Bonuses are back (tell your boss)

If you’ve missed that end of year boost in your pay just before the holidays, take heart. Employers are starting to ratchet up bonuses again, according to a new survey.

WorldatWork’s “ Survey of Bonus Programs and Practices” finds that all bonus programs have reversed the downward movement that had been seen since the 2009 recession, and sign-on and retention bonus use is at an all-time high. WorldatWork says the results indicate the economy may fundamentally be getting better, intensifying the competition for talent.

Almost three-quarters (74 percent) of companies in the survey are using sign-on bonuses in 2014. That is significantly higher than all previous years of the survey. Retention bonus programs are also at statistically significantly higher rates — 51 percent — over all previous years.

Spot bonus programs are in use at 60 percent of companies. That is the highest rate since 2001.

Referral bonus use is still higher since the end of the recession, in place at 63 percent of companies, but its use was higher in 2001.


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