Tis the season to be motivating!

With only 2 days to go till the advent calendar doors are opened, companies are reconsidering their generosity this Christmas. A recent article in Fresh Business Thinking revealed that many companies are questioning the value of Christmas gifts due to monetary cut backs, political restraints and tax pressures.

Gone are the days of the early 2000’s when the motto of ‘If you are going to do it, do it well’ rang through the ears of Senior Managers. The lavish hampers, decadent bottles of bubbly and sizeable bonuses which so many became accustomed to are all a thing of the past. Fresh Business thinking stated that ‘you are lucky if your Christmas party is still standing’ as 48% of small to medium sized businesses are not planning a 2011 Christmas party and 91 % have admitted to spending the same or less than last year.

Despite these bah-humbug revelations companies are realising the importance of maintaining the Christmas spirit. Over 63% of Senior Managers admit that cutting back or cancelling Christmas parties can damage staff morale. Whether it is a gift voucher or Christmas cracker, employers still want to show their staff they care at Christmas. The holiday hype that engulfs most offices in December cannot be ignored. Senior Managers should embrace the opportunity to increase staff motivation during the festive period and leave employees feeling reassured, valued and energised for the New Year. The pied piper of stationary Staples recently released their 2011 Christmas report, confirming the positive impact gift giving can have on productivity and staff morale. According to Staples 75% of employees who receive Christmas gifts said that it increases staff morale, 60% admitted that it made them like their company more and 33% said that they help to increase productivity.

Seasonal goodwill does not have to stop with employees, the Staples survey illustrated that one in three people who receive a Christmas gift from a business partner made them more likely to do business with that company in the future. The release of HR Magazine’s Guide to Christmas Perks 2011 also highlighted that despite companies having to tighten their belt in other areas employers are still investing in Christmas rewards, which help show appreciation of staff’s hard work and loyalty. It additionally states that motivating staff in the run up to Christmas is an effective way to meet end of year targets.

Alongside their survey, Staples also recommended some tips for employers who are considering Christmas rewards…

Keep it personal

You wouldn’t send a Christmas card without signing it, so make sure your gifts/vouchers have a personal touch. Incorporating company logos help to gain mindshare and visibility as 60% of participants stated that they kept their Christmas gifts for more than six months.

The way to your staff’s heart is food

Santa isn’t the only one who craves a good old’ minced pie, 70% of respondents put food and drink hampers at number one of their Christmas wish lists. Vouchers for restaurants and leisure outlets are a great way to give employee’s what they want as well as having the element of choice.

‘Does not include batteries’

The four words dreaded by most parents on Christmas day as it normally means a trip to a petrol station in order for the latest gadget to function however, it still doesn’t deter the 60% of participants who voted Electronics as number two on their wish lists. The launch of iPads, tablets and Kindles have meant that employees have a wide variety of electronic options to choose from in order to please their techno savvy workforce.

Winter Warmers

Gloves, hats, scarves and fleeces receive 20% of the vote leaving general apparel at no three on the Christmas wish list. With UK winters becoming a regular snow scene it would be worth supplying employees with practical tokens that help staff keep cosy this Christmas.

So with just over a month to go till the big day it is not too late to fill your staff’s stockings. Spice up the festive season and ensure your staff return in the New Year feeling motivated and rewarded.


Sophia Tirelli

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