee]  
noun, plural -mies.  
1. the evil eye; jinx.
2. bad luck or misfortune.
3. a devastating blow, setback, or catastrophe
4. put the whammy on,
a. to give the evil eye to; jinx.
b. to destroy, end, or eradicate

Origin:
1935–40; whammy, one of the methods of putting a whammy on someone being to strike the fist into the palm

often double whammy, "hex, evil eye," 1932, of unknown origin, popularized 1941 in Al Capp's comic strip "Li'l Abner."  

RE: Christmas Bonus

(OP)
Well that explains a lot cvg!

"Gorgeous hair is the best revenge."  Ivana Trump

RE: Christmas Bonus

We get the profit sharing in January, and a choice of cash, or apply to 401k.   Not really a bonus, as I am eligible for profit sharing of a certain percent each year.

Usually we get a small gift card ($25) to local store.

RE: Christmas Bonus

Actually, under normal conditions, if we make a loss [or very small profit] it just means no payout from the profit sharing scheme.  

However, when things were really bad, (asides from the 50% reduction in staff over several years) they actually cancelled profit sharing and implemented a pay cut for a few months - though they did pay back some of the loss retroactively.

I thought a better idea would have been to increase theoretical profit sharing during the cut so that in the unlikely event we made profit we would have got some money to make up for lost wages.  I would have thought this would at least provide a little motivation to make up for the pay cut.  However greater minds than min disagreed.

Posting guidelines FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies http://eng-tips.com/market.cfm? (probably not aimed specifically at you)
What is Engineering anyway: FAQ1088-1484: In layman terms, what is "engineering"?

RE: Christmas Bonus

Not to totally sidetrack things, but profit sharing really only works well if the employees have a certain amount of control on how the company performs.  Despite my contribution to the technology (and therefore product line) of the company, since I'm drone #x out of several 100k drones my performance isn't even a little wiggle in the bottom line.  Essentially, the company performance bonus is a complete crapshoot that I have zero control over.  This is vastly different in companies where you are 10% of the entire workforce.

Dan - Owner
http://www.Hi-TecDesigns.com

RE: Christmas Bonus

We get a Christmas advance on the profit sharing every year, with the balance coming about six months later.  We refer to this as the "bonus induced lobotomy":  we slave away, building resentment toward the demands of customers and of the business, the stress etc.  Then every half year they hand you an envelope.  When you open it, a scalpel leaps out and cuts away the resentful part of your brain...

We get the pay cut every month in the form of a below-median salary- or at least that's how it's supposed to work in theory.  The bonus tops us up to above median if we meet the company's expectations for profit.  There's a stick as well as a carrot that way- our fixed costs are kept low and we only pay ourselves better if we deserve and can afford it by making more money for the company.  If we exceed that target, which is based on an industry norm, an increasing fraction of the unanticipated profit ends up in the bonus pool.  Beyond a certain level, the employees get ALL of it.

For all but one of the years I've been with my company, we've done somewhere between well and ridiculously well.  During that slow year, when the tumbleweeds were blowing through our producton floor, there was no bonus and only cheese and crackers in the lunchroom instead of a Christmas party- but we kept everybody.  Given that the year AFTER that one was one of our best years on record, hindsight shows that it was a brilliant business decision to keep people through the loss- but at the time, most of us expected that the layoffs would come any day.  The loyalty shown by the business doesn't go unnoticed by the employees, and shows up in staff retention.

The employee's share of the bonus is based on how the business does, not how your project does.  Sometimes your job is to make vinegar from the sour grapes you're handed, and you don't get punished for that.  There's discretion in there for management to recognize good or bad performance, but they can't choose to take it all themselves.  Employees here have ownership and get the financials, so we're a little harder to rip off than might be true in a larger business.

As MacGyver says, it only works if the employees can see how their efforts affect the bottom line.  It works brilliantly in our business- on average.  It motivates the high performers to a large extent.  It doesn't work with everyone.  Some quickly see it as an entitlement.  Others value their own time and effort too highly, choosing to take the easy route in their work rather than innovating or putting in the extra effort to improve our bottom line.  Unfortunately the proportion of people with those defects grows as the business does, which dilutes the effect for everyone.  

RE: Christmas Bonus

We were just given Starbucks gift cards the other day from the head of engineering in our department. I don't know whether it was expensed or straight out of pocket from him though.

RE: Christmas Bonus

We used to have quarterly bonuses, not Christmas bonuses.

Obviously, there were no bonuses of any kind from mid 2009 to last year.

We received a modest Christmas bonus last year, and I'm expecting something similar this year.

RE: Christmas Bonus

I think we got a gift certificate for a ham. It has been on and off over the years but never anything great.

I have a friend that was working at Motorola paging when things were really good in the previous century. Her quarterly bonus was 25% of her salary! Letter on Motorola decided it was better to give bonuses in stock instead of cash.

RE: Christmas Bonus

i got the day off!

RE: Christmas Bonus

I discovered today I get a Christmas attendance bonus on top of my wine. 50% of it is based on my attendance. 100% as it happens, so I got that entire 50%. The remaining 50% is based on my department's attendance. I got 25% of that. There are 3 of us, I couldn't work out which of the other two had racked up the lates to do me out of the rest. There will be words when I find out.

 

Designer of machine tools - user of modified screws

RE: Christmas Bonus

Boss man once again showed that he likes to treat his employees well.

