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Employee rewards beyond a Christmas bonus

Published by: LifeWorks,

Rewarding employees with the Christmas bonus is a very welcome relief, providing financial assistance at one of the most expensive times of the year. Between family, friends, significant others and colleagues, the average shopper spends over £800 a year on gifts and festive celebrations. Needless to say, the credit card bills rack up, and a study by Debt Support Trust revealed that in some instances Christmas debt is still being repaid almost eight months later.

However, bonuses have always been about much more than just financial assistance. They’re about employee rewards for their hard work and dedication over the year, thanking them for their contribution. Whilst a simple gesture, they’re a great way of showing employees they are valued and an integral part of the business, and they can play a big part in retaining staff into the new year.

Companies need to be wary of rewarding employees with just a once-a-year payment.

Christmas bonuses are an excellent way in which to provide both financial assistance and motivation to staff, but companies need to be wary of rewarding employees with just a once-a-year payment. Bonuses should be part of a well-rounded employee rewards scheme, rather than being the only reward.

A good employee rewards scheme will help keep employees motivated and incentivized day-in, day-out, and should include both intrinsic and extrinsic benefits. Below is a list of the top four benefits LifeWorks see as essential for a happy and healthy workforce:

Training and development opportunities

Providing employees with relevant training is a constructive way of showing they are valued and an integral part of the team. Investing in a member of staff’s development and progression is a great way of showing that you believe they have great potential, and that you want to help them shine. Ultimately, you as the employer will get greater return on investment, benefitting from a more capable and motivated employee.

Recognize employees’ passions

Asking your employees what they are passionate about and trying to find a way to fit these passions into day-to-day working life is invaluable. It is proof that you as an employer care, and that your employees’ passions and happiness are important to you.

Find a way to fit employees’ passions into day-to-day working life.

Some companies have introduced a scheme where they are asked to submit “passion clients,” or companies they’d love to work for, for example. Winning business an employee truly cares about will increase the chances that they enjoy their work, and shows you care about their happiness – ultimately increasing morale and loyalty.

Localized employee rewards and perks

 A recent report by Visa Contactless shows that the average UK worker spends approximately £2,500 a year on coffees, snacks and lunch during the working day. With such a vast amount coming out of their salary, a helping hand is always much appreciated. Something that works well with our customers is rewarding employees with a set of localized perks – 20% off at the nearby Pizza Express, for example – that they are able to take advantage of. It helps save the pennies and shows that you as the employer are doing everything you can to take care of your employees.

A supportive culture

 This is not strictly a benefit as such but important nonetheless, and if successfully implemented will be a key driver of staff retention. The most engaging workplaces are those that show they care for their employees through creating a culture that is enjoyable to work in. Taking your team out for lunch or after-work drinks can do wonders to boost team spirit, encouraging employees to talk about non-work-related issues, building a bond and helping colleagues become true friends.

This is key to building a community, as people will be more open with each other, more prone to sharing problems when they feel troubled, and therefore less likely to suffer in silence. A supportive culture is one where everyone is in it together, and is likely to lead to happiness, improving employee morale and productivity.

A supportive culture is a key driver of staff retention.

Therefore, employee rewards schemes need to be well-rounded if they are to work, comprising both intrinsic and extrinsic perks. Whilst money is a great motivator and Christmas bonuses should by no means be removed, ensuring employees are given year-round support and investment is recommended. With these, employees will be aware of their value and importance to the company and this will ultimately improve staff retention.

Make your employees feel loved