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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.

In 2021, Americans spent $886.7 billion on Christmas – a 14.1% increase from the previous year that works out to around $997.73 on average. That spending increased by over 7% in 2022 and another 3.8% above that in 2023.

So, if between Secret Santas, turkey and gravy for lunch, travel to your favorite relatives and sipping eggnog 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: 

how employers can support employees

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 discounts program like ours can be launched in as little as 48 hours.  

children's gifts under christmas tree

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 Lego, Target and Disney.

Gathering ‘round for Christmas dinner

With food costs increasing by 10.8% in the last year in the largest spike we've seen since 1980, it's more essential than ever before to provide discounts to grocery stores. Employees can benefit from savings between 5% at popular grocers such as Safeway, Shaw's and Albertsons. These savings can add up to make a huge difference in preparing for their holiday feast. 

Traveling for the season

And let’s not forget the cost of getting to your family homes as well – booking your flights early on Travelocity, Expedia or Booking.com can help employees save or even earn Cashback. If a luxurious Airbnb 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 Hotels.com could be more your speed. 

Getting plugged in

gifting technology

Electronics can have a hefty price tag attached, but among the electronic retailers offered on the Reward Gateway employee discounts platform, you can save up to 5% on 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.

Depending on your employees’ shopping habits, providing an employee discounts 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.

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Ryann Redmond

Ryann Redmond is an Employee Engagement Consultant at Reward Gateway and has been working with business leaders to make their environments a better place to work for more than five years. She is a self-proclaimed coffee snob and mom of two boys… hence the coffee.

Employee Engagement Consultant

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