RE: Christmas Bonus

Well I got a small raise and a tiny bonus for passing the P.E during the annual review (a.k.a Groundhog day) !!

RE: Christmas Bonus

Christmas?

RE: Christmas Bonus

(OP)
Well, I got canned today so I gave the Whammies back saying I'd feel guilty keeping the lovely Christmas Bonus.

"Gorgeous hair is the best revenge."  Ivana Trump

RE: Christmas Bonus

Mixed feelings on that one, Cass... I think we all knew it was coming eventually, so you must be relived to be out of the situation, but losing a job (especially when things are tight) is never fun.

Keep your chin up, blow steam off here whenever you need to, and consider how much better your life will be in a few months when you're sitting behind the desk of a company that truly values you.

Dan - Owner
http://www.Hi-TecDesigns.com

RE: Christmas Bonus

Shoulda wolfed down the Whammies and then barfed them onto boss's car.

RE: Christmas Bonus

Sorry to hear that Cass.  Nice move with the return of the Christmas "gift".  Now the boss can figuratively choke on them.

One of my 2 worst bosses ever (mom and pop shop that somehow managed to get 3rd tier defense projects) handed out a package of $5 Walmart flashlights to everyone, after our machining department came in at nearly $30K under bid hours for the year's run of shipboard ordnance handling machinery.  Yes, $30,000 EXTRA profit for the company, and $20 in flashlights for the guys who made it happen. I walked 7 months later.

It is better to have enough ideas for some of them to be wrong, than to be always right by having no ideas at all.

RE: Christmas Bonus

Christmas gifts this year = calendar from a supplier, bottle of wine from a grateful staff member and christmas drinks paid for by social club.  No Christmas dinner, No family Christmas picnic. But we did get a newsletter (electronic) telling everyone how good the year was - 50% increase in turnover, increase in staff numbers...

RE: Christmas Bonus

Well, I actually ended up with a gift bag of cookies & chocolates from my direct boss plus a fairly high value Starbucks card.  Completely out of the blue and unexpected.

I also got a mystery 'bonus' on my Dec 23rd direct deposit, neither my direct boss or his boss know what for!  We have an incentive scheme and the value corresponds to one of the typical awards but I have no idea what specifically it's for.

Posting guidelines FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies http://eng-tips.com/market.cfm? (probably not aimed specifically at you)
What is Engineering anyway: FAQ1088-1484: In layman terms, what is "engineering"?

RE: Christmas Bonus

No direct monetary bonuses of any kind this year, but the company has been extremely generous in the past.

We had our worst year in decades and have already lost over 20% of our staff(about 50/50 between voluntary departures and RIFs).

We're still having our annual company party for about 60 staffers and their significant others with the company picking up the lion's share of the tab.

All in all, I'm very grateful.

RE: Christmas Bonus

Nice thing about working for yourself...  :)

Hydrology, Drainage Analysis, Flood Studies, and Complex Stormwater Litigation for Atlanta and the South East - http://www.campbellcivil.com

RE: Christmas Bonus

They do an assortment of things at my company - free token gift, movie tickets. Our big bonus comes in March when they give us extra days pay. I think we'll get a bonus of 13 days pay (5% if you do the math) this year. Since I've worked a ton of overtime this year, it should be a good one.

RE: Christmas Bonus

We had bonuses of 3-12 percent of annual pay, plus an hour long contest to see who could make the best zombie killing weapon out of whatever was lying around (we are a fab shop).  Then we tested the weapons in the parking lot on zombie heads made of produce.  Best Xmas ever.

RE: Christmas Bonus

Kenat: Your Mystery Bonus:

Possibly maxed out your 401(k), and the rest goes to your pocket...

______________________________________________________________________________
This is normally the space where people post something insightful.

RE: Christmas Bonus

What is the max on a 401k now? Something like $22k? Which saves you from $11k in taxes (Fedral, state, and local).

I think you can only max out your 401k if you live where the cost of living is much higher than what it is here.

RE: Christmas Bonus

401K max has been $16,500 since 2009.
It is raised in 2012 to $17,000.
 

"Wildfires are dangerous, hard to control, and economically catastrophic."

Ben Loosli

RE: Christmas Bonus

Company made its usual millions, and my bonus was a "what do you mean you're USING your vacation?!"

RE: Christmas Bonus

So with the over 50 addition the 401k max is $22k.

Some of us don't expect a bonus, we work for a non-profit.

However the 457 is nice.

RE: Christmas Bonus

Isn't he special!  Or is that spatial?

Pamela K. Quillin, P.E.
Quillin Engineering, LLC

RE: Christmas Bonus

Mr168, lol yeah.. I've heard that several times.  I'd rather just get paid out for my PTO, than try to use it and be denied.  But we're on a use it or lose it system.

Red Flag This Post

Please let us know here why this post is inappropriate. Reasons such as off-topic, duplicates, flames, illegal, vulgar, or students posting their homework.

Red Flag Submitted

Thank you for helping keep Eng-Tips Forums free from inappropriate posts.
The Eng-Tips staff will check this out and take appropriate action.

Reply To This Thread

Posting in the Eng-Tips forums is a member-only feature.

Click Here to join Eng-Tips and talk with other members! Already a Member? Login



News


Close Box

Join Eng-Tips® Today!

Join your peers on the Internet's largest technical engineering professional community.
It's easy to join and it's free.

Here's Why Members Love Eng-Tips Forums:

Register now while it's still free!

Already a member? Close this window and log in.

Join Us             Close