A guide to thanking your people this festive season

It’s the final few weeks before Christmas and for many employees, “seasonal stress” has truly begun to set in. In addition to the work deadlines drawing ever nearer, there is likely to be a long to-do list of presents to buy, homes to decorate, social events to attend and festive meals to plan. Where are those little helpers when you need them?

In the absence of elves, as an employer this is a great time to show you understand your people’s needs and care about their wellbeing. It’s also a perfect opportunity to acknowledge the difference they make to your business and to thank them for their contribution, hard work and loyalty over the last 12 months.

Here are some tips on how to boost your employees’ morale at this hectic time of year:

1) Make it a night to remember …

… but make sure it’s remembered for the right reasons. These days, a real Christmas celebration is often a memorable experience rather than an alcohol-fuelled party. This could take the form of a team outing to a special event or a private film screening of a Christmas classic with drinks and canapes – whatever it is, your people will appreciate the extra effort and thought that went into the planning, and feel appreciated themselves as a result.

2) Go flexible for the season

Think about the little gestures that make a big difference at this time of the year. A good example is being more relaxed about lunch breaks and taking a more flexible approach to working hours, allowing employees to leave early during those important final days of Christmas shopping. People with other time-consuming responsibilities outside of work will be particularly grateful for this sort of selfless gesture and generosity of spirit, making them feel valued and trusted.

3) Presents that count

While a nice, well thought-out end-of-year gift can have a strong impact, the reverse is also true. Gifts that are either cheap, useless or impersonal send all the wrong messages. A solution that suits a wide range of people and offers plenty of choice is therefore essential. Even better, if you ask your employees what they want and actually listen to their ideas, you’ll understand how, when and what to give.

4) A simple “thank you” goes a long way

Words speak as loudly as actions in this case, and while saying “thank you” should be a fundamental element of your management approach all year round, never is it more important than at Christmas time. For maximum impact, the way you communicate and execute your end-of-year reward is as important as the gift itself. If you give the same reward every year at the same time with no note of thanks, then people will take it for granted and assume you are doing it because you feel you have to, not because it’s deserved.

5) Warding off the January blues

Spreading good spirit during the build-up to the festive season creates a warm feeling of mutual appreciation and recognition among your people. How you behave and treat them at this important time of the year is crucial to their levels of motivation and performance the rest of the time. It’s a cliché for a good reason, but January is when most people take stock of their lives and consequently think about a change of job, so a well-planned and executed reward in December to say thank you is one of the best investments in your people you’re likely to make.

Another option is to split reward between December and January. A little something in January when your employees’ bank balances have taken a hit over Christmas is a good way to build your connections with your people.

To find out more about delivering year-end rewards, please download our eBook here

Andy Philpott is Sales and Marketing Director for Edenred UK.

Author: Andy Philpott | Category: Blog | 24/10/2018 | 0

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