Top tips for spreading some festive cheer
Whether every member of your organisation celebrates the Christmas period or not, the end of the year is always an important milestone.
The Christmas holidays signal the end of a long 12 months of hard work for you and your employees - and hopefully, chance to have a well-earned break!
In normal circumstances, business objectives would have been reached, sales targets smashed and the annual Christmas party just around the corner. Whatever the state of your business performance this year, Christmas is the perfect time to say thanks and show appreciation for your employees efforts over the past 12 months - it’s all about ending the year on a positive note.
So if you’re struggling to think of ways to keep your company celebrations fresh, then here are ten tips from our experts on how to reward your employees this Christmas. We’ll also cover other things you can do to make the cold, dark days of the winter that little bit… brighter!
1. recognise performance with instant rewards
Available as both a reward and a supportive mechanism, our extensive range of eVouchers, Gift Cards and personalised Voucher Cheques are one of the quickest, easiest and most efficient ways to say thank you to your employees this Christmas.
We partner with a huge network of some of the UK's most popular retailers and supermarkets, meaning you can provide support in the right areas of your employees' lives.
Saying thank you with rewards is not only a great way to keep spirits up during what can be a tough time for many, but also an opportunity to motivate them into the new year and beyond! Plus, according to a recent survey by REBA, 37.8% of employees confirm that a Christmas perk or reward makes them feel valued.
2. Provide flexible working
It may not be practical all year round, or for all types of organisations, but providing your employees with some flexible working over the Christmas period is a generous gesture that will impact your organisation with limited disruption in the short term.
Whether your people need to work from home to collect deliveries, work late in exchange for a longer lunch, or finish early to pick up the kids, let them set some of the pace in December. Think about it: if you’ve agreed what work needs doing, when it’s required and the standard it needs to be delivered to, does it matter if it’s done at 8pm as opposed to 3pm?
Some of your employees may even feel more comfortable working irregular or even compressed hours during this period, so it could be a win win for both parties. The best way to find out? Ask!
3. EXTRA HOLIDAY/TIME OFF
Now we know what you’re going to say, but before you do, we should just make it clear that we’re not going to suggest that you allow your team to have the whole of December off. Although that would be nice, wouldn’t it.
Instead, what we’re saying is an extra day off or a few early finishes certainly wouldn't be sniffed at.
There’s a lot to be said for companies who know the importance of a work-life balance and giving your employees the luxury of extra time off, over and above their usual holiday allowance, can be really good for both morale and wellbeing.
Whether it’s to take time off to volunteer at a local charity shelter or simply taking the time back to recharge the batteries, time back at the end of the year is always appreciated.
4. LET THEM OFF THE HOOK
A simple one, this – not everyone likes Christmas, and not everyone observes Christmas. Whether it’s for religious or personal reasons, there will be members of your team who just don’t want to engage with the festive fun – so don’t force them to.
Avoid pressuring people to join in with the festivities if it’s not for them, let people off the hook for Christmas jumper day without any questions asked, and just be understanding of everyone’s personal preferences and beliefs around the end of the year.
23% of employees in the UK cite being more stressed in the run-up to Christmas than at any other time of the year - so where you can, cut your people some slack and let them off the hook.
5. help salaries strech further
The run-up to Christmas can be pretty costly for your employees, with the average household spending anywhere between £1,000 and a staggering £2,700 on their festivities.
But it doesn't have to be all financial doom and gloom for your people. There are ways you can help to make things easier for your employees in the build up to Christmas... and all year round, actually.
We know that companies can't afford to just hand out pay rises and bonuses every year, but providing perks, such as employee discounts and other lifestyle benefits, shows that you’re willing to invest in them and help their salaries stretch further.
6.KICK YOUR INCENTIVES UP A NOTCH
Motivation, in general, can take a bit of a dive in December, with 28% of UK employees saying they avoid taking on new work when winding down before the holidays. That's why giving real thought to your festive motivation, incentives and rewards, is kind of a big deal!
Encourage a big end of year push by offering some serious incentives in December – something that goes a little further than what you’d usually provide during the rest of the year.
Rather than something that employees can use or redeem instantly, consider using something a little more long-term as an incentive. Travel vouchers to use in the new year will be a great motivator that continues to inspire staff loyalty in the months ahead.
7. CHRISTMAS GAMES - TAKE TIME OUT OF THE DAY TO HAVE SOME FUN
Of course employers still have a business to run, and they won’t want their workforce kicking back and doing nothing for the entirety of December, but taking some time out during the working day to enjoy social activities can be really good for both employee morale and improving your company culture.
Organising Christmas activities throughout the month, such as dress-up days, online quizzes or virtual Christmas Pictionary, have proven to be very popular with employees across all industries. Now, we’re not the type of organisation to encourage drinking, but these games do tend to go down a little bit better with the odd mulled wine and/or a Baileys...
8. DISH OUT THE FESTIVE TREATS
Christmas is traditionally a time of year to over-indulge… After all, who doesn’t enjoy all the drinks, treats and festivities that come with the Christmas!?
Providing your employees with all the mince pies and chocolates they desire is a great way to spread some festive cheer; however, with COVID-19 this year, we won’t all be able to enjoy endless supplies of treats on the next desk with our colleagues.
So a fun way to keep up the festive food frenzy, could be to plan a 12 days of Christmas hamper or advent calendar-style system that gets delivered to your employees and every day features a different treat. Neat hey!
If you need some inspiration, Pinterest is overflowing with ideas!
9. HOST A VIRTUAL CHRISTMAS PARTY OR EVENT
Usually, at this time of year, HR teams across the UK would be finalising plans for their work Christmas party. But, like many things this year, the big night out will unfortunately need to be postponed.
For many businesses the Christmas party is more than just about having a dance and a sing along to Mariah Carey. It’s a time when the whole organisation can get together and share in the successes of the year as well as show their gratitude for all their team’s hard work. But fear not, there are plenty of alternative options to the classic office party – in fact, HR Grapevine estimate that nearly 90% of UK employers will be taking the Christmas celebrations virtual in 2020.
So you could, for example, arrange an extra special festive Zoom party for your colleagues where you can send out hampers to everyone to enjoy on the call. Other quirky ideas could include hosting an online bingo evening hosted by a third party with drinks and prizes to keep everyone hooked! The possibilities are endless - you just need to think outside the box a little!
10. SAY “THANK YOU”
You might decide that you’re going to provide Christmas gifts and treats for your employees as a reward for all of their hard work – but don’t forget to actually say thank you? The most important thing for employees when receiving a reward isn’t necessarily the financial gain, or the entertainment value of what you’ve given them – it’s the feeling that they actually are valued by the business.
Not saying thank you is one of the biggest mistakes employers can make. In fact, according to Forbes Magazine, a massive 79% of employees quit their jobs because they feel unappreciated, so a simple "thank you" for their hard work can go a long way at Christmas!
For more information on the best ways to reward your employee this Christmas, click here.