Why your approach to Christmas reward may be wasting money

17th Nov 2015

How will you be recognising the contribution your employees have made through the year at Christmas?

If the answer to this question is with a Christmas party, a bottle of wine and a box of chocolates then your efforts to say thank you are very likely to miss the mark.

That’s because new research for our annual report in Christmas reward - “The Big Red Report – Motivating and engaging employees with end-of-year rewards” – found that the days of wine and chocolates are over as only a tiny minority of workers want this type of gift from the employer.

It’s not a question of giving no reward at all – in fact 70% of workers said they appreciated some sort of reward. What they really want is for employers who do decide to give some sort of recognition around Christmas is to update and refresh their approach to how it is given.

The biggest ask is for choice around the kind of reward they get with 71% of employees saying cash or vouchers would be the way they would prefer to receive something.

There is also the opportunity to make sure that where reward is given it is backed up with a good communications about why it is being given along with recognition, in the form of a proper thank you from a manager. These are areas where significant numbers of employers fall short, so missing the opportunity to ensure that the money spent generates any sort of positive feeling towards the business.

According to our research, many employers could also do with thinking again about how much they invest in end of year reward – many simply give the same thing every year and spend the same amount – and start planning earlier so that the two critical logistical jobs of getting a reward the right employee with an appropriate and timely thank you are done effectively.

With the majority of employers still giving some form of Christmas reward and recognition, there is no doubt that it remains a popular way of saying thank you to employees at the end of the year. The big opportunity for employers is to ensure that what they do meets employee expectations and delivers a return on investment for the business.

I am  sales and marketing director at Edenred a provider of employee benefits and recognition. You can follow me at @andy_philpott or read more research and insight at www.edenred.co.uk/ehub

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