Compensation & PerksPerks

What are the Types of Bonuses for Employees?

There are other factors besides basic pay to consider when determining compensation. The necessary amount of money someone is paid for a job, not including any extra amounts such as overtime payments or bonuses. However, a job seeker or employee must consider base salary, benefits, increases, stock options, and bonuses when calculating total compensation. There are extra pay types for many professions, including overtime, on-call pay, pay for special initiatives, and investment opportunities. Bonuses are a collective term for additional compensation on top of your base income or hourly rate. There are different types of bonuses. In this blog, learn about the different types of bonuses.

You may ask yourself, “What are all these other forms of compensation? And how do I get them?”

We are here to help. If you’re happily employed but want to know more about your current compensation, or you’re talking to a recruiter about a role and are overwhelmed by all the talk about numbers, here’s a handy cheat sheet about top companies’ most common bonuses offer.

What is Bonus? 

A bonus is an additional payment to an employee over and above their regular salary. It can be monetary or non-monetary. Certain employees may receive dividends from their employers for their yearly achievements. However, businesses occasionally give bonuses to every employee. Some employers may also provide a joining bonus or a retention bonus. Every company has a unique bonus structure, which is frequently based on the type of business, annual success, and industry norms. See the various types of bonuses for different businesses.

Types of Bonus

Here are some common types of bonuses that companies offer to their employees:

Types of bonuses

1. Profit Sharing

Profit-sharing is a type of bonus in which employees receive a portion of the company’s profits. Depending on the company’s bonus structure, this is paid weekly or annually. Some businesses set a profit-sharing target and, once reached, give profits to employees as a bonus.

2. Spot Bonus

A spot bonus is given for outstanding performance on a specific task. For example, you may be eligible for this financial incentive if you go above and beyond your regularly allotted obligations. Spot plans are typically intended for individuals rather than groups.

The name of this program originates from the fact that the bonus is given “on the spot” by a supervisor or manager. This is not a time- or goal-oriented strategy. The amount varies according to the employer and the conduct that triggered the incentive.

3. Non-Cash Bonus

A non-cash bonus reward can be a certificate, a trophy, or a unique intra-company award feed. Your company, for example, could present you with an Employee of the Month medal or trophy. Supervisors can control non-cash award nominations. However, other firms offer an intra-company award stream where fellow employees nominate peers for rewards. This is an excellent technique to promote workplace teamwork.

4. Referral Bonus

A corporation rewards current employees who refer new hires with a referral incentive. Some companies may give you a bonus once your recommendation has completed its 90-day trial period. Other companies will pay you a referral bonus if you refer a particular number of candidates. This compensation structure might assist firms in quickly recruiting new personnel when they are experiencing rapid growth or when new departments have opened up.

The amount of referral incentive can vary depending on a company’s policies. Some pay a flat rate for all roles, while others pay based on the job role and the skills required. The extra sum can be highly appealing if the talents are difficult to fill.

5. Signing Bonus

When new employees accept a job offer, some employers offer them a signing bonus. The rules for releasing the signing bonus varied amongst companies. Some employers pay it immediately following the onboarding process, while others spend it after a few months. In addition, most employment contracts require employees to refund the total joining bonus if they quit the company within a certain number of months.

Companies utilize this bonus system to attract employees with hard-to-find abilities and more qualified new hires when the unemployment rate is low.

6. Milestone Bonus

Companies award a milestone bonus, also known as a mission or task incentive, for reaching a project or goal milestone. This bonus is typically granted to projects with tight deadlines. Companies might give out milestone incentives in the middle of a project or after a minor milestone is met.

The organization determines the milestones and timetables ahead of time so that the staff has an objective to strive toward if they want to earn the bonus. Software or hardware development organizations use these bonus structure schemes to motivate team members during development projects. They may also request a quality check as part of the bonus incentive.

7. Project Bonus

After a project is finished, a corporation may give a project bonus. The majority of businesses use project bonuses to maintain employee motivation. Businesses methodically plan this kind of bonus with the help of senior management. Employers typically outline and communicate project schedules to the team working on it well in advance.

The project bonus is a lump-sum payment to the team or person. The goal bonus is another name for this award.

8. Attendance Bonus

Employees with flawless attendance history frequently receive attendance bonuses. Businesses might distribute quarterly or yearly attendance bonuses depending on their bonus policies. This bonus is typical in service-based companies like hotels, restaurants, and pharmacies that open all year round with few closing dates. These industries do not have a predetermined schedule of holidays, and employees may even be required to work on special occasions or public holidays. Such businesses compensate their employees with this kind of compensation.

9. Annual Bonus

Businesses may award their staff an annual bonus depending on their overall success. Some businesses evaluate an employee’s and the company’s annual performance before awarding bonuses. Your position inside the organization may also impact the magnitude of the annual bonus. However, some businesses give all employees the same bonus, regardless of their position within the business.

10. Holiday Bonus

A holiday bonus is typically a present that businesses provide to their staff during the festive season. These bonuses are not time- or performance-based. Some businesses give staff presents, while others provide cash incentives like a month’s wages.

Creating a Bonus Plan For Employees

Now that we have discussed the different types of bonuses, let’s understand how to create a bonus plan. Each bonus plan may vary depending on the types of bonuses. Here is how you should create a bonus plan:

1. Publish the Staff Bonus Scheme

It would be beneficial if you were open and honest when awarding bonuses. The specifics should be written down and then distributed to the entire staff. Without transparency, the bonus scheme will be meaningless and ineffective. Many workers will think they received the short end of the stick.

