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Tools as Christmas bonuses?

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  • #575753
    Jpg-woodworking
    Pro
    Tallahassee, FL

    As my business has been growing this year, I have recently hired two part-time college students to help me out. They are good guys who are learning skills, but may not turn this into a career, which I understand and am fine with.

    I provide all tools, including their hand tools, and we are not being held up on jobs because of tool shortages, I will buy whatever I need to so we can work efficiently to get jobs done.

    However, these guys don’t have cordless tool kits of their own, and I think they would appreciate them to be able to work on things around their place, help friends, etc. I’m considering buying each of them cordless sets as part of their Christmas bonus, in addition to some cash or a gift card.

    I assume that they would probably bring them to work and use them on our jobs, though I wouldn’t require them to. I do think that personally owning tools gives them more of a sense of pride and encourages taking better care of them as well.

    What I’m struggling with is how to treat it, depending on what I spend. I could get them each a $300 Ryobi 5 piece set or Bosch/Ridgid/etc drill driver set, and would be fine with it if they moved on to another job the next day. If I were to spend $600 each on something like the Ridgid 5 piece set plus an extra pair of batteries, it would be tough to swallow if they both left right away.

    I don’t expect them to leave any time soon, but I’m not sure if it is right to say “This is a bonus/perk for you, take them home, use them as your own, but if you leave within 6 months or a year, they stay with the company.” On one hand I feel it isn’t right to give a gift with conditions, but on the other hand that is how company cars and larger items work. The employee benefits from it even when off the clock or for unrelated uses, but it is company property. At some point though it needs to become theirs to take or it is just a company purchase.

    They will still both be getting a gift card or cash as well, and I wouldn’t give tools to an older guy who has a wife and kids and would appreciate the money instead, but I think these guys would really like it.

    Thoughts or other points of view? How would you guys handle it as the owner or feel as the employee?

    #575758

    I’m not sure if it is right to say “This is a bonus/perk for you, take them home, use them as your own, but if you leave within 6 months or a year, they stay with the company.” On one hand I feel it isn’t right to give a gift with conditions, but on the other hand that is how company cars and larger items work. The employee benefits from it but it is company property.

    They will still both be getting a gift card or cash as well, and I wouldn’t give tools to an older guy who has a wife and kids and would appreciate the money instead, but I think these guys would really like it.

    Thoughts or other points of view? How would you guys handle it as the owner or feel as the employee?

    I think that’s 100% fine. especially since you’re also giving them cash and have already bought all of their tools to begin with.

    #575759
    kurt@welkerhomes.com
    Moderator
    Owatonna, MN - Minnesota

    If you provide all of the tools, they may look at it as not really getting anything. I would stick with a regular bonus. I think that is always more appriciated.

    I thought about doing the same thing at one time, but my wife talked me out of it. She said a bonus should really be something they can use for whatever they want, not something to help the business.

    #575763
    RonW
    Moderator
    Holladay, Tn

    While tools would be a nice bonus. I have to agree with Kurt. A monetary bonus would be more appreciated.

    Ron

    A Working Pro since 1994!

    Member since March 26, 2014.

    #575766
    Warren6810
    Moderator
    Akron, OH

    I give my guys a bonus, and typically a $100 Home Depot card. While I don’t specifically state what the card is for, it is pretty well understood. I think it would be different with part time help that isn’t making this a career choice.

    #575777

    Wow, that’s a very generous gesture,
    So, seeing how they are part time, I think just the monetary bonus would be great, I am sure they would also appreciate the tools,
    If you really want, you could opt for the less pricey option,

    But as you mentioned, who knows what they will do in a few months.

    #575780

    If your set on buying them tools . Buy then just a drill kit . If they truly are invested with you they will buy the other bare tools to go along with what you bought them .

    Always willing to learn .

    #575786
    Austin
    Pro
    Covington, KY

    Just the drills are a good option especially if you arnt sure if they are all in. Ridgid is a great brand especially for guys like that they are a step above diy stuff and with a lifetime warranty they will last as long as they want them too. Plus the ridgid is a little cheaper and they always have a really good deal on them come black friday. I bet you could pay a couple hundred bucks for a drill and impact kit and they will probably have like a free battery or bare tool deal. If that was the only bonus you were giving then I would say no but since you are getting them cash/ gift cards then go for it.

    #575853
    kswiss
    Pro
    edmonton, AB

    I agree with a drill set plus some cash. That would definitely keep me happy.

    #575858

    I agree with a drill set plus some cash. That would definitely keep me happy.

    Around Black Friday there will be tons of deals like $99 bucks for Makita , Dewalt kits for sure .

    Always willing to learn .

    #575860
    Masterbosch
    Pro
    Wayne, NJ

    Don’t get them ryobi or ridgid 5 set stuff just get the something quality they gonna use for years I’ll say get the bosch combo right now before all the prices goes up for christmas @jpg-woodworking you won’t be disappointed and can’t beat that deal

    plusoneconstructionllc@gmail.com

    #575864
    Austin
    Pro
    Covington, KY

    Don’t get them ryobi or ridgid 5 set stuff just get the something quality they gonna use for years I’ll say get the bosch combo right now before all the prices goes up for christmas @jpg-woodworking you won’t be disappointed and can’t beat that deal

    Well of course you are going to say Bosch lol
    Ridgid is a great option, best bang for your buck especially for Someone isn’t like a career pro, but there are like 4 or 5 brands you can’t go wrong with.

