2 in 3 Companies Expect to Offer Year-End Bonuses

2 in 3 Companies Expect to Offer Year-End Bonuses

Majority will be for the same amount — or more — as last year
A cash gift

After a long year of coronavirus fears, social distancing and economic upheaval, some employees may be going into 2021 on a financial high note.

Two-thirds of senior managers (67%) said their companies will be awarding year-end bonuses, according to new research from staffing firm Robert Half.

On top of that, most companies who froze salary increases due to the pandemic will be resuming them in the coming weeks and months.

Bonuses not too shabby

Throughout the pandemic, some businesses have struggled. In fact, early on, many businesses wondered if they would even be able to survive the COVID-19 crisis. The Robert Half survey suggests that many businesses have not only survived but that some have been able to thrive.

Of the firms that plan to award bonuses this year, 45% expect those bonuses to be even larger than last year’s, while 46% believe the amounts will stay the same.

An earlier survey found that companies were generally keeping employees’ base pay the same during the pandemic. However, many employees weren’t holding out much hope for more, according to Robert Half’s research. In fact, 46% of workers surveyed said they had no hopes of getting a bonus this year.

Salary increases on par with 2020

One way companies sought to survive a tough 2020 was by freezing salaries. More than half of senior managers (57%) said their firm had put a halt to salary increases because of the pandemic. However, the good news for employees is that 27% of those companies expect to reinstate raises by the end of this year, and 43% plan to do so in the first six months of 2021.

A separate survey by human resources solutions provider XpertHR shed light on how much of a salary increase employees could expect to receive in 2021.

When asked about their salary budgets and how much those budgets were projected to change between 2020 and 2021, U.S. employers projected a median percentage change of 3%. Though 2020 is largely believed to have been a more difficult year for many businesses, that is the same median percentage change between 2019 and 2020.

Median projected salary budget changes are also projected to be the same between 2020 and 2021 as they were between 2019 and 2020 for the following employee types:

  • Exempt workers (those who don’t qualify for overtime pay): 3%
  • Non-exempt workers (those who do qualify for overtime pay): 2.5%
  • Officers and executives: 2.5%

Methodology: Robert Half surveyed nearly 2,800 senior managers and 2,800 adult workers between July 7 and Dec. 16, 2020. Respondents represented companies with 20 or more employees in 28 major U.S. cities.

XpertHR surveyed 460 U.S. employers between Oct. 6 and 30, 2020. Employers represented a variety of industries and workforce sizes.