More businesses are implementing bonus programs in 2014

According to a 2014 survey from WorldatWork, the number of bonus programs offered by businesses is at its highest since 2009.

WorldatWork surveyed 5,355 of its members regarding their company's bonus practices and programs. The organization analyzed a final set of 713 responses and found all bonus programs have discontinued their downward swing. Since the recession in 2009, most businesses have decreased or stopped their bonus programs. But now, businesses are back to implementing bonus programs. In fact, sign-on bonus programs are at a high of 74 percent as of March 2014, and retention bonus programs are at 51 percent. Spot bonus programs are seen at a rate of 60 percent. 

However, while bonus programs are in place, they aren't necessarily used. The survey results showed referral bonus programs and sign-on bonus programs may be common but rarely result in a bonus to a new worker. Retention bonus programs are the least common plans but have been used a lot more since 2010. In fact, the current 51 percent rate of programs is double the rate in 2010.

Out of the survey respondents, 29 percent of businesses are using all four types – referral, signing, retention and spot – of bonus programs, which may reflect the need to retain top employees.

Only 9 percent of respondents said they had no bonus programs in place, and many stated there were no immediate plans to implement a program.

Businesses with open positions should work with manufacturing recruiters to find the most educated and skilled candidates for their jobs.