S/he’s making a list, and checking it twice. But the size of your bonus isn’t purely down to who’s been naughty and who’s been nice. Logan Naidu, head of city recruitment firm Dartmouth Partners, has some last-ditch advice for bringing out your boss’ generosity.
1. Empathise with your boss
First, be realistic about what is potentially possible from your organisation this year, in turns of their economic forecast and budgeting, as well as how much you as an individual have a right to expect based on your performance. If you seem like you’re being excessively greedy, arrogant or unreasonable, you’ll disadvantage yourself from the start. Make it clear that you understand management’s perspective and are on the same side before you even begin to hint or negotiate.
“Put yourself in your boss’s shoes,” says Naidu. “To a certain degree you need to have faith that they will make the right call.”
2. Lobby on your own behalf… but keep it subtle
Now is the time to start gently reminding the powers that be of all the wonderful work you’ve done this year. Drop your personal achievements into conversation over lunch, but obviously don’t overdo it.
“Employers know the score, so you need to play it cool. But naturally, there is a competitive element to it. In the financial services sector, you may need to be a bit punchier – shrinking violets won’t often get noticed,” says Naidu.
3. Don’t mess it all up at the last minute
Unfortunately, people have short memories, so if you did all your best work back in the summer, it may well be trumped in your boss’ mind by someone else’s success last week. That means that you shouldn’t let things slide towards the end of the year, despite all the festive distractions. If you have performed consistently well all year, it’s imperative that you don’t throw it all away by turning up late and hungover in the final weeks of December.
“Remain professional and keep your dignity intact, and your “competition” may start to let theirs fall away,” advises Naidu.