Spot Bonuses Not Dead Yet

February 28, 2002 ( - While some other employment benefits may have fallen by the wayside, employers, still eager to show workers they're appreciated, continue to offer spot bonus programs, a new survey found.

The survey, by industry group World at Work, found 53% of respondents have a spot bonus plan – up slightly from 50% in July 2000. The group represents compensation and benefits professionals.

The size of the bonuses ranged from between $1,000 and $2,500 for employees and $10,000 or more for executives.

Companies said they awarded the bonuses to workers who generally undertaken work “above and beyond” their normal job requirements as well as those who had excelled at a particular task.

Bonus Opponents

But support was not unanimous with 34% of respondents say spot bonus programs were generally ineffective. They listed the following reasons:

  • bonus amount was too low,
  • lack of communication to managers about the availability of the bonuses, and
  • lack of support from upper management

The survey covered 332 companies.