If your Christmas wish list includes a year-end bonus or a salary bump, it's time to step up—or buckle down.
Employers anticipate awarding average pay increases of 3 percent in 2016 for most nonmanagement employees, according to a new survey from benefits consulting firm Towers Watson. That's the same as was awarded this year, and 2014. "It's the new norm," said Peter Gundy, managing director at Towers Watson.
But there are some bright spots, particularly for high performers. Towers Watson found 87 percent of employees are eligible to receive annual or short-term bonuses this year, up from 86 percent last year—and 85 percent received a bonus this year, up from 81 percent in 2014. Employers are also planning to award bigger pay raises of 4.6 percent on average to their best-performing workers.
"They're trying to differentiate all of the increases that they're giving toward the highest performers," said Gundy.