Bonuses Are Back

Michael J. O'Brien

Bonuses are back!

At least that's according to a new WorldatWork survey, titled Bonus Programs and Practices, which finds 74 percent of 811 members polled reporting the use of sign-on bonuses in their organizations in 2014, up from 54 percent in 2010.

Similarly, the survey from the Scottsdale, Ariz.-based nonprofit HR association found spot bonuses rose in usage, from 43 percent in 2010 to 60 percent in 2014; and retention bonuses jumped from 25 percent in 2010 to 51 percent in 2014. (Referral bonuses also saw a slight uptick from 2010 to 2014, rising from 60 percent to 63 percent.)

"The downward trend in program usage for all four bonus programs measured -- which began with the 2009 recession -- has been reversed," according to the press release announcing the findings.

Rose M. Stanley, total rewards practice leader at WorldatWork, believes the uptick in sign-on, retention and spot bonus programs indicates that the war for key talent is heating up as the economy improves.

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