(MoneyWatch) When you're standing in the store trying to figure out holiday presents for you employees, stop vascillating between the desk calendars and the coffee mugs and figure out a way to get your employees what they really want. The people at Glassdoor have a new survey out on employees' wishes.
-- 73 percent are hoping for a cash bonus.
-- 60 percent want a pay raise.
-- 36 percent want time off that doesn't count against their official vacation days
-- 13 percent want to work from home in 2013.
What do your employees not want? Turns out it's the annual holiday party -- only 5 percent of your employees are actually hoping for this traditional activity.
If and when you give holiday perks, make sure your employees know that it's a celebration of their hard work, and not an entitlement because of the holiday season, says Rusty Rueff, Glassdoor career and workplace expert.
When it comes to holiday perks, be sure to communicate and draw a line of sight to what made the perk possible. For example, are we partying tonight because the company achieved its annual goals? Did a specific department surpass projections? It's essential to explain to employees what made a perk possible so they understand their hard work is appreciated and recognized, as well as providing history and context if next year isn't as good.
And what if your employees have worked hard and done a fabulous job and you still cannot afford to give them bonuses or raises or even grocery store gift cards (hoped for by 29 percent of those surveyed)? Think about things that are low cost to your business.
For instance, if you have exempt employees, granting them one extra day off really doesn't add much to your bottom line. Many employees work late before taking off and work extra upon return, so the work gets done without losing big money.
Telecommuting can be cost free for many organizations (most employees already have their own high speed internet connections at home and companies already have established capabilities for logging in from home). Perhaps not full time telecommuting, but establishing a policy of letting people work from home once a week, or twice a month can improve morale at little cost.
Maybe it's time to put away the eggnog and ask your employees what would really make them happy this holiday season.