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

Workers office wish list
Workers office wish list

What 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
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.

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"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 results
Resolution survey results

What 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.

Related Savings Experiments

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!