End of year reward is traditionally the perfect opportunity for employers to thank staff for all their hard work and celebrate everything that’s been achieved over the course of the year. This year, as well as boosting employee morale there’s an opportunity for HR to use end of year reward to support the businesses wider strategic people objectives.
With summer drawing to a close, HR is starting to plan end of year recognition and reward. After years of enforced, scaled down celebrations, it might be tempting for organisations to channel the end of year reward budget into a memorable Christmas party. Hybrid organisations in particular may be keen to capitalise on every opportunity to bring all employees together for a communal celebration to boost company ties.
While a great Christmas party can lift spirits, this year employers need end of year rewards to be more than a one-night wonder and to create a longer lasting impact on employee engagement. Impact that will sustain the feel-good factor well into the New Year. And that means planning a reward that meets both employee and business needs.
It makes business sense to first think about end of year reward from the employee perspective. In our recent survey, almost half of HR influencers said the financial wellbeing of employees poses the biggest threat to employee performance in 2024. It makes sense that employees stressed out by money worries won’t be performing to their full potential at work.
Household finances will continue to be a concern for most employees until at least 2025. The most recent ONS figures offer a glimmer of hope that inflation may be rising at a slower rate, but it is still rising. As mortgage rates, rent, childcare and energy bills continue to rise, experts say it will be some time before employees feel financially better off.
For many families, Christmas will be anything but merry followed by a tough new year. In a recent survey, 42% of employees said they are having to cut back on Christmas spending with 18% needing to borrow money to afford Christmas presents. A fifth have taken a second job or are working more hours to increase their household income.
Added to which, in a tight labour market staff retention will continue to be a top priority for employers. With 26% of employees saying they plan to job hunt over the Christmas period, it makes sense for employers to ensure every employee feels valued and appreciated on a personal level.
Seen through this lens, the business objective for non-salary reward becomes, how can my organisation use end of year reward to contribute towards employee financial wellbeing. Whether that’s helping employees with the cost of Christmas or gifting staff a treat to look forward to in the New year that really means something to them on an individual level.
On a practical level this means providing rewards that employees can tailor to their own immediate needs.
“The most important thing this year is to listen to what employees want from a reward and make the offering super-relevant – for example by providing prepaid cards that have an intended, well considered purpose and can be spent on essential goods or Christmas gifts,” says Kate Chidlow, Head of marketing at Edenred UK.
“What really matters is offering choice and evidence of thought which combine to give a positive recognition experience to your employees.”
Ways to say ‘thank you’ with Edenred’s fast and easy reward and recognition solutions
That’s why 70% of employees say they’d like to choose their own reward by receiving vouchers or gift cards for example.
Say thank you this year the way people want to be thanked with our range of reward solutions – fun, fast and easy ways to get more money into employee’s pockets, show your appreciation, and set the tone for a more rewarding year ahead.
Easy to set up, send or download, they can be swapped for a huge range of eGift cards and gift cards, including John Lewis, Currys, M&S, and many more big brand names.
Select enables you to send a personalised digital reward eCode of any value, to any recipient, in any location in minutes for a more engaging reward experience. With customisable festive email templates, you can send a message of thanks in your own words, and in your own brand too.
A fully personalised and brandable range of Mastercard® prepaid cards for a safe and secure Christmas gift that offers recipients a huge choice of spend options. Our prepaid gift cards come with a handy app for users and are compatible with Apple and Google Pay for safe and fast digital wallet payments.
Incentive Award card – spend at the millions of retailers within the entire Mastercard® network
Compliments card – a multi-store shopping card that can be spent within a huge range of retailers
Ticket Restaurant – a tasty treat that can be spent in supermarkets, restaurants, and food outlets across the UK.