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Holiday Bonuses: A Poll of What Employees Want,
and What Employers Give

Forget the Party and the Gift Cards, Cash Tops the Wish List

Some Employees Just Want a Simple “Thank You”

But More Than 20% of Businesses Won’t Give a Bonus of Any Kind

OKLAHOMA CITY, Dec. 3, 2014 — Express Employment Professionals, the nation’s largest franchised staffing company, today released the results of two polls on holiday bonuses revealing that what employees want and what employers are willing to give are often different things.

In an online poll, employees and job seekers were asked, “How do you wish your company showed appreciation to employees?” Twenty-seven percent said “cash bonus,” and 13 percent said “pay raises.” Express received responses from 230 individuals who identify as “job seekers and those new to the career world.”

How Do You Wish Your Company Showed Appreciation to Employees?
Cash Bonus 27%
Pay Raises 13%
Days Off or Shortened Holiday Hours 9%
Gift Cards 5%
Gift Items Other than Money 1%
A Holiday Party 1%
Other 1%
A Combination of the Above 35%

In a separate online poll, business leaders were similarly asked, “What type of holiday bonus will you give your employees this year?” Express received 400 responses. Most said cash, but 21 percent said, “We will not give holiday bonuses.” In addition, of the seven per cent who chose “other,” 27 percent self-reported answers like “no holiday bonuses ever.”

What Type of Holiday Bonus Will You Give Your Employees This Year?
Cash 34%
We Will Not Give Holiday Bonuses 21%
Gift Cards 12%
Other 7%
Extra Days Off 3%
Tangible Gifts 3%
A Combination of the Above 19%

Cash is the top choice among employers, meaning some employees will be satisfied this holiday season. But many more will not, particularly those working for an employer who offers no form of a bonus. Gift cards, popular among employers, are not as popular among employees.

“During the holiday season, it’s important for businesses to show their appreciation to their employees. It can be disheartening for an employee to feel unappreciated, yet our poll indicates that more than a fifth of employers won’t give their workers anything this holiday season. You don’t have to be extravagant about your holiday bonuses, but it’s important to show recognition. As one respondent told us, ‘A thank you note will suffice,’” said Bob Funk, CEO of Express, and a former chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.

“Showing appreciation is investing in your employees. It improves morale and increases loyalty. It’s good for business. So even if you’re a business that’s struggling through difficult economic times, be sure to say thank you. Even the simplest gesture can go a long way and make the holiday season that much brighter for the people who make your business possible.”


If you would like to arrange for an interview with Bob Funk to discuss this topic, please contact Sherry Kast at (405) 717-5966.


About Robert A. Funk
Robert A. “Bob” Funk is chairman and chief executive officer of Express Employment Professionals. Headquartered in Oklahoma City, the international staffing company has 700 franchises in the U.S., Canada and South Africa. Under his leadership, Express has put more than five million people to work worldwide. Funk served as the Chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City and was also the Chairman of the Conference of Chairmen of the Federal Reserve.

About Express Employment Professionals
Express Employment Professionals puts people to work. It generated more than $2.5 billion in temporary sales and employed nearly 400,000 people in 2013, and ranks as the largest franchised staffing company and second largest privately held staffing company in the United States. Its long-term goal is to put a million people to work annually.