As the year draws to a close you slowly tend to have this feeling that this time round you deserve a bonus for all the hard work that you have put in. you have achieved your targets and helped the company in its performance. So all this makes your bonus claim obvious. Or does it? Following are a few guidelines that would help you assess your performance and negotiate your bonus.
1. Consider the present situation your company is in. If it has not performed that well during the last one year then it would be quite possible that you are not offered any bonus, even if your performance has been satisfactory. You should also realize that while asking for a bonus you are negotiating the job you have. It is quite possible that the company will expect more from you in the coming year and would want you to share more responsibilities. Be sure you are up for it.
2. In some fields these days bonuses are mentioned in the initial contract letter in which case the thing you have to look for is how much you will get rather than if you will get at all. However most companies these days give bonus on a groups performance. In such cases it becomes increasingly difficult for an individual to negotiate separately. The companies generally provide a structured scheme which clearly marks out the bonuses for different level of performance.
3. If you think negotiating for team bonus might actually stand you in good stead in the long run, then go for it. You may initially think that you are losing out, but if you actually know what you want to achieve in future then you can have that motivation to work for group bonus. Here monetary benefits will take a back seat for the time being, and instead career opportunities should be considered to be more important.
4. If you have decided to take up the issue with your boss, then go prepared. Make a list of all your achievements and accomplishments. Try and back that up with sufficient data. To substantiate your bonus claims get the necessary information about bonus practices in the industry you are working, and the kind of performance you have achieved. You need to do a lot of convincing. Going prepared always helps.
5. Make your boss feel that your real motivation is not monetary but to be acknowledged for your achievements. Make him understand that recognition would help you to put in that extra bit in the coming year, will help you stay focused and motivated.
6. Dont lose your head while negotiating. Stay calm and assess what your boss has to say. He might have a point. Also sharing a mutual respect would help you to further your career.
Try to understand that your boss may have limitations and so he cannot always satisfy your demands. While asking for a bonus, try and convince your boss that he is impressed enough to provide you a bonus the first time he is able to.