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No holiday bonus at 60% of companies
A survey finds that of employers who do plan to give bonuses, few plan to give cold cash.
November 14, 2005: 9:17 AM EST

NEW YORK (CNN/Money) Fifty-nine percent of companies say they won't be giving out holiday bonuses in any form this year. And of those that will, only 13 percent said they will be giving out bonuses in cash.

The rest will opt to give food gifts, gift certificates or retailer gift cards, according to a survey released Monday by Hewitt Associates.

Among the companies that said they would be giving cash, the average holiday bonus planned is $683, but the cash bonuses slated range between $25 and $2,500.

Employers said they would spend between $10 and $150 on gift certificates; $10 to $50 for food gifts; and $10 to $100 on retailer gift cards, according to Hewitt's survey.

Nine percent of companies surveyed, meanwhile, said they would donate some or all of the money they would have spent on holiday bonuses to charitable organizations in light of the many natural disasters that have occurred, from the tsunami in Southeast Asia to the Gulf Coast hurricanes to the devastating earthquake in South Asia.

Whether or not a company gives out a holiday bonus in any form is no indication of whether the company gives out other bonuses as well. In an earlier survey, Hewitt found 78 percent of companies offer performance-based bonuses.

Of those companies that said they eliminated their holiday bonus, 25 percent said they did so because they created pay-for-performance programs.

In addition, 50 percent said they eliminated the holiday bonus because employees had started to feel entitled to the bonus rather than see it as a way to create loyalty or excitement for the new year.

"Employers recognize that the value in tying awards to performance, as opposed to the holidays, better connects employees to the company's goals and objectives, eliminates 'entitlement' issues, and leads to increased productivity and improved business results," said Ken Abosch, a business leader for Hewitt Associates, in a statement.

Ah. Well, then ...

May your holidays be highly productive.  Top of page

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