Top Request on Workers' 2012 Christmas List: More Money, Please

Workers office wish listWhat do American workers want for Christmas this year? Glassdoor knows.

On Friday, the online "jobs and career community" published the results of a new Harris Interactive-commissioned survey, asking American workers what they want most from employers this holiday season.

Unsurprisingly, "cash" tops the list. According to Glassdoor, 76 percent of workers surveyed this year say they are "eligible" for a cash bonus in 2012, and 73% percent of employees "want a cash bonus most" of all. In fact, they'd even give up the traditional holiday office party if they could get hold of a bit more moola -- even if the party came with an open bar!

Raises remain nearly as popular a perk, with 60 percent of workers surveyed saying they'd like to earn a bit more money in 2013 -- though that's down from 62 percent last year. In contrast, immediate gratification is gaining in popularity, with the cash bonus a bit more popular this year than last.

Glassdoor survey

"No Work and Pay!"

As for what else workers want, the best way to sum it up is a scene from the TV show Moonlighting , when the office workers at Blue Moon erupt in chants of "No work and pay!"
It seems that's still a popular idea. Coming in No. 3 on workers' wishlists for holiday perks is an increase in paid time off, with 36 percent of workers approving the idea.

Other perks, less popular, include food, the ability to telecommute, and -- way down the list -- subsidized commuting costs. The percentage of workers mentioning a desire for these and other perks include:
  • Grocery gift cards: 29 percent
  • The right to work from home for a year: 13 percent
  • Stock options: 9 percent
  • Gym memberships: 7 percent
  • Holiday party: 5 percent
  • Subsidized subway/bus passes: 2 percent

The Rich Want to Get Richer

One interesting tidbit from Glassdoor's survey emerges when you break down survey results by income category. When workers are already earning a lot of cash, they tend to discount the value of low-dollar perks.

"77 percent of employees with a total household income of $75,000+ per year want a cash bonus this holiday season," Glassdoor found, as "compared to 62 percent whose household income totals between $35,000-$49,900, [and] 68 percent whose total household income is between $50,000-$74,900."

That makes sense. Perhaps figuring they've already got enough cash to buy food, alcohol, and gym memberships if they want them, higher-paid workers tend to prefer cold, hard cash over gifts and subsidies. Also, folks driving luxury cars to work might be expected to dismiss the idea of free bus passes.

Pay Up or Else?

Resolution survey resultsWhat happens if employers deliver the wrong kinds of compensation around holiday time and these workers get coal in their stockings this holiday instead?

Peering forward into 2013, 32 percent of workers say that they'll be looking for a higher paycheck in the new year. And if their current employers don't provide it? Well, the next most popular resolution for 2013, claimed by 23 percent of workers surveyed, was to look for a new job -- presumably with employers who will.

In other words, it's not always the thought that counts, bosses.

Motley Fool contributor Rich Smith just noticed: Cash makes a great stocking stuffer. You can even fill up all the nooks and crannies with coins!

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Antoine De Brabant

If you want more money, you need, sometimes you need to review your options... In private. And make sure you don't highlight your eagerness for a raise as your main reason for moving.

December 06 2012 at 5:07 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

They needed a study to determine that people want money? BTW who voted for gift cards over cash?

December 05 2012 at 5:53 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

These folks should be lucky they still have jobs... Got the best job from my girlfriend last night and she made me work really hard for it."

December 05 2012 at 12:54 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

MORE??? Eat your gruel and be happy, slaves.

December 05 2012 at 12:19 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

If you want more money (and you work for a living) wish for obama to resign

December 04 2012 at 10:26 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Replying to oommma: You are spot on. My dad went to work in the 60's during the "Mad Men" era, when the men wore white shirts and black ties and usually went to work for one company for their whole career. He had retirement, etc. everything. Then by the 70's, his boss was driving the company into the ground (sound familiar?) and my dad had to jump ship to save his retirement and other funds he was owed while he watched his best friend and co worker wait only to lose all of his as the company went under. Through the "greed is good" 80's, he would land good jobs, only to be laid off over and over. By the 90's, he was getting close to retirement age and was finding it very difficult to get hired. He wanted to work but had to stop before age 60. Very few companies anymore reward loyalty. You are expendable and seen more as a liability than an asset.

December 04 2012 at 4:44 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to donbanf's comment

You said it all. That age bracket is lucky they enjoyed at least the early years of employment sanity. The tide is beginning to turn though and soon the Corporate CEO's will have to deal with a revolution. It will be like the fat cats eating dinner when the Five Points crew got them.

December 05 2012 at 12:27 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Employers are nothing more than purchasers of a service. Their purchase of labor is no different than their purchase of raw materials, for example.

If ABC Widget buys a given raw material to produce widgets, and a competitive provider of the same material is able to satisfy ABC's demand for that material at a lower price, they switch providers. If they don't, ABC will be out of business when XYZ Widget switches to the more competitive supplier, and passes those savings on to widget buyers in a competitive widget market.

It's also no different than when you are a buyer of labor. If ABC Lawn Care mows your yard for $30/week, and XYZ Lawn Care comes along and offers to do the same thing for $20/week, how do you respond? And whose fault is it that ABC Lawn Care laborers were fired? Yours or theirs?

December 05 2012 at 1:09 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I am looking forward to all the Obama voters getting everything they asked for and deserve so much. Pink slips!

December 04 2012 at 3:44 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to cpenrod's comment

Obama doesn't run businesses; greedy ceo's do.

December 05 2012 at 12:31 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I've had one raise in 6 years, and haven't ever been given any type of bonus (Christmas or otherwise) since I've worked for my company...but still, I love my job, so can't complain too much!

December 04 2012 at 3:33 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply

You mean people desire more money?


December 04 2012 at 3:09 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

They should be happy they have a damn job. Alot of us don't.

December 04 2012 at 3:00 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply