Don’t Despair — You May Get That Raise, After All

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giftAfter a year filled with layoffs, salary cuts, benefit losses and disappearing perks, I’m sure I’m not the only one who wasn’t expecting much by way of a raise or other end of year perks in the next month. So, you can imagine my pleasant surprise (and I, yours) at the results of a new CareerBuilder survey. Employers said they still plan to reward their employees with holiday perks like bonuses, gifts and parties — just on a scaled back level.

“After a challenging year, some organizations are cutting back on the holiday perks that they may have offered in previous years,” said Rosemary Haefner, Vice President of Human Resources for CareerBuilder. “Even though holiday bonuses, gifts and parties may be trimmed back this season, employers are doing what they can to reward their workers and get their staffs in the holiday spirit.”

Here’s what employers are saying when it comes to giving this quarter:

Bonuses: About 29 percent of employers plan to give their employees holiday bonuses this year. Of those employers, 16 percent are planning to give the same amount as in previous years, while 11 percent plan to give less. Twelve percent of employers say they will not be issuing holiday bonuses.

Gifts: Twenty-six percent of employers plan to give holiday gifts, with 15 percent planning to spend the same amount for workers as in previous years. Eight percent plan to spend less, while another 8 percent say they are not planning to give holidays gifts in 2009.

Parties: About 49 percent of employers are planning to throw a holiday party for employees this year. Of that group, 30 percent plan to throw the same party as in previous years, while 18 percent are planning something on a smaller scale. One-in-ten (11 percent) employers don’t plan to have a holiday party in 2009.

Are you going through holiday cutbacks at your office? Here are a few tips from Haefner on how to make it through:

  • Be realistic in your holiday budgeting: If you’re anticipating a bonus this season, be sure to budget accordingly so that you can handle your financial obligations if your bonus is lower than in years past or is eliminated.
  • Volunteer as a group: While companies may not have the budgets to throw a holiday party this year, employees can suggest charity work as an alternative.  Volunteering with your team or company still allows you to be out of the office in a social setting while giving back to your local community and maintaining your holiday spirit.
  • Don’t be a scrooge: Even if your company holiday party is cancelled, it doesn’t mean that you can’t celebrate the season with co-workers. Office potlucks or casual get togethers are a great way to have a low-key celebration in the office with your colleagues.
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