Out with the old, in with the thank you: It’s time to reboot Christmas reward

uploaded on 22 October 2019

Christmas present

It’s time to reboot Christmas reward

In many businesses, Christmas and reward go hand-in-hand. I don’t mean the end-of-year reward that people get for hitting performance targets. I’m talking about the feel-good token of thanks, given around the festive season.

It’s as much of a fixture in many businesses as the Christmas party but the question is: does Christmas reward make a difference to your employees? And is it worth the time, money and effort expended on this tradition every year?

Money well spent

Judging from the volume of orders we get for our vouchers and gift cards every year in the run-up to Christmas, there’s no doubt that employers still believe it’s an effort worth making – we know this from the feedback they give us each year too.

Our research among employees backs this up: a small reward combined with a thank you does a lot to build and reinforce goodwill between employer and employee. But that isn’t to say that Christmas reward couldn’t do with a reboot – and lots of employers I speak to agree.

It’s all about the thank-you 

A good starting point is the idea that a gesture of goodwill from an employer has to be linked to the season of goodwill.

It may be a tradition, but in our increasingly culturally diverse workplaces, it isn’t one that will necessarily connect with every employee in the same way as it has done in the past. Far better to talk about end-of-year reward as a mark of appreciation for the small things your people have done through the year.

A second area to focus on is ensuring your simple act of recognition really lands as a big “thank you” in the mind of your employees. Our research found that in the eyes of many employees, their bosses typically fail to do this, leaving a gift to do the talking for them.

This is a massive opportunity missed because reward without recognition is no more than an empty gesture. The power of recognition comes through the words you use and the effort you make to single out the support your employees have given and thank them for it.

Culture of appreciation

The final area where our customers have evolved is by thinking beyond Christmas and focusing on creating a year-round culture of appreciation. This is where managers and employees are given the right tools and support to show gratitude for work well done at any point in the year.

As we head towards the end of the year, these are the main areas which every organisation should be thinking about. In our experience, a small effort to reboot your Christmas reward today can make a big difference in the year ahead.

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