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Thinking ahead: 4 ideas to celebrate the festive season

Though it might not feel like it just yet, Christmas and the festive season are coming up, and we know that HR teams are busily planning alternatives to the annual Christmas party and thinking about ideas to connect, recognise and support their people to end the year on a positive note. 

To help bring merriment to the lives of your people, leaders can implement a variety of tools to make spirits bright, no matter what your employees may be celebrating or where they’re working from. 

employees at christmasIn 2019, Reward Gateway ran a survey that found that 65% of employees agreed their employers could do more to understand what would be most helpful to them during the holiday season. At a time when budgets are tight and household incomes may be suffering due to job loss or other financial stress, your employees may be saying show me the money when businesses can’t afford an expensive company-wide pay rise. 

Our experience has shown us that the ability to make an employee feel seen, supported and part of something bigger than themselves is critical to organisational and individual success. 

Here are a few alternatives to the year-end festive celebration that employers can put in place today, to make an impact for your workforce all year long:

1. Give your people the full value of end-of-year rewards with the power to choose what they can spend their pounds on to buy what matters most to them, whether that’s money towards their everyday shop or the big-ticket items that’s on their children’s wishlists. Bonus: Keeping them digital and automated will relieve your time-poor HR team of sending physical gifts or spending time aligning spreadsheets with new addresses, names and amounts.

employee rewards2. Customise rewards beyond the traditional and give a meaningful reward to your employees. Think, lunch with the CEO, extra holiday or even the option to give their reward back to charity if that’s how they wish to celebrate. Tailor employee rewards to suit your employer brand and double down on their accomplishments throughout the year with a reward that they’ll be sure to remember.

3. Offer creative benefits (without breaking the bank!). Add a fresh and innovative employee discounts programme to extend your employees’ disposable income all year long, or introduce a unique salary sacrifice benefit like SmartTech to help employees make essential white goods purchases, or free financing on that laptop they’ve been eyeing to put under the tree.

4. Support your employees’ wellbeing. The festive season may be bright, but it also brings added stress, especially when coupled with an ever-evolving backdrop of COVID-19 on the cusp of ruining plans. Set your employees up for success to tackle whatever comes their way with wellbeing resources to improve their mental, physical and financial wellness that they can access anywhere, at any time.

employee satisfactionAmtico, a global market leader in luxury vinyl tires, used the Reward Gateway platform to automatically distribute rewards to its 500+ employees, scrapping the previous strategy of physical gift cards and turning their end-of-year treats into a fully digital process. We’ve also seen an uptick in our clients that use the employee discounts programme offered by Reward Gateway around Christmas time, as employees look to the Cashback and discounts on top retailers to save money on their festive shopping – one of our clients, building merchant Travis Perkins, saw a massive savings amongst its 20,000 employees of £73,948 in just one month in the lead up to Christmas.  

To learn more, get in touch with a consultant today!

Emily Alecock

Emily Alecock is an Employee Engagement Consultant at Reward Gateway. She enjoys hiking and is doing the UK Three Peaks Challenge next year. She also loves yoga and growing her own fruits and vegetables.

Employee Engagement Consultant

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