A recent survey by Xylo Inc. -- a market research firm specializing in work issues -- found that 60 percent of Fortune 500 companies provide office parties, cash bonuses, and other gifts or rewards at Christmas. Forty percent of the workers at those companies feel the gesture increases their workplace loyalty.
So what does the optical networking industry think of bonuses and year-end parties? Apparently, not too much.
Most optical networking companies -- including Lucent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: LU), Nortel Networks Corp. (NYSE/Toronto: NT), and Ciena Corp. (Nasdaq: CIEN) -- don’t give out end-of-year bonuses. Instead, these companies say they give out bonuses on either a bi-annual or quarterly basis, basing the amount on company, unit, and individual performance.
Most startups don’t give out cash bonuses, ever. However, some companies, like Ellacoya Networks Inc., give their employees additional stock options instead.
“If you’re working for a startup, you don’t want a cash bonus,” says David McCarthy, president and founder of DWDM Recruiters LLC, a recruitment consultancy. "If they have cash to give out, that means that they have too much of it, and that isn’t good.”
As for parties, don’t expect too much. Most companies don’t have a big official knees-up. But they do allow departments to celebrate in their own way. Employees at Lucent’s headquarters in Murray Hill, N.J., usually bring their children into the office for a small party the day before everyone leaves for the Christmas holiday (a practice that prompted one observer to propose that the company might be better off leaving them in charge for the rest of the year).
-- Marguerite Reardon, senior editor, Light Reading, http://www.lightreading.com