During my performance review at the end of 2015, I was told I would get a (small after tax but not negligible) monthly bonus for the next year based on my performance. The review process continued and I have to admit I made some mistakes, as this was my first review: I indirectly made a few complaints and failed to praise enough my immediate supervisors for their help, which was very valuable. Besides some occasional "dirty looks" about it, nothing else happened. However, I have recently noticed that no bonus is included in my salary. An additional factor is that I work in a foreign language and may have missed some information about it (e.g. maybe it is included at the end of the year?).

I am sort of hesitant to ask about it, given my awkward stance during the review, even though I recognise the bonus may be totally irrelevant from the review. Any recommendations? Should I just be direct about the bonus only and see how it goes? I have already apologized for the complaint (which may have also been a second mistake/unnecessary. I may have caused a small mess apparently). The country is Germany.

  • Was the bonus promised in writing? And have you had any feedback other than "dirty looks" about your performance after the review? Commented Mar 19, 2016 at 22:19
  • in future make the small messes after the review
    – Kilisi
    Commented Mar 19, 2016 at 22:46

2 Answers 2


In general, a bonus is a reward for past performance: if you did well in the past and were promised one, it should be paid out even if your performance right now is not so great.

But if you don't have anything in writing and you were merely verbally promised a bonus, you're in a tougher spot. You could try asking payroll a general question, like "Can you tell me how/when bonuses are paid out?", and if it's clear that they're already being paid and there's nothing coming your way, then you can raise the matter with your manager. (And note that payroll may well CC your manager in their response, so be prepared.)


Well, you did put yourself in the visor of some people, from what you say. The last thing you want(if you still intend to make career in this firm) is to give them reasons to shoot at you.

Unfair? Probably, yes. That's the political part of any job. And yes, it's tough in a language that is not yours. Yet, you have to make a decision about what is the most important for you : your image inside the firm, or your bonus. For getting the latter, you'll have to sacrifice some of the former.

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