Hewitt’s annual Holiday Bonus survey of more than 300
companies finds that less than a quarter (24%) of employers are offering
holiday bonuses this year, down significantly from 42% in 2008. Of those giving
bonuses, nearly half (49%) will give cash, spending a median of $250 per
employee, according to a press release.
Hewitt said its research shows a steady trend away from
these bonuses toward the adoption of more formal pay for performance programs
to reward employees. Hewitt has found average employer spending on
variable pay as a percent of payroll has steadily increased over the past
decade, from 9.7% in 2000 to 11.2% in 2010.
On the other hand, average pay raises have been steadily
decreasing. In 2000, average salary increases were 4.3%, compared to just 1.8%
The Party's Over?
Holiday Bonus survey of more than 300 companies found that in addition to cutting back on holiday bonuses, fewer employers will host
holiday parties this year. According to the press release, 60% will fund
holiday parties, down from 71% in 2008. Of those that do host holiday parties,
the median amount organizations plan to spend is $15,000, down from $19,000 in
A little more than half (51%) of companies said they will
hold parties after work hours, and 61% plan to host them at offsite locations.
Fifty-five percent plan to allow employees to bring significant others.
As for employer gift giving, 39% indicated they will give gift cards, with a median value of $35 per employee, and 22% said they will give food (e.g., turkey or ham).