2. Base the Bonus on Measurable Results

Awards must be connected to specific performance indicators. Personal views are not accepted. The requirements must be measurable. They should be detailed so that employees and management know-how fulfilling these conditions affect their pay.

3. Encourage Staff to Achieve Goals

Employees should be persuaded to help the company achieve its goals through rewards. It is accurate to say that some workers only work for themselves. All parties benefit when the employee bonus plan aligns with their financial objectives.

4. Clarify the What, Why, and How

It would be beneficial if you were open and honest about the bonuses, their purpose, and how employees may get them. Decide on the bonus. Employees can be misled if you don’t explain why bonuses are given out. They’ll be motivated to improve, but they might misdirect their attention.

5. Assist Everyone

The incentive should be designed with fairness and equity, making it simple to reach the lowest levels. If standards are set excessively high, certain employees who perform poorly might not receive compensation. On the other hand, it guarantees that everyone receives something, no matter how small.

How to Calculate Bonus Earnings?

Many companies have special calculations tailored to their industry and the particular Company. Also, with different types of bonuses, the calculations may be different. However, there are several options available based on the types of bonuses, such as:

Sales Commission

Companies that wish to reward their sales staff might give them sales commission bonuses based on performance. Multiplying the earnings amount by the bonus percentage will yield the answer. To calculate a sales commission, adhere to these steps:

  1. Determine the total sales made
  2. Determine a total bonus percentage
  3. Multiply total sales by total bonus percentage

For example, you make ₹10,000 in sales, and your company offers you a 5% commission. Here’s the calculation: ₹10,000 x .05 = ₹500

Percent of Salary

When choosing a bonus, a manager or department head must consider all employee salaries and wages when deciding on the right pay percentage bonus. If necessary, use the yearly wage estimate from the previous year. Base the bonus itself on the particular salaries of each employee. Take these actions:

  1. Determine the employee’s salary.
  2. Determine a percentage.
  3. Multiply employee salary by the percentage.

One employee makes ₹50,000 per year, and the bonus percentage is 3%. Here’s the calculation: ₹50,000 x .03 = ₹1,500

Sign-on Bonus

Most of the time, sign-on bonuses are paid at flat rates without a calculation. However, computations are required if you receive the incentive in instalments. Calculate the length of the contract, then divide it by the bonus amount. Take these actions:

  1. Determine the sign-on amount.
  2. Determine the contract length.
  3. Divide the sign-on amount by the contract length.

The sign-on amount for a role is ₹1,000, and the contract length over which the bonus will be paid is five months. Here’s the calculation: ₹1,000 / 5 = ₹200

Advantages and  Disadvantages of Bonus

Advantages of a Bonus

Motivating factor

Companies utilize bonuses as a tool to maintain high performance. Employees are encouraged to deliver their finest work due to such payments continually. They are thrilled because they receive a monthly income and extra money at the end of the year.

Attract Quality New Employees. 

In other cases, bonuses are also a way to attract new employees. As a result, more people apply for jobs. As a result, businesses may have more options for hiring, boosting their likelihood of choosing the best candidates.

Reduce Turnover

Companies offer incentives to retain key personnel in addition to inspiring their workforce. Maintaining a competitive advantage is vital because it safeguards against rivals stealing workers. Additionally, with additional rewards beyond money, workers feel valued by the business and are less likely to quit.

Disadvantages of a Bonus


Favoritism can harm the rapport between managers and employees. The boss could be biased when assessing an employee’s performance, for instance, if they dislike him. He consequently did not receive the bonus he was due. Consequently, disappointment developed.


Bonuses heighten employee competitiveness. By outperforming their coworkers, they hope to get additional prizes. On the one hand, it can encourage self-improvement and increased productivity.

Unhealthy rivalry, however, has the potential to harm interpersonal ties. Employees that place a high value on their success could find it challenging to work together. Thus, it jeopardizes the business’s overall performance.

Not Always Effective

Bonuses may not motivate all workers as much. For instance, they would favor a supportive work environment to satiate their urge for self-actualization. They also require flexibility and freedom in their employment. As a result, even though they receive a bonus, they cannot enjoy their jobs because the company does not give them what they desire.

Criteria to Meet to Achieve a Bonus

Below are the eligibility criteria for getting Statutory Bonus:

  • Statutory bonus eligibility has been expanded to cover employees earning up to Rs. 21,000 per month.
  • Only employees who worked in a business for at least thirty days in that calendar year are eligible for a bonus.
  • An employee is deemed to have worked in an establishment in any accounting year on days when they were laid off or on leave (with pay) or when they were absent due to temporary disablement caused by an accident arising out of and in the course of his employment, or when they were on maternity leave.


So, an employer has types of bonuses to provide an employee or a team. While awarding bonuses, the employer must maintain their integrity and sincerity. Only those who deserve it will receive it! As an employee, you have a strong possibility of getting a bonus if you bring a solid strategy.


1. What factors affect bonus payments?

The calculation of bonus payments is heavily influenced by the employee’s position and the level of work they have put in above and beyond the call of duty. Bonus payments might be very high if the individual provides significant value to the organization.

2. What is an Incentive Bonus?

An incentive bonus is a financial remuneration that goes above and beyond the recipient’s normal payment expectations. If the employee brings extra benefits to the organization or puts in additional effort, they may receive an incentive bonus.

3. What is a Performance Bonus?

The best way to define a bonus is an extra reward given to an employee or a department to reward them for meeting specific goals or achieving certain targets.

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