    #575889
    jkirk
    Moderator
    halifax, nova scotia

    if they are part time helpers keep it simple, id say a gift card to home depot so they can buy some hand tools that they will keep with them, from there maybe a work wear store gift card or to a resteraunt they like.

    if you do go the power tool route, maybe just a impact driver as its something guys always need and are reaching for, if you bought a 5 pc kit i would do so for a lead hand whose with you year round

    heres a tip, dont fart in a space suit

    #575894
    jzmtl
    Pro
    Montreal, QC

    I agree either a HD gift card or a drill kit. A full 5 tool kit is kinda overkill for a college student especially if he’s renting.

    #575903

    Don’t get them ryobi or ridgid 5 set stuff just get the something quality they gonna use for years I’ll say get the bosch combo right now before all the prices goes up for christmas @jpg-woodworking you won’t be disappointed and can’t beat that deal

    Well of course you are going to say Bosch lol
    Ridgid is a great option, best bang for your buck especially for Someone isn’t like a career pro, but there are like 4 or 5 brands you can’t go wrong with.

    Nothing wrong with the Rigid. I’m in between. Chances are the tools would be appreciated in the future, but if they are in school and work part time, cash can be a good thing

    #575906
    cmeyer25
    Pro
    Bellingham, WA

    I think giving cash is your best bet. I think your gut intuition that giving gifts with strings is a bad move is dead on – just leads to difficult situations later on. And especially when the nature of part time student help is so transitional. But, like other people said, if you’re set on giving tools, either go with a less expensive big set or a smallest but higher quality set. But I know id be confused if my boss paid for all the on the job tools, then bought me “my own” and then expected me to bring those to work…if you’d rather stop paying for all the tools, be up front about it – that’s a legitimate way to feel and a huge expense on your part.

    Charlie
    __________________

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    #575931
    Jpg-woodworking
    Pro
    Tallahassee, FL

    Thanks for the input, it looks like just going with a drill/driver set or strictly cash is the way to go.

    For what it’s worth, the tools I would be giving them wouldn’t just be another set of the same tools they are already using at work. Most of the time we are using my personal Bosch tools that go where I go. I do have another complete cordless and corded set that are extras/spares, but it is not the “latest and greatest.”

    I was just thinking any young man should have their own set of basic power tools, especially as they are learning to use them effectively. They would be able to use them at home, on other jobs, etc. If it would benefit my business as well I would be willing to drop more than what I would consider a normal “Christmas bonus” amount.

    I agree that it may be a conflict of interest, and I’m not attempting to pass off a business expense as a gift. The “company car” scenario was the best analogy I could come up with.

    #575955

    Thanks for the input, it looks like just going with a drill/driver set or strictly cash is the way to go.

    For what it’s worth, the tools I would be giving them wouldn’t just be another set of the same tools they are already using at work. Most of the time we are using my personal Bosch tools that go where I go. I do have another complete cordless and corded set that are extras/spares, but it is not the “latest and greatest.”

    I was just thinking any young man should have their own set of basic power tools, especially as they are learning to use them effectively. They would be able to use them at home, on other jobs, etc. If it would benefit my business as well I would be willing to drop more than what I would consider a normal “Christmas bonus” amount.

    I agree that it may be a conflict of interest, and I’m not attempting to pass off a business expense as a gift. The “company car” scenario was the best analogy I could come up with.

    A gift is a gift… never the less give them tool with a receipt to take back. Govt often makes it hard to decide if we want to give a gift or look good while we get a tax deduction

    From your point it is very hard. What do they need to help them today. Tools are valued more by those that live by them. Money may help more for those that want to play with them, but won’t be using them to make money in the future.

    tough choice

    #575961
    DirtyWhiteBoy
    Pro
    Honolulu,, Hi.

    A college student needs cash. The books cost a lot of money!!! College tuition cost lots of money they can’t buy books and tuition with a Home Depot card. What is nice is if you issue them brand new tools to hold and bring to the job each day and when you do part ways just let them keep them they’ve made their money anyways. But for a Christmas present cash is always King exclamation point

    #575963
    MrFid
    Pro
    Sudbury, MA

    If you’re going to go the tool route, go for the drill/driver set. Buying higher quality will last them longer, and those are two of the most versatile tools to own for the general population. Any sort of DIYer needs these at some point, but they may only ever end up using maybe 3 of the 5 pieces in the cordless set. Then it was a waste to buy those for them.

    I guess I am torn as to whether to get tools for them, or give them cash, or a HD gift card which they’ll choose which tools they think they need the most. It’s more personal to get them a tool since it shows you’ve put thought into what they’d need/want. Just be sure to give them a gift receipt with the tools so that if they were secretly pining for something else they could exchange what you got hassle free.

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