The Washington Times-Herald

Community News Network

June 20, 2014

Good news for workers: Survey shows bonuses are back

WASHINGTON — For employees hoping to receive a fatter paycheck, the recession and its aftermath were bleak times. Companies pulled back on bonuses and lavish perks. Budgets for payroll increases were slim, meaning raises were often slight and hard to come by.

But new survey data from WorldAtWork, a nonprofit association for human resources professionals, offers promising news for workers looking to pull down more cash. According to the report, companies are implementing bonus programs in 2014 more frequently than they were in 2010, the last time the organization surveyed employers about this topic.

Use of all varieties of bonuses - referral, spot, signing and retention - have increased, with particularly dramatic upticks in the use of signing bonuses and retention bonuses.

While referral bonuses had reigned supreme in the survey for more than a decade, they were easily outranked this year by signing bonuses as the most popular form of award. And many of these signing bonuses provide far more than a little extra pocket change. In fact, about 41 percent of employers offering this perk reported that they paid executives signing bonuses that exceeded $50,000. An additional 12 percent reported paying sums that high for upper management.

Retention bonuses also saw a big leap in usage, with 51 percent of companies implementing them in 2014, more than double the percentage that were doing so in 2010.

The study also found that 29 percent of respondents said they are offering all four varieties of these bonuses, a big jump from the 9 percent who reported doing so four years ago.

It seems likely that there are two key reasons employers are upping their investment in bonus programs. As the national economy improves, companies have renewed confidence that they're on safe enough financial footing to offer this perk. And it's also likely a sign that the competition for top talent is intensifying as workers, too, feel more confident about the job market and are willing to jump ship to other opportunities.

It's too early to know whether salary increases will also get a bump in 2014 amid an improving economy. Forecasts from organizations such as the Society for Human Resource Management and the Hay Group suggest that salary increases will likely hover around 3 percent this year. It won't be until 2014 draws to a close that reliable data will be available on what kinds of raises employers actually ended up doling out this year.

 

1
Text Only
Community News Network
  • Lindley, Tom.jpg Is this a commercial for batting gloves or a baseball game?

    Major league baseball desperately needs to speed up the action. Here's a place to start: Nix the mind-numbing ritual of hitters who first adjust the right batting glove, then the left one, after every single pitch.
     

    August 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • The Simpsons still going strong

    The groundbreaking animation first hit the air Dec. 17, 1989, but the family first appeared on television in "The Tracey Ullman Show" short "Good Night" on April 19, 1987.

    August 21, 2014

  • Does Twitter need a censor?

    Twitter decided last year to make images more prominent on its site. Now, the social network is finding itself caught between being an open forum and patrolling for inappropriate content.

    August 21, 2014

  • Police chief resigns over racial slur repost to Facebook

    A repost on his personal Facebook page of a racially-charged comment by the original poster of a comedy video has forced the police chief of an Oklahoma city to resign his office.

    August 21, 2014

  • sleepchart.jpg America’s sleep-deprived cities

    Americans might run on sleep, but those living in the country's largest cities don't appear to run on much.

    August 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Who should pay for your kids ACT?

    Thirteen states paid for 11th-grade students in all public high schools to take the ACT college admission test this year, with several more planning to join them in 2015.

    August 20, 2014

  • Pets.jpg Why do people look like their pets?

    As much as we might quibble over the virtues and vices of Canis domesticus, however, and over whether human nature is any better or worse than dog nature, even dog fanciers don't usually want to look like a dog.

    August 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Ice bucket challenge trending up

    Internet trends are a dime a dozen these days. Everything from Tebowing to planking to the cinnamon challenge can cause a wave of social media activity that can last for weeks before fizzling out.

    August 19, 2014

  • Africa goes medieval in its fight against Ebola

    As the Ebola epidemic claims new victims at an ever-increasing rate, African governments in Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia have instituted a "cordon sanitaire," deploying troops to forcibly isolate the inhabitants in an area containing most of the cases.

    August 18, 2014

  • Democrat? Republican? There's an app for that

    If you're a Republican, you might want to think twice before buying Lipton Iced Tea, and forget about Starbucks coffee. If you're a Democrat, put down that Reese's Peanut Butter Cup, and throw away the cylinder of Quaker Oats in your pantry.

    August 18, 2014