Christmas reward - beyond the complimentary turkey

With the advent of autumn signaling the Q4 count-down to Christmas, the end-of-year reward should be at the forefront of everyone’s minds. The most forward-looking businesses recognise how crucial the Christmas reward is in motivating and inspiring people. They know that these acts of appreciation at a time of celebration and Christmas cheer create a positive feeling that carries into the start of the following year, building perception and equity in your brand, be that as an employer, partner or supplier.

They also recognise that wine and chocolates don’t cut it anymore. Not because people don’t like them but because they’re predictable. And contrary to popular belief, it’s not how much you spend on the reward or gift that matters – something that is well thought-through and personal will make employees feel valued as individuals and like an asset to the business.

It’s the thought that counts

The good news is, making Christmas more rewarding and motivating for your people is a lot easier than you think. Here are the key steps to making your end of year reward count.

  1. Plan ahead. Many end-of-year rewards are destined to fail because they have been left to the last minute - and your employees know this. You will create a much bigger impact and feeling of goodwill among your people with something that has been planned properly and well executed. Involve your managers to get their input, look at what the competition is doing to ensure you are keeping up and draw up a timeline for the coming weeks to stay on target. That way you can avoid the potential disappointment of the last-minute reward.
  2. Learn to understand your people. Taking the time to get to know your employees and understand what matters to them will pay dividends. It will allow you to tailor their rewards to them, which in turn will make them feel appreciated for their individual contributions. The wrong gifts can have the opposite effect and ultimately be a waste of money.
  3. Mind your Ps&Qs. Never underestimate the power of a simple thank you. Recognition and appreciation need to be at the heart of your reward plans – without thanks, the reward itself has virtually no meaning. Encourage the basic human traits among your managers and leaders: thoughtfulness, consideration and gratitude, and an ability to communicate those with their teams so the message is reinforced at every opportunity.
  4. It’s all in the budget. The end-of-year reward can’t be an after-thought when it comes to budgeting for the year. If you wait to see what funds are left at the end of the year, the Christmas reward will seem like an after-thought and will be perceived as such by your employees. Approach your Christmas budget in the same way you would other projects throughout the year – decide early on what it will be to ensure you can make the right choices for your employees when the time comes.
  5. The cash option. Giving cash is easy and can be appealing to many people. However, a cash gift can easily get lost in the bank account at the end of the year and swallowed up by essentials, which is the opposite of motivating. Gift cards, vouchers and digital rewards are far more personal and more likely to be used for something special.
  6. Happy New Year! While Christmas can be all-consuming when you’re caught up in the moment, it isn’t the be-all and end-all of reward and recognition. While you’re planning your year end, give some thought to what might motivate your people the most during the post-Christmas slump, giving both them and your business a head start to the new year.

None of this has to take up much time or energy, it just requires planning and thought. Ultimately, everyone wants to feel appreciated and recognised – it’s not complicated. And the more personalised and unexpected, the bigger the impact. So drive your end-of-year reward by motivation, not tradition, and get set for a massively motivated 2017.

Author: Andy Philpott | Category: Blog | 26/09/2016 | 0

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