Companies should consider canceling holiday parties this month and giving employees cash bonuses instead. A new survey suggests that's what's on workers' wish lists.
Of the 2,574 American adults who responded to the online survey, conducted by Harris Interactive on behalf of the business website Glassdoor, 72 percent said a cash bonus was among their top choices for employer-gifted holiday perks. That choice was followed by a salary raise (62 percent), paid time off (32 percent) and grocery gift cards (23 percent).
A holiday party — even one with an open bar — did not turn out to be a very popular perk in the survey, with only 4 percent of respondents listing it among their top choices. Perks that proved more popular than holiday parties included the ability to work from home for a year (14 percent), company stock/shares (11 percent), a health care subsidy (10 percent) and a gym membership (8 percent). [ Is There a Santa Claus? ]
Glassdoor's career and workplace expert Rusty Rueff, who previously ran global HR departments at Electronic Arts and PepsiCo, said the desire for monetary rewards above all else reflects the hard economic times faced by workers today, and employers should take note.
"It may not be sexy, but even a nominal amount, a gas or gift card, or an extra day off that an employee can use at their discretion to compensate for the extra hours they have been putting in will likely go much farther in boosting morale than a holiday party," Rueff said in a press release.
"Now is the time to listen closely to what employees need and respond accordingly," he added.
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