Search
Advice » Salary & Benefits» Salary Information » Staying on Track to Get Your ...
Staying on Track to Get Your Bonus

Staying on Track to Get Your Bonus

By Margaret Steen

Bonus time has come and gone, and yours wasn't as large as you were hoping for (if you even got one). Where did you go wrong -- and what can you do now to make sure that next year you get a healthy bonus check?  

You first need to make sure you understand how your bonus was determined. Often, individual bonuses are based on a combination of the company's performance and the individual's performance.

What Goes Into a Bonus

The company performance part of the calculation "isn't usually all or nothing," says Laurie Bienstock, practice leader for strategic rewards at Watson Wyatt Worldwide, a human resources consulting firm. Generally, the company has to meet a certain financial threshold before it will pay any bonuses at all. After that, it scales up to 100 percent of the planned bonus money -- or even more, if the company does exceptionally well.

At many companies, individual performance also comes into play at bonus time. Sometimes individuals' bonuses are tied to the overall rating they receive in their performance review; other times, they're based on whether the worker accomplished a specific list of goals.

Keep Your Boss in the Loop

When it comes to bonuses, communication with your boss becomes critical.

"If the bonus is directly tied to your performance rating, make sure you understand what you need to do to either meet or exceed expectations," Bienstock says.

If the bonus is based on a list of goals, then you need to be certain you understand from your boss what those goals are -- and how success will be measured.

"When you have that conversation with your boss and you walk away and you think this is what you're supposed to do, write it down and send it to your boss and say, 'This is what I heard, is this correct?'" says Jan Schmuckler, an organizational psychologist.

Measures Throughout the Year

It's equally important to keep talking with your boss during the year about how you're progressing so there are no surprises when you open your bonus check.

One of the most confusing parts of performance-based bonuses is what happens when you can't meet one of your goals due to circumstances beyond your control. Perhaps a project is canceled or delayed; maybe you move to a new job with new responsibilities. It's very important to talk to your boss when this happens. Can you replace some of your old goals with new ones? Don't make assumptions about how your boss will handle it -- and don't wait until the end of the year.

Not a Solo Performance

You may find it frustrating to have part of your pay tied to your performance evaluation or to how well the company does. But this is the way of the future. A survey of employers by Watson Wyatt found that 22 percent of US companies had increased the amount employees could receive in bonuses, and 10 percent had made performance-based pay available to more workers.

"Companies are also raising the bar on how hard it is to achieve those," Bienstock says. Almost half increased the company's financial goals that are tied to paying bonuses, and more than one-third increased individual performance expectations.

Latest Jobs

Sears
Posted: 08/22/2014
COLUMBUS, OH, 43228
Best Version Media
Posted: 08/22/2014
Fairview Shores, FL, 32804
Swede Consulting, LLC
Posted: 08/22/2014
Los Angeles, CA, 90012
CPS and Professionals Incorporated
Posted: 08/22/2014
Norwich, NY, 13815
Best Version Media
Posted: 08/22/2014
North Fort Myers, FL, 33903

Want more personalized results?  Update Your Profile

 
 
 

Monster Communities

Teaching Community
Where teachers meet and learn.
ArtBistro
Create and connect.
Excelle
Networking for the career-minded woman.
Nursing Link
Where nurses call the shots.
More Monster Communities

Monster Partners

Scholarships
Scholarships, financial aid and more ways to pay for school.
Education.org
Find top campus and online degree programs.
Military.com
Military portal for the US Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and Coast Guard.
Financial Aid
Scholarships & financial aid.
Staffing for Government Jobs
Staffing and hiring solutions for federal government agency jobs.
More Monster Partners

Job Hunt Strategy

Six Ways to Make a Recruiter Hate You
If you want to blow your chances with recruiters -- and, by extension, with the companies they work for -- here are six perfect ways to do so.

Resumes & Cover Letters

Rev Up Your Resume to Relocate
Hoping to relocate? Get the ball rolling on landing the right job in the right location with these expert resume and cover letter tips.

Interviewing

100 Potential Interview Questions
Interview questions can run the gamut. You probably won't face all 100 of these, but you should still be prepared to answer at least some of them.

Salary & Benefits

10 Questions to Ask When Negotiating Salary
Most of us aren't natural negotiators, but asking these 10 questions during salary negotiations can help you get everything you deserve.

Employee Sourcing

Alt text
November Monster Employment Index Grows 13% Year-Over-Year, Tenth Consecutive Month of Positive Annual Growth.

For Seekers

Campus and Online Degrees
Advance your career and earn more with an online degree.
Free Salary Wizard
What are you worth? Find out and negotiate a better salary.
Research Careers
Get information on jobs and career paths to help guide your choices
Questions & Answers
Find answers to all your career related questions -- powered by Yahoo! Answers
Resume Distribution Service
Our distribution service puts your resume right in the hands of recruiters.
Resume Writing Services
Our experts will craft a keyword-rich resume that stands out in the crowd.
More Career Resources

For Employers

Career Ad Network
Target your job posting to more candidates on thousands of websites.
Hire Right Background Checks
Explore our background check packages to improve the quality of your hires.
Hiring Home Page
Find the best candidates for your business with Monster hiring solutions.
Job Postings
Find the right solution for your hiring needs. Starting at $99.
Power Resume Search
Monster's new search technology precisely matches people with your jobs.
Resource Center
Find staffing insights, labor trends, HR best practices and more.
Target Post
Connect with skilled, hourly and administrative candidates for only $99.

Social Media

Jobs on Twitter
Find jobs in your area and industry.
Monster Careers
Tune into our career advice and discussions tackling a wide range of topics and industries.
Monster Corporate & PR
Stay up-to-date on the latest news. Get the 'Who', 'What', 'When', and 'Why' on all things Monster related.
Monster Customer Service
Got a Monster question? We've got the answer. Whether you're a job seeker or employer, we can help you find the answers you need.
Monster for Employers
Find advice on hiring.
Follow Us
Check out our many pages and stay connected with the latest industry news, events, career advice and job openings.

Other Links

Monster Company Profiles
Explore companies and get information to guide your career decisions.
Compare Salaries
See how your pay stacks up to others in your field.
iPhone Application
Download the Monster app for iPhone and iPod touch.
Monster Job Seeker Blog
Monster Job Seeker Blog.
Monster Thinking Blog
Monster's Recruitment Trends Blog.
Jobs & Career Resources
Search Jobs:
For Employers: Post Jobs | Search Resumes | Advertise
About Monster | Work for Monster | Advertise with Us | AdChoices | Partner with Us | Investor Relations | Social Media
Terms of Use | Privacy Center | Accessibility Center | Help | Security | Contact Us | Sitemap | Mobile
©2014 Monster - All Rights Reserved U.S. Patents No. 5,832,497; 7,599,930 B1; 7,827,125 and 7,836,060 MWW - Looking for Monster Cable? - V: 2014.4.45.50-317
eTrustLogo