End-of-year recognition: how to get it right

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Did you know that one third of employees who get a gift at the end of the year throw it in the bin?

This was the standout finding of our Edenred’s research which looked at employee attitudes to end-of-year reward.

When we asked employees what kind of presents were destined for the bin, there were some common themes: cheap chocolates (often out of date), joke gifts guaranteed to make a maiden aunt blush and ones that show a real lack of thought like Christmas cake for someone with a nut allergy.

Giving your employees something which motivates and rewards them for their efforts doesn’t have to be difficult.

Even with one month to go until December, there is enough time to make sure you get it right. Here is what you can do.

1) Make sure you choose reward which is easy to deliver to your employees – many employees said their reward is lost, forgotten or never reaches them. Getting 200 bottles of wine or boxes of chocolates to each employee is a logistical nightmare. Digital gifts are easy to deliver and are actually something your employees want.

2) Offer choice – if there is another thing your employees want, it is a gift which they value – in fact 70% of employees say they want some choice over the gift they receive. Vouchers, loaded gift cards and e-gift cards are perfect, particularly as you can be sure your employees will get them if they are delivered to a work email.

3) Make sure you say thanks – if the purpose of end of year reward is to express your thanks then it is critical that you do so! As a minimum every gift should come with a few words of appreciation, otherwise the reward is merely an empty gesture. Make sure also you and your managers put time in the diary to personally say thank you to individuals and teams. 

4) Be sensitive to diversity – Not everyone celebrates Christmas so it is critical you are sensitive to employees for whom it is just another public holiday. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t give a gift – after all, everyone loves a present! Talking about end-of-year reward is the best way of being sensitive to this issue.

Lastly, if you are reading this and have left it late in the day to sort out your end of year reward there is one last thing you can do – put a date in your 2020 calendar to plan it earlier and download our guide so you get it right next time.

Andy Philpott is sales and marketing director at Edenred. You can download our eBook Christmas recognition here>>

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