Employees Bonus Expectations High In 2011, Cash Is King

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® 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.

What's going on at your company? Do you expect a bonus this year? Would you prefer other perks, like paid time off or a holiday party? Tell us what your job is like by sharing a company review and see what your peers are saying, too.

Survey Methodology
  1. For the purposes of this study "employees" were defined as U.S. adults 18+ employed full time and/or part time unless otherwise indicated.

  2. This survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Interactive on behalf of Glassdoor from November 3-7, 2011 among 2,574 adults ages 18 and older of whom 1,495 are employed full time, part time and/or are self employed. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables, please contact pr[at]glassdoor.com.

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What does employees want? MONEY.

January 02 2012 at 7:54 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

According to the repubs/teap'ers way of thinking, the employer should give itself a huge raise, then the employees will be trickled down upon.

January 02 2012 at 6:50 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Well lets chock one up for Sears and K-mart and the 100 plus stores closing in the near future and I suspect many more after that.

Bet the execs get or got their bounses.

So where does this leave those soon wihout a job.

You cut corners to cut loss'es Sears and only made them worse

Look at your stores and the their appearence, BIg Lots has shown you up and they are a discounter

Not sure where this may go but I have a suggestion and it may go a long way

First Craftsman tools where made in America and now many are made in good Ole China
I can go to you know who and buy tools from China, Sears

Second when you bought a Craftman rachet tool if it broke it was replaced by a NEW one not refurbished as I recently got from Sears and it has issues and I need to replace it

Third replace like item for like item - Paid almost twice the price for Fiberglass handle leaf rake and when it broke Sears no longer carried them and ended up getting, you guessed it a wood handled one in it's place

Forth clean up your stores and put the ones who started at the bottom in postions where they can make a difference and just maybe you can turn a profit

January 02 2012 at 1:04 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

My company gave us a $10 GC to a popular sandwich place and we work contract for probably the 2nd most well know computer company in the world. No party, lunch, anything. $10 GC.

January 02 2012 at 12:39 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Hi Catmom!

I would just wish my employer would quit changing the rules and the way the bonuses are figured. It changes every time we are up for them and the bonuses get smaller and smaller. Soon there won't be any (except for the management team of course). They already took away merit raises, and any kind of incentive to do a good job. It's a wonder no one wants to work for them and their turnover is over 50%.

January 01 2012 at 11:02 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
champion castle

What I want to see in a business is a company who hires older people as well as the younger. There was a trend in the past year and a half to shun older employees. When I walk into a business and see all 20 or 30 something's...I go elsewhere. That's what you can do for your employees...be an equal opportunity employer like your sign says.

January 01 2012 at 10:43 PM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply

How about, people wish for employment, period. Who said everyone had a job now, and is in any position to ask and expect a raise??

January 01 2012 at 9:35 PM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply

Would it be: A nice looking name tag?

January 01 2012 at 8:24 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Bonus!!! Been 3 years since I have seen one and be at least 3-5 more years, before I see another. Been 12 years since I have had a raise. I was making more (inflation adjusted) when I was 28, than age 53. Word to the young, Stay away from large construction, no money left in it. .... a BAD BUSINESS MODEL.

January 01 2012 at 7:41 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply


January 01 2012 at 7:03 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply

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