Whether it's a family affair with kids waiting up for Santa and chocolates for breakfast, or a more low-key day at the beach, champagne in hand as you plan the finer details of your long-awaited getaway, planning and budgeting for the festive season can be challenging.
Just last year, Aussies had planned $17.3 billion for Christmas – that works out to around $893 per adult, with numbers varying around the country. For gifts alone, the average budget was expected to be $391 per person.
So, if between Secret Santas, prawns for lunch, travel to your favourite relatives and whipping up your Aunt's Pavalova these numbers are making your eyes water, think about your employees and their families!
As we head into the busiest (and sometimes most stressful) time of year for many of us, it's time to consider what are some of the most meaningful and impactful ways in which we can positively support our workforce in their day-to-day?
So how can HR leaders help, with their budgets tight and rising costs pressuring the business, as well as the individual? Recent data points to the top four ways that employees want their employer to help them manage the cost of living increases outside of pay. Here’s a look:
As you can see, an employee discounts program and boosting awareness of benefits on offer tops the list. To help put this into perspective, we’ve looked at how the typical family or individual may be spending their hard-earned pounds this year, and how a discounts benefit like the one Reward Gateway offers can provide valuable savings when your people may need it most. The even better news is that a benefits program like ours can be launched in as little as 48 hours.
Research from The Trade Desk, a global technology company, revealed in 2021 the top five categories where Australian shoppers spend their money, and the results align with what we’ve seen here at Reward Gateway in our own client spending habits. Here are some of the findings:
Apparel and accessories (38%)
Toys, games and collectibles (34%)
Big-ticket items such as a new TV, etc. (32%)
Gifts for the little ones
Many employees may struggle to fulfill their children's Christmas gift list this year so a little help with the costs of presents can go a long way. By shopping at a number of our kid-friendly retailers, clients save between 4.5-8% at brands like Big W, Target and my daughter's favourite, EB Games. Last year, this added up to more than $500,000 in savings for employees.
Gathering ‘round for Christmas dinner
Earlier this year, reports showed that food prices were jumping by as much as 5.3% at two of Australia’s major supermarkets, on top of another report showing the average grocery bill topping $600 every month. Employees can benefit from savings between 4-8% at popular grocers such as Woolworths and Coles, and for those of us that enjoy a glass of champagne with our Prawn Cocktail, Dan Murphy’s and BWS. These savings can add up to make a huge difference in preparing for their seafood feast. Savings in this area for our clients reached $1.5 million last year.
Travelling for the season
And let’s not forget the cost of getting to your family homes as well – that’s where savings on petrol at Ampol can really add up, or booking your flights early on Webjet, Expedia or Booking.com for savings (or even cashback!) of 5-7%. This provided $250,000 in savings for employees last Christmas season.
If a luxurious Air BnB getaway is calling your name you can save 5% off instant eGiftcards, or if resort-style poolside is more your thing, saving 4% - 10% at booking.com, hotels.com and agoda could be more your speed.
Getting plugged in
Electronics can have a hefty price tag attached, but among the electronic retailers offered on the Reward Gateway employee benefits platform, you can save up to 5% on JB Hi-Fi and Apple and 10% at Xbox, and earn Cashback at popular electronics providers Sony, Microsoft and Dell. This is where the BIG savings come into play, proven by employees using the SmartSpending platform saving more than $1.7 million in just one shopping season.
Depending on your employees’ shopping habits, providing an employee benefits program can put more money back in your employees’ pockets, without the cost of a company-wide pay rise. What’s more, a discounts benefit with special savings and Cashback where they’re already buying can help add to their overall savings for moments like end-of-year costs.
If you're looking for more ways to support your employees this festive season, reach out to learn how you can extend employees' disposable and be ready to use new benefits in as little as 48 hours.