Glassdoor research: US employees prefer cash bonuses to Christmas parties

Employees in the United States would prefer to receive cash bonuses rather than a work Christmas party, according to research by job-listing firm Glassdoor.

An online survey revealed that 72% of US employees cited a cash bonus among their top choices for an employer-funded seasonal perk, followed by a pay rise (62%), extra paid holiday (32%) and a grocery gift card (23%).

The opportunity to work from home for a year (14%), company shares (11%), a healthcare subsidy (10%) and a gym membership (8%) all scored higher than a seasonal party, even with an open bar, which 4% selected.

The survey also found that more men (74%) are eligible for bonuses than women (69%). Among employees who are eligible to receive a bonus this year, nearly twice as many women (17%) report they are unsure of the bonus sum compared to men (7%), whereas more men (30%) than women (22%) expect their bonus to be the same as last year.

Rusty Rueff, career and workplace expert at Glassdoor, said: “Until we see the impacts of the recession further recede, when it comes to what employees want it starts with cash and other financial perks to make sure that ends can be met over the holidays.

“It may not be sexy but even a nominal amount, a petrol 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 further in boosting morale than a holiday party.

“Now is the time to listen closely to what employees need and respond accordingly.”

Read more articles on international benefits and perks