I love this time of year! So does my family. Nothing like the holiday cheer. Looking forward to some last minute shopping on Christmas Eve when all the raging lunatics are still loose on the streets in full bah humbug mode.
Many, many years ago I was at the bank counter when I ran into the GM of the division I was then working at. After the obligatory pleasantries he asked what I was up to and I responded that I was picking up the family Christmas bonus since I couldn't count on the company to provide it. I was more polite than that ... maybe.
Yes, we have an annual family holiday party where we go through the good and the bad of the previous year and set evil plans for the next year. I then hand out a generous Christmas bonus to all. No one has been disappointed ... yet.
If you pick up a trend in my writing it is certainly that you are in control. You control who you work with, what you work on, where you work. You control what you expect for compensation. If it isn't lining up with your expectations, then move on. Maybe you already have the perfect situation, but no harm in keeping your antenna up. I get that there are many things outside of your control. That's not what I'm talking about.
Back to the Christmas bonus. I don't let somebody else decide whether it's been a good year or not. I like compensation surprises as much as anybody else. The problem is that spot bonuses are random. You get one, but how do you get another one? Profit sharing and bonus plans have metrics that you don't set, you don't understand and can be taken away even if you achieve the goal. It can be very disappointing, but you suck it up. I'll write more about what I think good looks like around people management and incentives next year. As you can guess, I'm quite contrarian.
So where's your Christmas bonus? You already have it. Go to the bank, get some holiday envelopes, make your family happy and set some big, hairy, audacious goals for next year!
One last thing ... where does the Christmas bonus come from? Well of course it comes from the F-You Money!