You've worked hard over the past year. Your company pays bonuses and you're getting starry eyed at the thought what that extra money will mean to you! Perhaps you've earmarked it to pay off some pesky bills. Or you're going to treat yourself to something you've been eyeing off for months. However you plan to spend it, the fact is that you've got to earn it first! How do you ensure that you will a) qualify for a bonus and b) get top dollar?
Negativity begets negative bonus. Not to mention the fact that negative people are typically very unpleasant people to work with. They're a drain on productivity and motivation because they're constantly looking for reasons why things won't work. Quite apart from being more pleasant workmates, people who make an effort to stay positive can usually talk themselves into feeling positive as well. When you feel positive, it's much easier to stay keen and enthusiastic about things, including your job. Positivity also rubs off on other people, which improves morale, motivation, and ultimately productivity. That's worth a bonus.
If you find staying positive hard to do, here are a few tricks that may help you. When you have jobs on your daily list that you don't like doing, do them first thing and get them out of the way. That way you won't spend the whole day dreading the time when you have to do XYZ. It's amazing what a sense of accomplishment that brings with it too, which is in itself a motivating force for positivity.
Put your hand up for extra responsibilities.
If you can lighten your boss's workload, you become that much more valuable to them, and the company, which is bonus-qualifying material. It also marks you as a team player, and most employers love team players. It may also mean that you'll receive some extra training that you wouldn't otherwise have gotten. That furthers your career and professional development.
Keep that motivation happening.
Most HR and hiring managers will tell you that highly motivated employees have a better chance of achieving a bonus than unmotivated ones. You can help yourself stay motivated and on track by thinking up new projects to keep your interest going. Perhaps your colleague next door could do with some assistance. Maybe they're struggling with something. Offering to help out may be just what you need to create extra motivation. Offer to help your line manager out with more of their work. Have a look through your daily To Do list and see if you can't find small things to motivate you there.
Get those annual review goals happening.
Many companies base their bonuses on how well the employee fared in their annual review. Bad or indifferent review = no bonus in most instances. Therefore, if you're chasing a good bonus, one of the first things you can do is have a look at your last review. Are you improving the areas you needed to improve? Can you show your line manager that you've taken these points on board and are striving to get a lot better? Have you picked up the pace in other areas and improved your performances there too?
Blow your own trumpet.
During your annual review, make a point of drawing attention to the goals you've achieved, and the improvements you've made since the last one. Don't be shy about claiming credit for ideas or projects you've implemented either. You don't have to make a big song and dance about it – just subtle reminders of your involvement should work. As an added 'bonus' reflecting on how well you've done will also help you feel, and remain, motivated too.
Ask and ye may receive.
Not everyone is brazen enough to do this but if you can pull it off, a good bonus may be your reward. Once you've pointed out all the things you've achieved over the past 12 months, and the added value your motivated, positive personality and willingness to take on extra work brings to the company, ask about bonuses 'this year' and whether they're performance-based. If they are, and it's rare that they're not, be sure to point out that where it counts, you've certainly put in the hard yards. You'd be surprised how often this increases your chances of getting a bonus.
If your company doesn't pay cash bonuses, it's highly likely they offer other 'rewarding' incentives for deserving employees. It's a good way to retain good employees, and attract quality new staff. In the mining industry, this is particularly important. After all, with the current qualified mining personnel shortages, the last thing a company needs is to lose good staff to other companies simply for the sake of a bit of money, or other incentives such as extra days off. Furthermore, by tracking what you've achieved, and ensuring you're a good team player, a motivating, pleasant person to work with, and someone who is prepared to take on additional responsibilities, you're setting yourself up for a good career within the company. Even if you subsequently leave, your reputation will go with you, and you'll find it that much easier to land new jobs.