Author Topic: What's a reasonable bonus?  (Read 4370 times)

Giro

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 601
What's a reasonable bonus?
« on: September 16, 2015, 07:08:58 AM »
So, I'm fairly new to my company.  Before, I worked for a  large technology company and didn't get bonuses even for work I brought in.  This company is a small, disadvantaged (8a) technology company and I just brought in 8 new resources.  My team started out as 4 (including me), so I tripled my team. 

We are all "engineers" working a government contract.  We are also located in the cheap-o Midwest, so LCOL.  The salary ranges are $90k-$150k for the new resources. 

I worked the proposal, the contract, recruited the resources, did interviews and will onboard and train the new resources.  I was told I would be "taken care of" with a bonus for all of this extra work. 

What would you expect a fair bonus to be?  I don't want to be taken advantage of and I want to set a solid precedent for future work that I bring in. 

Also, probably the most important piece, I advocated for the new work at my office.  I spoke to the PM and sold my current team and my ability to perform amazing feats with a few more people. 
« Last Edit: September 16, 2015, 07:11:40 AM by Giro »

Pooperman

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2943
  • Age: 29
  • Location: North Carolina
Re: What's a reasonable bonus?
« Reply #1 on: September 16, 2015, 07:33:43 AM »
Apparently you're a few dollars short of having Giro, Inc. Seriously, you basically just ran your own business. Would you like to be out on your own or just have the bonus?

slugline

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1162
  • Location: Houston, TX USA
Re: What's a reasonable bonus?
« Reply #2 on: September 16, 2015, 07:49:49 AM »
The typical "bonus programs" I've seen usually have an formula that is based on meeting or exceeding some pre-established target level of performance.

Your case doesn't sound like this, however. Maybe a salary raise or promotion would be more appropriate?

Gone Fishing

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2741
  • So Close went fishing on April 1, 2016
    • Journal
Re: What's a reasonable bonus?
« Reply #3 on: September 16, 2015, 08:52:31 AM »
As much as you can get!  I've seen people (usually in sales) get bonuses almost equal to their base salaries, or even more.  In my experience, vague terms like "taken care of" usually result in pretty weak bonuses, but who knows, maybe your employer is different. Without a defined bonus structure in place, $100 would be more than you initially bargained for.  Even with defined structures, I have been screwed more times than I would like to admit on various interpretations/technicalities.  As one member puts it, you don't get what you deserve, you get what you negotiate.  I wish the work effort alone was enough, but I have always had better luck hinting that I could make more money somewhere else than focusing on my hard work.  Do some research ahead of time and see what comparable positions at other companies offer.  Whatever your employer offers, even if it is great, ask for more (very politely) citing some of your research and state that you are only asking for what is fair and market, as long as you are courteous and don't come off as a dick, the worse that can happen is they say no.  As soon you appear satisfied, you will "lock in" your price and it will be much more difficult to move the needle.  Good luck!

fitfrugalfab

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 172
  • Location: NoVa
    • FitFrugalFab
Re: What's a reasonable bonus?
« Reply #4 on: September 16, 2015, 11:36:19 AM »
In my experience, bonuses are only awarded to government contractors if the entire project was done under budget, so that might be a huge factor on how much of the bonus is.

Giro

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 601
Re: What's a reasonable bonus?
« Reply #5 on: September 16, 2015, 11:48:14 AM »
As much as you can get!  I've seen people (usually in sales) get bonuses almost equal to their base salaries, or even more.  In my experience, vague terms like "taken care of" usually result in pretty weak bonuses, but who knows, maybe your employer is different. Without a defined bonus structure in place, $100 would be more than you initially bargained for.  Even with defined structures, I have been screwed more times than I would like to admit on various interpretations/technicalities.  As one member puts it, you don't get what you deserve, you get what you negotiate.  I wish the work effort alone was enough, but I have always had better luck hinting that I could make more money somewhere else than focusing on my hard work.  Do some research ahead of time and see what comparable positions at other companies offer.  Whatever your employer offers, even if it is great, ask for more (very politely) citing some of your research and state that you are only asking for what is fair and market, as long as you are courteous and don't come off as a dick, the worse that can happen is they say no.  As soon you appear satisfied, you will "lock in" your price and it will be much more difficult to move the needle.  Good luck!

thank you very much.  My salary is very strong for my field and the location, but I do want to be compensated commensurate with what I'm bringing the company. 

bsmith

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 164
  • Location: Texas
Re: What's a reasonable bonus?
« Reply #6 on: September 16, 2015, 11:54:27 AM »
Consider: bonuses aren't usually as good as a raise. In fact, they're often given out specifically to avoid giving raises. Raises cost the company more long-term, because then the next year you get another, and another after that, so it compounds. Bonuses are just a one-time expense. So, my point is, consider the bonus in conjunction with any raise you might get, and if you can swing a larger raise for a lower bonus, it might be in your interest to do so. Requires maths and an idea of how long you plan to stay with the company.

