Results from a new survey from global staffing firm Robert Half may give workers nationwide some extra holiday cheer: More than half of senior managers expect year-end bonuses at their company to be higher than last year.

Nine percent of responding managers said they expect “much higher” bonuses this year, with an additional 42 percent responding with “somewhat higher.” Thirty-nine percent expect no change from last year; only 10 percent expect a lower bonus to be given out.

“Bonuses are a key recruiting and retention tool, especially with the intense competition for top performers,” said Paul McDonald, senior executive director at Robert Half. “If budgets are tight, other ways to recognize exceptional work at the end of the year include gift cards, a department celebration or additional time off for the holidays.”

McDonald added, “To enhance their chances of securing in-demand candidates near year-end, particularly in today’s hiring market, savvy companies are offering job seekers a sign-on bonus to offset a performance bonus they would have received from their existing employer.”

Separate Robert Half research found workers’ performance only partly determines their bonus. In the survey, just 16 percent of human resources professionals reported bonuses are based solely on individual work, compared to 27 percent who said amounts are influenced by employee and company results. Another 22 percent said they factor individual, team and company success into bonus decisions.