Christmas Cheer: Corporate Bonuses on their Way

Updated: 12/19/2013 6:55 PM By: Kate Renner

 It's this time of year when many companies show how much they appreciate their employees, often times through a bonus. As a result, many employees come to expect the extra cash.

So who's giving bonuses this year and how much?

Austin-based Hormel Foods is doling out $300 to full-time employees, and $150 to part-time employees in addition to a profit-sharing bonus.

Land-O-Lakes and General Mills participate in a performance-driven incentive program.
Xcel Energy does not give out bonuses.

Small Minneapolis-based company, "Way Better Snacks" says they will be handing out holiday bonuses, after a terrific year of growth.

According to University of St. Thomas Marketing Professor Teresa Rothausen-Vange, the two worst things a company can do is build up an expectation and disappoint, or think the bonus solves real issues in the workplace.

"You can't fix a bunch of problems, with a nice little turkey at the end of the year," said Rothausen-Vange.

She says a company's reasons vary as much as the dollar amount. "Sharing the wealth of the company, if the company has a good year, the bonus is profit-sharing. Or it can be more gratitude, thank you we value our employees kind of message."

The owners of "In The Mood Music" say they err on the side of sharing the wealth. Brian Reidinger and Darren Drew say the bonuses they hand out is to show their appreciation.
"We give low 4-figures. It's been a good year. It's a way of saying 'Thank you this has been our dream for 19 years and you guys are a part of it and you're helping us,'" said Reidinger.