Special Report Your Job

Holiday cheer: More bonuses this year

Poll finds that nearly two-thirds of employers plan to offer year-end rewards, and some are even increasing the amount.

EMAIL  |   PRINT  |   SHARE  |   RSS
 
google my aol my msn my yahoo! netvibes
Paste this link into your favorite RSS desktop reader
See all CNNMoney.com RSS FEEDS (close)
By Ben Rooney, CNNMoney.com staff reporter

Stressful jobs that pay badly
High stress and a meager paycheck are just another day at the office. Here are 15 of the most overworked and underpaid professions out there.
Which type of investments will you focus on in 2010?
  • U.S. stocks
  • Emerging markets
  • Bonds
  • Commodities
  • Im sticking with old-fashioned bank accounts

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Employers are ramping up bonus payments this year to help retain the best workers as the economy slowly improves, according to a consulting firm survey released Thursday.

Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc., an outplacement consultancy, said 64% of employers are planning to hand out holiday bonus checks this year, up from 54% last year.

The poll of 100 human resources executives also found that more companies are planning to give bigger bonus checks this year.

A full 8% of the employers surveyed plan to increase the amount they award this year, compared with none last year.

While employers remain reluctant to expand payrolls, there is growing concern that job market improvements in 2010 could bring an exodus of workers, according to John A. Challenger, chief executive officer of Challenger, Gray & Christmas.

"Companies are not quite ready to ramp up hiring, but they are beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel," Challenger said in a statement.

Last week, the U.S. Labor Department said employers cut 11,000 jobs in October, which was far below any of the job losses posted over the last 23 months. The nation's jobless rate improved to 10% from a 26-year high of 10.2% the month before.

Still, employers have cut 7.2 million jobs since the beginning of 2008. And most economists expect unemployment to remain high well into next year.

The dismal job market and the looming threat of layoffs has weighed on worker morale, Challenger said, and employers are hoping a bigger bonus will help keep their employees happy.

"Companies are also sending a message that we appreciate that this has been a tough year for everyone, and that the workers' part in ensuring continued survival is recognized," he said.

The poll also found that most companies are tying the size of bonus checks to the performance of the company or individual. According to the survey, 63% of those awarding holiday bonuses are basing them on performance.

Despite the overall increase in the number of companies awarding bonuses, 16% of respondents said that, while they awarded bonuses in 2008, they did not plan to do so this year. That's up from 13% last year.  To top of page

Features
They're hiring!These Fortune 100 employers have at least 350 openings each. What are they looking for in a new hire? More
If the Fortune 500 were a country...It would be the world's second-biggest economy. See how big companies' sales stack up against GDP over the past decade. More
Sponsored By:
More Galleries
Most 'one percent' moments of 2014 This year was all about more money, more problems. Here's a look at the trials, tribulations and triumphs of the 1% over the last year. More
6 products to keep the skies friendly Plane travel can be stressful, especially during the holidays. These things can help keep the peace among travelers. More
2014: Helluva good year for stocks The bull market has been going for 2,115 days. If you put you're money in stocks, it's been a very happy year. More
Worry about the hackers you don't know 
Crime syndicates and government organizations pose a much greater cyber threat than renegade hacker groups like Anonymous. Play
GE CEO: Bringing jobs back to the U.S. 
Jeff Immelt says the U.S. is a cost competitive market for advanced manufacturing and that GE is bringing jobs back from Mexico. Play
Hamster wheel and wedgie-powered transit 
Red Bull Creation challenges hackers and engineers to invent new modes of transportation. Play

Most stock quote data provided by BATS. Market indices are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer.

Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Factset: FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved.

Chicago Mercantile Association: Certain market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved.

Dow Jones: The Dow Jones branded indices are proprietary to and are calculated, distributed and marketed by DJI Opco, a subsidiary of S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC and have been licensed for use to S&P Opco, LLC and CNN. Standard & Poor's and S&P are registered trademarks of Standard & Poor’s Financial Services LLC and Dow Jones is a registered trademark of Dow Jones Trademark Holdings LLC. All content of the Dow Jones branded indices © S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC 2014 and/or its affiliates.