Employees are sending a clear message this holiday season: they expect a bonus and they want it to be cold, hard cash. And forget the holiday party, even with an open bar.
A new survey by Harris Interactive®[i] finds that the majority of employees say they would prefer a cash bonus this year (72 percent), followed by a salary raise (62 percent) and additional paid time off (32 percent).
Expectations for receiving a bonus are high this year: of those employed and eligible for a bonus, a full 58% say they expect an end of year windfall, and 20 percent expect it to be more than their last bonus, while 13 percent expect it to be less, and 22 percent are unsure. However, the check amount may not be quite as much as employees hope – Johnson Associates is reporting Wall Street bonuses may be down 20 – 30 percent over last year.
What Other Perks Make Employees Happy?
Employers who can’t afford a big handout need not worry – employees note that perks such as an extra day off or even a grocery gift card would be preferred. Save the chardonnay and shrimp cocktail, though — traditional holiday parties rate low this year, as a mere 4 percent of employees prefer this “perk.”
Male and Female Expectations
There are some stark differences in how male and female employees want to be recognized and rewarded at the end of the year – employers, take note!
- Holiday Perks: More men (16%) said they would be interested in receiving company stock or shares as a holiday perk than women (6%), whereas more women (18%) said they would prefer the option to work from home for a year than men (11%). More women (29%) also prefer grocery gift cards over their male counterparts (18%).
- Bonus Expectations: More men (74%) report being eligible for bonuses than women (69%). Among employees who are eligible to receive a bonus this year, nearly twice as many women (17%) report they are unsure of the bonus amount than men (7%) whereas more men (30%) than women (22%) expect their bonus to be the same as last year.
[i] Survey Methodology