Why more employers are offering year-end bonuses

First the good news: 

It looks like the end of
the year bonus is making a comeback.

A recent national survey
conducted by Challenger, Gray and Christmas found about 75 percent of
private employers planned to offer some type of year-end bonus this year. That
number, according to the survey, is up from 53 percent in 2011.

Julie Talenfeld, president of Boardroom Communications in Plantation, Florida, participated in that trend. She says she has given out generous holiday bonuses
to well deserving staff for the past 25 years. She says she also gives 10-percent commissions
on new business and employees get spot bonuses for every media hit they generate
for clients every day. Julie has found giving incentives to employees creates a happier work environment.

According to the survey, 14 percent of bosses will give out money — $ 100 or less — to all employees and 13 percent will give some type of non-monetary gift as a sign of appreciation.

But not every employer agrees or wants to give out year-end bonuses: 

While there may be more happy employees as 2012 comes to an end than this time last year, the Challenger survey showed that about a fourth of the companies said there would be no bonuses this year. Bonuses are a particular rarity in public sector jobs.

Here's why some employers have gone the year-end bonus route — they're workers are being asked to do more, more, more and bonuses are a one time boost – a way to reward employees without having to make a long-term payroll commitment. 

Now, for a reality check: 

Challenger said his company isn't projecting many changes when it comes to pay raises. Instead, he said, companies are expected to "hold down salary ranges" in 2013.

Knowing this, what are your thoughts on year end bonuses? Should employees take them and be thankful or negotiate for a raise. And, should employers give
everyone the same amount as a year end bonus or should it be based on an employee's


The Work/Life Balancing Act

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