For 2008, Ho-Ho-Ho Only a Little Less So

December 12, 2008 ( - The economic downturn has taken a toll on holiday spirit this year as companies cut back on costly end of the year perks like bonuses, gifts, and parties, according to a recent survey.

A news release about its survey of more than 3,000 hiring managers and HR professionals found:

  • 17% ofemployers plan to cut back on holiday celebrations this year; either having a party on a smaller scale or cancelling it altogether.
  • 34% of employers planning to give holiday bonuses say they will pay out the same amounts or less this year than in past years. Of those employers who plan to decrease bonuses, more than half (54%) plan to decrease bonuses by up to 10%; 74% will lower them up to 25%.
  • 29% of employers planning to give holiday gifts say they will spend the same amount or less on holiday gifts for workers this year than in past years.

“The current economic state and its repercussions may be causing anxiety in the office, but it is important for employees to try to remain positive,” said Rosemary Haefner, Vice President of Human Resources for, said in the news release. “Cost-cutting on bonuses, parties and other holiday perks is often a cautionary measure in challenging times. Employers are doing their best to clearly communicate cutbacks to employees to ensure the reasons behind trimming are understood by all levels within the organization.”

This survey was conducted online within the U.S. by Harris Interactive on behalf of among 3,061 hiring managers and human resource professionals (employed full-time; not self-employed; with at least significant involvement in hiring decisions; non government) ages 18 and over between August 21 and September 9, 2008.