Top 10 Tips... How best to reward your team this Christmas

Top 10 Tips... How best to reward your team this Christmas

From Christmas parties and ‘Wear Your Festive Jumper To Work days’ to bank holidays and Secret Santa rounds, December can be an exciting time in any workplace. The final month of the year can also be a great time to look back at your company’s success stories and thank your workforce for all their hard work.

Check out our top tips for rewarding our colleagues this Christmas:

1. Public praise

Every business should do their own PR to showcase their achievements and December is the perfect time to reflect on the year you’ve had. Whatever your good news is – you should share it with your wider workforce and thank them for their input, however small that may be. By celebrating your achievements and showing the impact employees at all levels can have, you can help your staff feel proud and boost their team spirit, which is particularly important at Christmas. 

2. Extra holidays

Everyone loves a holiday so why not offer a bonus day or half-day off for staff this festive season? You could hold a competition for colleagues to enter and win an extra day’s annual leave if you’re unable to offer it to your entire workforce. Or perhaps be more lenient about taking flexi-time, so your employees can cram in celebratory lunches or shopping trips. A sure fire way to put a smile on people’s faces.

3. Reward learning and development

The end of the year is a great opportunity to reward colleagues who have studied hard. As an employer it can be great to see your employees investing their energy into developing their skills as this will benefit them personally as well as your business. If you have staff who have achieved new qualifications or accreditation for training, why not reward them by hosting a festive award ceremony? 

4. Celebrate!

Everyone loves a party! It can be a great way for you to not only say ‘thank you’ but for your busy workforce to reconnect with each other. This could be a small lunch time affair, a night at a local restaurant, a glitzy party or simply a joint Christmas lunch with traditional paper hats and crackers in your work canteen. 

5. Encourage volunteering

Most companies have a Corporate Social Responsibility Policy and Christmas is the perfect time to do your bit for your local community or favourite charities. Volunteering is fun, rewarding, a great way to foster team spirit and to show the community in which you work that you care. This could entail anything from helping out at a local food bank, fundraising for a good cause or delivering toys and treats to your local hospital’s children’s ward. 

6. Ask colleagues what they want 

Engagement is key. You might think it’s an inspired idea to take your team to Go Ape, ice skating or LazerQuest for their Christmas treat, but high-energy activities won’t be to everyone’s taste. Your colleagues may end up feeling forced into attending something they won’t enjoy. Asking your colleagues what they might be interested in doing or how they would like to be rewarded, within an agreed budget and time scale, shows you respect their opinion. It might be that they would simply love a bottle of wine in their stocking.

7. Provide opportunities

December and January tend to be months of reflection as well as celebration. Your colleagues may be thinking about the year ahead and what their future holds. They may even be considering applying for new jobs elsewhere in the coming year. This is the perfect time to show them that you care and that there are opportunities for learning and  development in your organisation. Simply asking your employees what they hope the future holds for them in a one-to-one session, or annual review may be enough to stop them seeking alternative employment. Engagement is key – you’ll never know what people’s aspirations are until you ask.

8. Think holistically

One way to thank your colleagues at Christmas is to offer an antidote to the excess of mince pies, chocolate and late nights by offering wellbeing initiatives and incentives. This will show you really care about your employees’ physical and mental health and will in turn help boost motivation and performance. It could include anything from mindfulness sessions, informal lunch-time lectures about how to manage stress and tight finances to relaxing fitness classes such as yoga and pilates. You might also consider introducing incentives such as discounted gym passes.

9. Be considerate

Surviving the holiday season can be a difficult time for many people, particularly those who are dealing with mental health issues. Christmas can be an incredibly hard time to navigate the stress and pressures associated with buying gifts, preparing for and cooking lavish meals, social occasions, finance and family issues as well as the pressures of work. As an employer you can ease that burden for those who feel overwhelmed by offering flexible working, providing one-to-one or ‘buddy sessions’ or by simply giving people a break if they don’t want to join the Christmas festivities.

10. Remember, rewards are not just for Christmas

Rewards can really incentivise your colleagues at Christmas. But if you want to retain your happy, engaged and motivated workforce and help to banish those back to work January blues, you need to continue thinking of ways to motivate colleagues into the New Year and beyond. Why not think about setting up a year-long motivation and reward scheme? This could be linked to your company’s targets too.

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