Survey reveals the good, the bad, and the ugly

Workers have reason for holiday cheer this season as employers continue to give back to their employees with holiday perks (bonuses, parties, gifts). A national survey commissioned by CareerBuilder and conducted online by Harris Interactive asked hiring managers and HR professionals about their companies' plans for rewarding employees during the holiday season.

Bonuses. Forty-five percent of employers planned to give their employees holiday bonuses this year, in line with 46% in 2012. Forty percent plan to provide the same size or larger bonus this year.

Parties. Three in five (59%) employers are throwing company holiday parties for their workers in December (the same as 2012) and more than half (54%) expect them to be the size of last year's party or slightly bigger. Two in five workers say they plan to attend their company party this season.

Gifts. Thirty-five percent of employers plan on giving their employees holiday gifts this year, on par with last year (36%).

Coworker gifts. Twenty-two percent of workers plan on exchanging gifts with coworkers this holiday season, while 21% are buying a gift for their boss. The majority (78%) of workers who plan to buy gifts for their coworkers expect to spend $25 or less on each gift; 36% will spend $10 or less; and 10% will spend $5 or less.

While most gift exchanges between coworkers contain relatively standard holiday gifts, some gifts stand out as particularly extraordinary. When asked to share the most unusual gifts received from coworkers, workers reported receiving:

1. 50 pounds of fresh Louisiana shrimp

2. A toothpaste squeezer

3. A hand-painted porcelain clown with silk clothes on it

4. A unicorn calendar

5. A painted concrete chicken

6. A plaster cast of a coworker's hand

7. Camouflage toilet paper

8. Homemade laundry detergent

9. Stamps

10. A talking fly swatter