Giro

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 601
Re: What's a reasonable bonus?
« Reply #7 on: September 16, 2015, 01:03:32 PM »
In my experience, bonuses are only awarded to government contractors if the entire project was done under budget, so that might be a huge factor on how much of the bonus is.

I work for the contractor.  We get paid based on warm bodies.  My bonus would be based on the additional income that the company is making because of my work in bringing them onto the contract. 

Axecleaver

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3366
  • Location: New York
Re: What's a reasonable bonus?
« Reply #8 on: September 16, 2015, 02:16:57 PM »
Kind of depends on your role for the sale. You might think of it in terms of a recruiting bonus. Your firm probably would have paid around 10-20% of one year's salary to recruit these guys if they hired through headhunters. Consider that an upper limit. Most companies are happy to give small bonuses for referrals, like $1-2k a head. They usually wait 90 days to make sure they didn't hire crazy people.

The proposal work and contract is where the real money is, though. Salesmen in government contracting will get commissions around 0.5-1% of the contract. They hunt in packs and split the commission among the team. That's for dedicated salesmen whose entire job is to win these things, and they do lots of lobbying and meeting with potential clients, which you probably didn't do. The money is usually spread out over 2-5 years.

Your role sounds like a pre-sales engineering support role, with some proposal development, with some people management thrown in, rather than a straight BD role. Lots of those jobs don't pay bonuses. For those that do, it's not huge - maybe .02% of the contract value paid over a year.

Giro

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 601
Re: What's a reasonable bonus?
« Reply #9 on: October 09, 2015, 06:54:28 AM »
So I received my bonus and it was $10,000.  I guess it's not a great bonus but it's better than any bonus I've ever received for strict performance.  I have gotten year-end bonuses along with everyone else and thing like that, but the owner of the company took me to dinner and personally wrote me a card and thanked me.  I thought it was very sincere and just plain nice.  They treat me well here so I'm grateful for the recognition even if it could have been a larger check.

And the MMM in me would have taken the $500 he spent on the meal versus going to the restaurant.  It was an outrageously expensive French restaurant that had bland food. 

I get my raise next month and I negotiated an annual bonus to be paid out in December.  This year should be pretty sweet other than paying the tax man.  :)

Now....what to do with this money????
« Last Edit: October 09, 2015, 07:58:04 AM by Giro »

Gone Fishing

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2741
  • So Close went fishing on April 1, 2016
    • Journal
Re: What's a reasonable bonus?
« Reply #10 on: October 09, 2015, 07:56:32 AM »
So I received my bonus and it was $10,000.  I guess it's not a great bonus but it's better than any bonus I've ever received for strict performance.  I have gotten year-end bonuses along with everyone else and thing like that, but the owner of the company took me to dinner and personally wrote me a card and thanked me.  I thought it was very sincere and just plain nice.  They treat me well here so I'm grateful for the recognition even if it could have been a larger check.

And the MMM in me would have taken the $500 he spent on the meal versus going to the restaurant.  It was an outrageously expensive French restaurant that had bland food. 

I get my raise next year and I negotiated an annual bonus to be paid out in December.  This year should be pretty sweet other than paying the tax man.  :)

Now....what to do with this money????

Congratulations!  Thanks for updating the thread!  I'm guessing $10k is probably 5-10% of your salary, certainly not pocket change.  Agreed the dinner was pricier than what I would have chosen, but I'll admit reading about it made me a bit jealous.  Around here, we get decent bonuses, but everyone is always on pins and needles, because they are "subject to change" at the last minute (and they have).  Once things are finalized, the boss quietly comes around the office and gives your number as to not raise any issues with those who do not get a bonus (some are not even eligible or may have missed targets, sometimes by a hair).  We never get a genuine thank you, any thank you at all is followed with "...but, we need more!".     

Ftao93

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 228
Re: What's a reasonable bonus?
« Reply #11 on: October 09, 2015, 08:06:48 AM »
So I received my bonus and it was $10,000.  I guess it's not a great bonus but it's better than any bonus I've ever received for strict performance.  I have gotten year-end bonuses along with everyone else and thing like that, but the owner of the company took me to dinner and personally wrote me a card and thanked me.  I thought it was very sincere and just plain nice.  They treat me well here so I'm grateful for the recognition even if it could have been a larger check.

And the MMM in me would have taken the $500 he spent on the meal versus going to the restaurant.  It was an outrageously expensive French restaurant that had bland food. 

I get my raise next month and I negotiated an annual bonus to be paid out in December.  This year should be pretty sweet other than paying the tax man.  :)

Now....what to do with this money????

considering my last bonus was $800 and my last 'raise' didn't pace inflation, you win!  A bonus is exactly that, a bonus.

now, if they keep making you do these things and not compensating, then you negotiate a raise.