Employees Want Cash and Benefits Gifts for the Holidays

December 6, 2011 (PLANSPONSOR.com) – Employees have a message for employers this year: bring on the cash and benefits perks.

Nearly three-quarters (72%) of employees responding to a survey from Glassdoor said a cash bonus would be among their top choices for employer-gifted holiday perks this year, followed by a salary raise (62%), and paid time off (32%). Holiday parties — even with an open bar — are not a very popular perk (4%) and fell below the ability to work from home for a year (14%), company stock/shares (11%) and a healthcare subsidy (10%).  

Grocery gift cards (23%), a gym membership (8%) and a commuter subsidy (3%) were also cited by respondents. Only 2% indicated they would like a gold watch or other accessory.  

As cash tops holiday wish lists, it seems employees eligible for a bonus are optimistic they will receive one. Nearly three in four (73%) employees report they are eligible for a bonus this year, compared to 63% in the fourth quarter of 2008. Of those eligible for a bonus, 58% expect to receive a bonus, 39% do not and 12% are unsure. Of those who expect to receive a bonus, 20% expect it to be more than their last bonus, 13% expect it to be less and 22% are unsure.   

The survey found gender variances as more men (16%) said they would be interested in receiving company stock or shares as a holiday perk than women (6%). More women (18%) said they would prefer the option to work from home for a year than would men (11%). More women (29%) also prefer grocery gift cards than their male counterparts (18%).  

More men (74%) are 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.  

The survey was conducted online within the U.S. 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.