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The Biggest Bonus Trends for 2017

With the economy continuing to bounce back, employee bonuses are also on the uptick. Bonus amounts have risen steadily year over year, particularly around the holidays.

While the types of bonuses and amounts vary widely, there are some common workplace bonus trends among the perks employers offer. Here’s what to look for in your next bonus.

Monetary Bonus

The most common type of bonus, this can come in many forms: profit-sharing, gainsharing, a sign-on bonus, referral, retention or mission bonus, and of course, the holiday bonus. Some are based on individual or company performance, while others are based on a percentage of the individual’s salary.

A cash bonus is a clear incentive for employee performance, and with salary budgets expected to rise 3 percent in 2017, SHRM reports that employers are opting to use various methods to reward employees. Many are based on organizational or department success, while others are geared toward the individual. According to WorldatWork, what motivates some employees may not be as effective with others. Therefore, the organization recommends tailoring the type of bonus compensation toward what the company is working to accomplish, and what makes the most sense — a reward for the individual, the department or the organization as a whole.

Extra Paid Time Off

Who wouldn’t love an extra paid day off here or there? Whether it’s your hire date anniversary, your birthday or a day or two around the holidays, any chance for a paid day off is likely to be welcomed by employees. Companies are opting to give these as bonuses as a way of showing that the gift of time spent with loved ones is just as important as the gift of money. It’s also a great way of showing they care about their employees’ well-being, in hopes that a day off is also a gift of rest and relaxation.

Non-Monetary Gifts

In lieu of cash or paid days off, employers are becoming increasingly creative with rewarding their employees. From the holiday turkey to gift cards to other merchandise, employers are using other incentives for positive employee contributions. These tend to be more cost-effective ways to recognize employees while still making them feel valuable for what they bring to the company. In fact, these types of tangible bonuses can give employees the sense of satisfaction they need to stay at a company longer and even motivate them to work harder. While money is typically the preferred method of recognition, showing gratitude in any form boosts employee morale and keeps them from looking elsewhere.

Bonuses come in many different forms, quantities and frequencies. Employees will appreciate the gift no matter what it is — something is almost always better than nothing. Make sure whatever bonus you choose suits your industry, your company culture and the employees receiving the bonus.


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