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Pay budgets allocated toward programs that reward top performers
Some employees got a little something extra at work by way of a holiday bonus or gift this year—but fewer than in years past.
According to Aons Hewitt’s December 2015 Report of Findings—Holiday Bonuses and Gifts analysis, only 44 percent of surveyed employers planned to give traditional holiday bonuses, with the majority of those providing cash gifts. Most say their program is intended to say “thank you” and show appreciation.
The survey was conducted in November among large U.S. employers (those with more than 200 employees; the median staff size was 500 employees).
“Companies want to thank employees for their hard work at the end of the year and are willing to do so through small gifts and cash bonuses,” said Ken Abosch, Aon Hewitt’s broad-based compensation practice leader, in Chicago. “Yet we’ll continue to see most allocate the majority of their compensation budgets toward programs that are more structured and focused on rewarding high-performers.”
Holiday Bonuses and Gifts
Of the companies with holiday bonus or gift programs this year:
Of the organizations that have discontinued their holiday bonus/gift programs, 78 percent did so in the past 15 years.
Variable Pay Plans
Of the companies that don’t give traditional holiday bonuses, only 39 percent say it’s because of cost. Instead, most companies (52 percent) say it’s because they prefer to tie rewards to performance. This is double the number of companies that indicated as much prior to the recession.
Among other variable pay findings:
Another Perspective on Holiday Gifts
The Society for Human Resource Management’s 2015 End of Year/Holiday Activities Poll, conducted in October among a random sample of SHRM’s membership, asked about giving holiday gifts (such as gift cards or gift bags) to employees.
Almost one-quarter (23 percent) of HR professionals indicated their organizations give nonperformance-based gifts to all employees at the end of the year, a decrease from 2013 (when 32 percent did so).
Stephen Miller, CEBS, is an online editor/manager for SHRM. Follow me on Twitter.
Related SHRM Articles:
Compensation Budgets Favor Variable Over Fixed Pay, SHRM Online Compensation, December 2015
Flat Pay Raises Spur Variable Rewards, New Metrics, SHRM Online Compenation, August 2015
2015 End of Year/Holiday Activities Poll, SHRM Research, November 2015
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