At AOL and Others, Holiday Perks Are Back

Susan Hall
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The folks at AOL surely love a challenge. Two years in, CEO Tim Armstrong is still scrambling to revive the flagging Web portal, and most recently announced a reorganization merging the company's dial-up Internet access business with its Web services. The new AOL services group will be one of four divisions in the company, the others being advertising, local services and the Huffington Post media group, according to Bloomberg. Details are to be released today.


At its "global operating meeting" going on this week, Armstrong reportedly handed out $10,000 to each of about 150 AOL staffers attending. (Business Insider calls them "execs." After many layoffs, the company reportedly has a head count of about 4,000 worldwide.)


Apple handed out more lavish retention bonuses to its top execs after Steve Jobs' death, and Google last year gave all its employees $1,000 bonuses and raises of 10 percent.


A recent CareerBuilder survey of 4,000 workers and 2,600 employers found that more bosses plan to share the wealth this holiday season. Baseline quotes Rosemary Haefner, vice president of human resources, as saying:

Employers have been working hard to build back their businesses over the last year. This holiday season, they're planning to reward their biggest asset - their people - with a few holiday perks, such as bonuses, parties and gifts.

Among its findings:

  • 40 percent of employers plan to give workers holiday bonuses this year, up from 33 percent in 2010.
  • 87 percent of these bosses plan to give as much or even more of a bonus to employees as they did last year.


In a piece at TLNT on building long-term employee engagement, staffing Tim Sackett concedes that financial incentives are not sustainable long term, but he also calls the idea that they have little impact on employee engagement "one of HR's biggest lies."

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