Work Advice: How to Ask for Holiday Bonus Pay

The holidays are a fun time at the workplace for many reasons but especially for that holiday bonus pay. The holidays are a time for giving, but that doesn’t guarantee that bonuses can be given out by all companies.

Even though you’ve worked hard over the past year and met all of your targets, the holiday check may not appear. For many organizations, bonuses are a type of discretionary spending, that they only give in a productive year.


But it is not just a result of simple luck to get the bonus you deserve. You can go a long way with a certain degree of boldness. Here’s how to ask for holiday bonus pay.

Work Advice: How to Ask for Holiday Bonus Pay
Image source: Zenefits

Learn How Your Company Manages Holiday Bonuses

Not all businesses offer holiday incentives and those that do appear to have a multitude of ways to do so. Make sure you understand the policy of your company and what exactly the bonuses are focused on.

Do the workers with the highest numbers earn bonuses? Or is it up to the manager to assess who receives a bonus? Do the research, or inquire around and be transparent about your intentions with your supervisor.


Ask At the Right Time

Timing is everything. Ask colleagues in the same positions when bonuses are typically given out and set the expectations accordingly. When the time is appropriate, politely ask the manager if the company is planning to be on schedule for the bonus season.

It would also not be recommended to approach your boss when the company is having some idle time. You must note, too, that mood plays an important role.

If your boss has sent you a good email, then it’s a great time to approach them about your bonus. If your supervisor is pleased, the discussion is likely to go smoothly, especially if he or she is glad about something you recently did.


Work Advice: How to Ask for Holiday Bonus Pay

Ask Directly

If you have already asked your colleagues about the bonus schedule and know it is delayed, you can remind your supervisor respectfully.

An initial email inquiry can work better and may seem less intimidating than an in-person approach.

This may sound simple, but it won’t be done by most people. Ask your boss what you can do to help you get a bonus. While this will sound daunting, the manager is likely to acknowledge your initiative.

It’s necessary not to put forward the idea as a demand, though. Rather, frame it as a question about how you can support the business more and gain the incentive for doing so.

Outline Your Milestones

Most bonuses result from achieving a target, whether it’s personal or organizational. To assess your efforts, outline your milestones for your manager to see.

It is particularly good to demonstrate where your work has financially helped the company. Reports, graphs, and documents should back up your performance.

To justify your request, nothing is more effective than statistical-based evidence. Where credit is due, make sure to give credit. If your team has helped you accomplish the task, tell it.


A holiday bonus can be a nice chunk of change to add to your budget. Therefore it is necessary to do all you can to guarantee that you will be rewarded for all your hard work.

This is one time when tooting your own horn (at least a little bit) isn’t such a terrible idea. Showing why you deserve a bonus, is more effective than just telling your manager that you want one.