Happy man at Christmas

Your Christmas rewards can make a real difference... here's how

13 April 2023

Your Christmas rewards are so much more than a thank you. They can make a significant difference to your employees' mental, physical, and financial wellbeing. Read on to discover the impact you can make on your employees' lives.

We’re living in a climate of uncertainty and a cost-of-living crisis. Quite rightly, mental health is high on everyone’s agenda, as is the need to focus on the importance of the individual and the need for a work-life balance.


The festive season may come with images of bells and all things shiny, but this year, many of your employees will struggle more than before.


This is where you, the employer, can make a real difference. Financial support will go a long way to ease the burden, but there are other ways to show your commitment to the wellbeing of your employees.


The key to getting that support, right? Speak with your employees. Put the power in their hands to choose what’s most important to them this year because they might surprise you.


Assurity for the future 

When it comes to supporting your employees’ mental wellbeing, we’ve got wellbeing packages that will help. However, sometimes all an employee needs is peace of mind, assurance that your business is ready for what 2023 may hold in store and that their place within the company is safe.


How can you achieve this?




Make sure your employees say goodbye to 2022 with a strong understanding of your organisation's plans for 2023. Communicate your goals and objectives for the year ahead, filter down targets and remind your teams of their importance.


This may seem obvious, but it’s also impactful. Ensure your internal communications are effective and messages from the top are shared across the business. These small steps show your employees that you trust and have faith in them.




Never forget the importance of the skillsets within your business or the expense of replacing them if they go elsewhere. As discussed in our blog about the importance of happiness in the workplace, disengagement comes with a high cost.


“When you use a recruitment agency to find new talent, you can expect to pay between £10,000 and £12,000 in fees each time. Add in the hidden expenses associated with people's time to support onboarding, equipment and training, and that cost could climb to £20-£30,000 every time you bring someone new into your business.” 

Tom Nash, HR Business Partner, Pluxee UK.


76% of employees are seeking a clear development path from their employer (Guthrie Jensen). This is in your power to give, and it’s beneficial to do so to retain skilled employees. Research has found that 45% of employees are ready to leave their roles, and it’s within your capabilities to ensure your workforce isn’t contributing to that figure (Jobvite).


Time to make a difference


Your employees are being bombarded with negative images – war, poverty, and crisis. What if the gift they want this Christmas is the opportunity to make a difference?


Workplace-organised volunteering days are a factor leading to increased job satisfaction. It’s also a big boost for your CSR credentials, which, according to a Deloitte survey, is important to nearly 50% of job-seeking millennials.   


Speaking about his time volunteering at a Milton Keynes foodbank, Pluxee UK employee, James Bancroft, said... 

“It's great that Pluxee is involved - I love the fact it is a half day and different colleagues. It is hard work, but it's an opportunity to make a huge contribution.”


Giving your employees a chance to boost their morale by helping others positively impacts their mental wellbeing and is something businesses can encourage employees to initiate. Of course, it costs companies to fund volunteering time, but the benefits to the employee, business, and those being helped within the community far outweigh the initial expense.


Immediate and long-term financial assistance


What if you could give your employees the Christmas reward of a continued opportunity to save money? Our Employee Cashback Card does just that. Think of it as the gift that keeps on giving. Establish our Spree card within your business now, add a Christmas cash bonus, and give it to your employees. They can then use it wherever Visa prepaid is accepted and earn up to 15% cashback from a huge range of retailers.


The beauty of our Employee Cashback Card is that it’s incredibly versatile. Your employees will also be able to top it up themselves, enabling them to continue to grow their cashback earnings. Once established within your organisation, you can use it as a part of your ongoing reward and recognition strategy, with a measurable return on investment.


A health boost


How many people start the new year with the intention of committing to a new hobby or health kick? Studies have found that 80% of people will break their New Year’s resolutions by the second week of February.


We break those promises for many reasons – time and money being the most prominent. We can’t underestimate the importance of taking care of our employees’ physical wellbeing, and we must do more to help our workforce stick to those goals.


Sickness absences cost the UK economy billions each year, which is why we talk about employee wellbeing packages as an investment instead of an expense. Even better, our salary sacrifice, Cycle to Work scheme saves businesses money through tax and National Insurance deductions.


On average, employers pay 13.8% towards the National Insurance Contribution (NIC) of everyone they employ. Currently, the average UK wage is calculated as £29,600. From a NIC contribution perspective, that costs employers £4,084.80 annually per employee. 


If you have four employees on an average wage, and each takes up the Cycle to Work salary sacrifice scheme, that’s a saving to your business of £16,339.20. This figure will vary, and there are tax bands to consider, but it's a great place to start when putting the numbers together.


Why not use that saving to further invest in your employees’ health with a corporate gym membership, or use it to make the Christmas party one to remember? You could even use it to fund your employee development plans and reap the benefits that follow when you invest in your talent – the choice is yours.


Make it a Christmas to remember with Pluxee UK


We can talk to you about trends, how rewarding meaningfully will boost your employees’ wellbeing and how you can use this time to boost engagement and retention in the long term. However, the most effective way to find out what your employees value most is to speak to them.


Whether it’s financial wellbeing, the chance to get healthier or an employee assistance programme that supports their mental health, Sodexo Engage can help.


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.





Guthrie Jensen


Social Good Connect