NEW YORK (MainStreet) — Las Vegas resident Valerie Johnson was expecting a five-figure check from the financial service firm she was working for when the company reneged on its present.
“The owners opted instead to take all of the bonus money to open plush new offices in New York City and West Los Angeles,” she tells MainStreet. “I was so mad, I quit.”
Johnson’s reaction may have been extreme, but she isn’t the only one going without a holiday bonus. According to a survey from the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), 40% of human resource managers said it was likely that their companies would eliminate or reduce employee bonuses post-recession.
Additionally, a separate SHRM poll found the number of companies offering non-executive bonus plans has dropped four percentage points since 2006, when 44% of employers said they offered monetary incentives to their employees. (The numbers actually plummeted from 62% to 50%, if you looked at executive incentives.)
The cuts, unsurprisingly, are directly related to the recession.
“Pre-recession, it made more sense to give everyone a holiday bonus,” Evren Esen, the manager of SHRM’s survey program, says. “Now, organizations are more careful about how they disperse money.”
Companies – especially those who may be on the verge of layoffs – eliminate Christmas bonuses to curb operating expenses and be more fiscally responsible. Those that have kept the incentive in place, Esen says, largely offer year-end bonuses that are entirely performance-based.