The importance of appreciating staff at Christmas

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11 months ago by Jessica Brown

The importance of appreciating staff at Christmas

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We might have all grown out of the fairytale years ago, however to your employees you are Santa and you have the potential to make them feel either naughty or nice this holiday season. Unfortunately for a lot of us, that potential isn't realized, with OnePoll finding that just under 1/3rd of employees feel their dedication isnít sufficiently recognized.

Offering additional benefits at this time of year when purse strings are often too tight to treat ourselves can help ensure that your employees are in the 2/3rds that truly feel appreciated.

It's already gospel that we may all get a little distracted during the Christmas festivities, with 28% of UK employees saying they would avoid taking on new work around the holiday period. This lull in productivity can however be rectified with a little Christmas spirit, as studies have shown that amongst companies that rewarded staff over the festive period, 50% saw a significant improvement in productivity levels in the New year, showing a substantial return on investment.

That's not to say that a simple Christmas party will put every staff member in the mood to work, as for some the forced festivities can be more painful than pleasant. In fact 19% of office workers say they'd go so far as to say they hate Christmas parties.

Instead of just relying on one event then, ensuring you have a variety of rewards available will keep all your worker elves happy; something you can do by simply offering volunteering days towards the end of the year.

71% of employees cite volunteering as key to improving personal wellbeing, which is why Perkbox, the benefits company, suggest you give an afternoon or two off for the activity over the Christmas period. A relatively cheap way to reap great rewards, as 85% of those allowed to volunteer say their perception of the company has since improved.

Recognising the importance of the holidays to employee retention, the government allow tax breaks for both Christmas gifts and Christmas parties, however the £50 tax free gift you give can't be cash, an unfortunate setback, as when polled most staff members would prefer to offset the extra expense of December with a cash boost than a novelty bobble head. Beat the system by gifting employees with vouchers for a local supermarket and their Christmas dinner can be on you.

Pleasing everyone is as difficult at work as it is at home, however a running theme regarding the best Christmas gifts is personalization, with Inc.com finding expensive gifts with no thought, were much less appreciated than those which had been carefully thought out. In fact even a personalized thankyou note came above certain gifts, including anything company branded, which took the bottom spot.

Whilst December is clearly a great time to show your workers that you appreciate their hard work, splashing out once a year can't cover up a bad company culture, and although some employees might be happy with the iPad Santa leaves on their desk on Monday, by Friday chances are their joy has faded. So as they say at Inc.com "you can't make up for being a jerk with a token of any kind once a year".