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A bonus is an additional amount of money given over and above the standard pay as a reward for good performance. It is often used as an incentive to motivate employees. This extra compensation can be given annually, semi-annually, or monthly and varies based on the individual’s or company’s performance.


The phonetic spelling of “Bonus” is: /ˈboʊnəs/

Key Takeaways

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  1. A bonus is usually a financial reward beyond what was expected by the recipient.
  2. Bonuses can be given by employers to employees to reward performance, show appreciation, or motivate staff.
  3. The parameters for bonus payments are often outlined in an employee’s contract or at a company’s discretion.

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In the business/finance sector, the term ‘bonus’ is crucial as it serves as an effective incentive system. Bonuses motivate employees to enhance their productivity, efficiency, loyalty, and overall work performance as they are direct reflections of their hard work being acknowledged and rewarded financially by their employers. Moreover, bonuses can also be instrumental in attracting and retaining top talent in competitive industries. Businesses may also offer bonuses to customers, thereby driving sales, fostering customer loyalty, and encouraging repeat business. Overall, bonuses can significantly contribute to the growth and success of a business.


A bonus is essentially a reward or an incentive that an employer provides to an employee over and above their normal salary. From a company’s perspective, bonuses serve the purpose of motivating its employees to attain and exceed their performance targets. By offering a bonus, the company incites a higher level of productivity and encourages employees to push their limits for better results. This installment of financial reward given to employees for exceptional performance or during festive seasons is one of the ways businesses enhance job satisfaction and hold onto talented personnel. The frequency and amount of these rewards can vary greatly and can be substantial in cases of high-ranking employees or critical contributors.On the other hand, the bonus also acts as a tool to foster a sense of partnership between the employees and the company – allowing them to share in the financial success of the business. For example, in businesses where profitability directly correlates with the efforts of the employees, putting a bonus scheme in place can align individual goals with company targets. This induces a symbiotic relationship between individual drive and company success, and ultimately contributes to a more harmonious and productive work environment. Bonuses also serve as a tangible way to express gratitude, resulting in increased employee morale and loyalty.


1. Employee Performance Bonus: At many organizations, a bonus is used as a form of incentive compensation for employees who meet or exceed certain performance goals. For instance, if a salesperson exceeds their sales target for the quarter or the year, they might receive a bonus in addition to their regular salary. This motivates employees to perform their best and contributes to company success. 2. Sign-on Bonus: In order to attract top talent, some firms may offer a sign-on bonus. This is a lump sum of money given to a new hire, on top of their regular salary. For instance, tech companies in Silicon Valley often provide hefty sign-on bonuses to programmers and engineers. 3. Year-End or Holiday Bonus: Some companies offer their employees annual bonuses or “13th month pay.” These bonuses are typically disbursed around the holiday season and act as a form of profit sharing. They show appreciation for employee hard work throughout the year and provide additional financial support during the holiday season. Companies like Walmart and AT&T have been known to give such bonuses.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

What is a bonus in finance?

A bonus is an extra payment received over and above the salary. It is often tied to performance metrics or set as a fixed amount.

What are the different types of bonuses?

There are several types of bonuses including performance bonuses, signing bonuses, referral bonuses, holiday bonuses, and profit-sharing bonuses among others.

How are bonuses determined?

The computation for bonuses varies from one organization to another. It can be based on a fixed percentage of the company’s profit, performance targets, or set as a fixed amount depending on company policy.

Are bonuses taxable?

Yes, in most regions, bonuses are considered taxable income. It’s important to consult a tax professional to understand the implications better.

Do all companies offer bonuses?

While many companies offer bonuses as part of their compensation packages, not all do. It can depend on a company’s financial health, industry norms, and established company policies.

Can a bonus be withheld?

Yes. In many cases, bonuses are discretionary, meaning the company can decide whether or not to award them. The conditions under which a bonus can be given or withholden are often stipulated in the employee’s contract.

Does a bonus affect an employee’s base salary?

Generally, bonuses are considered separate from an employee’s base salary. However, they can sometimes be taken into account in certain circumstances, such as calculating overtime pay or retirement contributions.

How often are bonuses paid out?

The frequency of bonus payments varies from company to company. Some companies award bonuses annually, while others may do so more frequently, such as quarterly or monthly. In some cases, bonuses are paid on an ad-hoc basis, such as a project completion bonus.

Are bonuses mandatory?

Whether or not bonuses are mandatory depends on a company’s policies and the terms within an employee’s contract. In some cases, certain bonuses such as performance or holiday bonuses may be customary but not legally required.

: Can a bonus be revoked?

This largely depends on the policies of a company and the terms of employment. In some cases, a promised bonus can be revoked if an employee fails to meet certain criteria or conditions. Although, this is generally not a common practice.

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