Making the most of your Christmas rewards

christmaspresentsOver two-thirds of employees (69%) say that receiving some form of reward at Christmas makes them feel more positive toward their employer, according to the Big Red Report from Edenred.

The report is based on responses from 1,000 employees and 200 employers, which also found that despite most employees saying they would feel more positive towards their employer if they got a Christmas reward nearly the same amount of employees (65%) didn’t receive any form of Christmas reward last year.

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The benefits of Christmas rewards

Christmas rewards are one of the year’s biggest opportunities for employers to say thank you to their employees. And it’s not just a Christmas giveaway, this simple act of appreciation has longer-term business benefits, including:

  • Improved employee motivation
  • Increased employee loyalty
  • Improve performance for the year ahead
  • Increased staff retention


Choose the right rewards

When it comes to choosing the right rewards for your employees at Christmas there is no easy answer. To start with you need to find the right balance between giving the employee something that is appreciated and that can be delivered within budget.


When choosing your rewards consider what you are trying to achieve. Is it an end-of-year thank you, a Christmas bonus or a performance-related incentive?


Employee recognition at ChristmasGift vouchers and cards are always appreciated because they offer so much freedom of choice for employees, and they cater for a broad range of tastes and preferences. They can be used to treat themselves to an early Christmas present or use it to make their Christmas celebration even more special with additional food and drink. However, organisations need to consider the value of the gift voucher. Giving each employee a £5 gift card would probably do more harm than good, but £25 or more will be taken in the spirit with which it is intended.

Food and drink rewards, such as a bottle of wine or a box of chocolates, can be tricky even if you think you know the members of your team. You may not know that individual employees are teetotal or have a food allergy. And while a staff party may sound like a good idea, not everyone likes parties so you may inadvertently end up excluding some of your staff.

Not every organisation has the budget to give employees gifts at Christmas. In such circumstances, other Christmas rewards are available. Rewards that help employees achieve a better work-life balance over the Christmas period can be particularly appreciated. An additional paid day leave for Christmas shopping can be organised on a department-by-department basis to ensure service levels don’t fall and helps relieve some of the pressure of shopping for Christmas presents at busy times.


Get the communication right

Communication and the presentation of Christmas rewards are just as important as the reward itself.

Ensure that managers make a celebration out of handing out the Christmas gifts to employees. For example, this could be done in a team meeting with a few words thanking the individuals in the team for their contribution or perhaps a written personalised message to each employee saying what their contribution has meant to the organisation and their manager.

One thing you should not do is distribute Christmas rewards through the internal post system as this lacks the personal touch and can be seen as lacking in thought, especially if their manager sits just a couple of desks away.


Investing in Christmas rewards for your staff is a worthwhile business investment. Choose the right rewards and present them in the right way and your staff will feel appreciated and motivated for the year ahead.


Check out our Employee Christmas Gift Shop >>


John Sylvester

John is responsible for the motivation division of p&mm ltd and a Director on the board of the IPM. Specialising in developing, implementing and directing many large scale staff motivation, recognition and employee communications programmes.
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