Human Resources News & Insights

Things looking up in the holiday bonus department

Most workers have something to look forward to this holiday season.  

That’s because 75% of HR and hiring managers said their company plans to give monetary bonuses before the end of the year, according to the 2016 Holiday Bonus and Hiring Survey by Accounting Principals.

That’s up from 67% back in 2015.

While most firms plan to give something, the amount of the bonus will vary greatly from company to company.

Breaking down the bonuses

Here’s a breakdown of the bonuses those 75% of employers have planned:

  • $1 to $99 (13% of companies giving holiday bonuses)
  • $100 to $499 (37%)
  • $500 to $999 (21%), and
  • $1,000 or more (29%).

Based on this breakdown, the average bonus amount will be $1,081, up significantly from the $858 average firms planned to give in 2015.

Improving the odds

The study also looked at what would make employers more likely to dole out a holiday bonuses and found the following behaviors bolstered workers’ chances of obtaining a bonus:

  • Staying motivated through year-end (response of 54% of firms)
  • Being positive and upbeat (45%)
  • Volunteering to take on additional job duties (34%)
  • Reminding the company of their accomplishments (23%), and
  • Asking the boss for a bonus directly (15%).

The power of non-cash perks

Not all firms are giving cash bonuses this year. Some employers plan to give out non-monetary bonuses instead. Thirty-nine percent of employers that aren’t giving cash bonuses said they plan to give employees other perks this holiday season.

Non-monetary perks — such as extra time off — can play a valuable role in bolstering employees’ morale around the holidays. Kim Gottschalk, the senior regional vice president at Accounting Principals, said:

“While issuing holiday bonuses is an excellent way to reward employees and help attract top talent, we’re also seeing employers that are offering extra paid time off during the holidays, which goes a long way in increasing morale and attracting new employees.”

What’s holding firms back?

Finally, the study broke down some of the reasons employers had for not giving out holiday bonuses this year. Employers said they:

  • Give bonuses at other time of the year (cited by 22% of firms of the companies not giving holiday bonuses)
  • Had financial performance issues that prevent giving bonuses (11%)
  • Were concerned about the economy’s still-sluggish performance (11%), and
  • Make charitable contributions in lieu of bonuses (7%).
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