Employee Christmas Gifts: The Benefit of an Individual Approach


A difference in opinion

Understanding your employees

A local approach in a global business

Christmas gifts & a positive impact

Long-term planning

Start your end-to-end wellbeing strategy this Christmas to provide individual and meaningful support




Ahead of our Commercial Director, Graham James, leading an Insight Session at the recent CIPD Conference and Event, we ran two polls on LinkedIn. For the first poll, we asked employees to tell us what makes a positive impact on wellbeing in the workplace. For the second, we asked employers and business leaders to tell us their wellbeing priorities.


Poll One: Employee Opinion


New Chart 1


Poll Two: Employer Opinion


New Chart 2


A difference in Opinion

Whilst this was not a lengthy piece of research or a large-scale survey, it does reveal a disparity between what employees and employers believe has the most positive impact on wellbeing.

58% of employers prioritise communication and engagement, and only 20% will focus on their line managers. In contrast, most (48%) of employees stated that line managers have more impact on their wellbeing than communication and engagement.

How often does this happen?

How many businesses set wellbeing goals in the boardroom without seeking the opinions of the people they aim to impact positively?

With this thought in mind, let’s start with the focus of this blog: the benefits of adopting an individual approach to employee Christmas gifts.


Understanding Your Employees

When making business decisions, whether investing in a new project or executing a targeted marketing campaign, we collect and review data. Accurate data is a critical factor in the success or failure of every step a business takes.

When the decision is about your employees' wants and needs, they are the data owners, and you need to retrieve it from them. A wellbeing strategy based on what employees tell you will make a positive difference to them will be far more impactful than plans made in isolation and without employee consultation.

The point of wellbeing initiatives is to make a positive and lasting impact, so employers must explore the options with their employees by conducting surveys or direct conversations.


A Local Approach in a Global Business

Does your organisation also operate outside of the UK? 

If so, company policy may dictate that all regions and countries adopt the same approach to Christmas gifts. However, the message we’re… well… you could say we’re shouting about it at this point – is that you can use your Christmas gift and reward strategy to make a real impact on the physical, mental, and financial wellbeing of your employees.

In the current cost-of-living crisis, most businesses are, quite rightly, focusing on supporting employees’ financial wellbeing, helping their wages stretch further and alleviating some of the financial pressure.

This is why businesses need to take a local and country-specific approach

The rate of inflation in the UK is at the highest it’s been in 40 years, and we’re listed as the 16th most expensive country in the world. By comparison, France is currently positioned at number 29. As such, an employee benefit and reward and recognition strategy that’s impactful and supportive to employees living and working in France may not make a dent in the financial wellbeing of those based and working in the UK.

When operating globally, regional leaders are the spokesperson for the employees in their care. They need to fight their corner and push for a financial wellbeing strategy that’s fit for purpose.


Christmas Gifts & A Positive Impact

We’ve established the need for a local approach to financial wellbeing and highlighted a difference between what employees and employers prioritise in terms of wellbeing strategies. Though these are, effectively, different talking points, they highlight the need to put the employee at the centre of any new initiative.

So, let’s take a deeper look at the topic at hand and how you can use your Christmas gifts and rewards as more than a staff perk and offer sustainable financial support to your employees.


eVouchers and Voucher Cheques

If you’re still looking for the perfect employee Christmas gift that will give your people the power to choose where and how they benefit, then there’s still time to get your hands on our gift cards and voucher cheques.

Our vouchers are billed on redemption and give employees access to the vast range of retailers we partner with, meaning you can provide financial support where it matters most.

Voucher cheques are also ideal when you’ve collected information from your teams and received a mixture of responses since they give your employees the choice of where and how they spend them.


Long-Term Planning

The cost-of-living crisis will still be here when employees return to work after Christmas, so this period, which can often be quieter for some businesses, is an opportunity to make longer-term plans.

An employee discounts platform that provides savings on everyday essentials and special purchases will provide sustainable, long-term financial support, allowing employees to make their money go further. In addition, you can incorporate our prepaid cashback card (Spree) as a benefit, reward, or staff perk that employees top up themselves. With Spree in their pocket, your workforce can earn cashback on anything from fuel to the weekly grocery shop and high-end purchases.

The RAC confirmed that the average cost of filling a typical family car with petrol has surpassed £100 for the first time. The energy price cap shot up a staggering 54% in April 2022, and the average annual grocery bill is set to rise by £380 per year. With our Spree card in their hands, your employees could earn up to 15% cashback on their essential everyday spending wherever Visa prepaid is accepted with participating retailers.


Start your end-to-end wellbeing strategy this Christmas to provide individual and meaningful support

At Sodexo Engage, we view employee wellbeing in its entirety since physical, mental, and financial wellbeing are interlinked.

42% of Brits have cut their gym membership to afford essential bills. With a corporate gym membership, you can help your employees maintain their physical health and wellbeing with up to a 25% saving on their annual fees.

Attending the gym boosts mental wellbeing, too. However, you can offer a robust means of supporting your employees with an employee assistance programme that provides access to BACP-accredited counsellors, e-mail and phone support 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Open the lines of communication, make data-driven decisions, and use your Christmas gifts to make a real impact on your employees’ wellbeing.

With over 60 years of experience in prioritising employee wellbeing, we offer products and packages as unique as your people. Contact our engagement experts today and take your employee value proposition to the next level.


Christmas Burnout ebook