Why employee reward and recognition is not just for Christmas

By November 29, 2019July 28th, 2020employee benefits
christmas party

It’s almost office Christmas party time. It’s a once-a-year opportunity for businesses to say thank you and reward team members for all their hard work. Celebrating together is fun. It’s good for team cohesion. It’s good for morale and engagement. Some parties are legendary. Some are best forgotten. 

If you are planning a party, we hope you have fun.  But, without sounding like the Grinch that stole Christmas, it’s also important to think about how your festivities are part of your wider rewards and recognition strategy. 

“People work for money but go the extra mile for recognition, praise and rewards” – Dale Carnegie

Consistent rewards and feedback matters

Timely rewards and recognition when employees do great things throughout the year goes a long way in boosting morale, job satisfaction, loyalty and retention. But when you think that 41% of UK workers say they feel out of sync with their organisations’ goals and 36% are likely to leave their job within one year because they feel disengaged, there’s clearly still more work to do to boost engagement and morale.     

There is also compelling evidence that employees are more motivated by regular feedback than an annual performance review.  Research by Gallop for example discovered that only 14% of employees strongly agree that annual reviews inspire them to improve.  Meanwhile, team members are 5x more likely to strongly agree they receive meaningful feedback when managers provide this weekly rather than annually. Employees are also 2.7x more likely to be engaged.     

Being in sync with employee preferences

Employee priorities and preferences on rewards are shifting all the time. Let’s get back to the Christmas party. Recent industry research discovered that 7 in 10 employees would forego the traditional Christmas party in favour of frequent rewards throughout the year. While 46% said that they would prefer savings on everyday purchases rather than a one-off party. Pulse surveys are great way to find out what employees really want – and what they don’t.

No need to break the bank

There are lots of great low-cost ways to reward employees without breaking the bank. From instant rewards to say thank you on the spot to points-based redeemable perks to company awards.  If you are signed up with an employee benefits platform, don’t forget to encourage employees to make the most of any freebies on offer too. Just stopping by and saying thank you doesn’t cost a thing. Every little helps in showing your people that their hard work is valued. 

A final thought …

If you have a rewards and recognition programme in place but haven’t reviewed it for years you are not alone. Most businesses have a programme in place. WorldatWork research puts the figure at 87%. But here’s the thing. The study also found that nearly all programmes have been in place for five years and there hasn’t been much change in the space. 

If you’re planning for next year and are looking at how rewards and recognition can make a difference let’s talk to see how we can help.   

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