The King of Workplace Christmas Gifts – a handy guide

Christmas may be a time of peace and goodwill to all… but it can also be a period of stress that drives us up the wall.

Finding the right gifts for family and friends can be challenging enough but employers up and down the land face the same dilemma… what’s the best way to show appreciation for their staff at Christmas?

More to the point, if you are going to offer a gift to members of your team, should it be cash, a gift or something else?

Fortunately, Love2shop are the experts in workplace gifting and employee engagement, so we’ve got the lowdown on the pros and cons of every gift type to help you choose what’s right for your workforce.

What you give – and how you give it – is important. Why? Well, according to the Love2shop Employee Value Report 2023, 57% of UK workers – that’s 17.2m people – say their productivity increases when they feel valued.

It also found almost 90% of UK workers said if they were surprised by their employer with a multi-retailer gift card they would feel more valued, while more than 87% said spontaneous gifts from their employer gave them a feeling of value and recognition.

So, gifting your employees is unquestionably beneficial to your productivity and output. But how do you choose the right gift. Here’s our handy guide:


Pros: Giving people cash, usually through payroll, is simple and straightforward and requires little thought or planning. Keeping it simple in a complicated world can be appreciated.

Cons: Every penny you give is subject to tax and National Insurance, which will either make it a lot more expensive per head for your business or eat into the amount your employees receive.

It also lacks thought and imagination. It’s a gift given as a process, another line on the payslip. It can feel cold and transactional and any warmth it creates disappears as soon as it is spent.

Gift cards

Pros: In an age when we are used to paying for things with a swipe of a debit or credit card, a gift card is a convenient, portable and way to make gifting easy. Balances can be viewed online and digital e-gift cards can even be added to digital wallets to scan via smartphones.

Multi-retailer gift cards give the gift of choice so they can make their gift mean more and some brands offer personalisation options to add to the overall gift.

Cons: It’s important to maximise the presentation. Just handing over the card can make it feel like an afterthought. Also watch out for brands that reduce the value of cards on a monthly basis with ‘admin fees’. Find a gift card provider that will not give your employees any nasty surprises.

Physical gifts

Pros: Giving just the right gift to someone is very powerful. Showing you know someone and care about their interests and what they love shows an exceptional level of appreciation and is a significant motivator for people.

Cons: It can be hard enough to pick the right gift for a family member or close friend. Choosing the right gift for a colleague opens up a whole world of stress, especially if you are buying for multiple team members. It’s hard to really know people, especially as people tend to code-switch between the workplace and home. Getting it wrong can be just as powerful or memorable as getting it right.

And if you opt for the job lot of hampers, chocolates or bottles of wine, you might as well not bother, as that’s the impression they will get. Unless you’ve spent a lot, chances are they will use most of it as gifts for people they don’t really like.


Pros: In a digital age vouchers are less popular than they once were. However, people the more mature members of your workforce may prefer them because they are familiar. Multi-retailer vouchers offer the flexibility of cash but have the more tangible feel of a thoughtful gift. They are easily redeemable and universally understood.

Cons: While older members of staff may love a paper voucher, younger ones may prefer a gift card that more easily fits in their purse or wallet, or even their phone case. They can also become easily damaged.

Gifting your employees is always a great idea, whichever type of gift you choose. With Christmas fast approaching, hopefully you are already sorted, but if not take a look at our Christmas reward options here.

Alternatively, contact our team here today to discuss how you can get your Love2shop gifts delivered in time for Christmas 2023.

Tips from the uninspirational boss

What’s better than a boss? That’s right, a cool boss who wants to be your mate or thinks they’re some sort of productivity guru.

Love2shop is proud of our expertise in employee engagement – but we are always on the lookout for mavericks with an alternative view of business.  We managed to find one of these big beasts of industry in the wild and sat him down to see what pearls of wisdom he could offer heading into 2024.

We thought he looked familiar – although we’ve spent so long in The Office it’s hard to know whether it’s just our minds playing tricks on us.

Never mind, here are the top five tips this uninspirational ‘legend of business’ had to offer:

1: Nothing drives people like a bit of fear. If you want a technique that’ll leave your team literally terrified, try the almighty “Envelope” technique.

2: Have you created an atmosphere at work where you’re a friend first, a boss second, and probably an entertainer third? Then go and get the guitar.

3: When it comes to management styles, you don’t always have to play by “the rules”. Take public appraisals for instance. Some staff love them. (Editors note: most do not)


4: This Christmas, tell your team that they will never work in a place like yours again. Fact. And they’ll never have another boss like you. Someone who’s basically a chilled-out entertainer. The signed photo might be a step too far though.

5: You might be chasing the bunce this Christmas (bunsen burner, nice little earner), but younger team members probably won’t be. Try motivational books. Avocados even.

Wow, so there you go. We have to say, as advice goes, that is pretty terrible. Rather than give yourself a major recruitment headache to start the year, why not simply Pass on the Love with Love2shop?

Our range of Love2shop Gift Cards, e-Gift Cards and vouchers are perfect for incentives, performance bonuses and gifts for your workforce. Whether it’s a thank you for being great or a ‘you smashed it’ for going above and beyond their targets, Love2shop incentives help you show your team that what they do really matters.

Make it special – presentation is key for workplace Christmas gifting

There’s an icy nip in the air and the constant sound of sleigh bells and children’s choirs on the high street – the festive season is now well and truly upon us.

Christmas, of course, is all about peace, goodwill and spreading cheer and employers – or their HR departments – up and down the land are now planning how they can deliver Christmas gifts that make their employees feel truly valued.

Offering members of your team a gift to say thank you for their hard work during the year is a simple and effective way of boosting morale. Get it right and your gift can help illuminate those dark and miserable mornings through January to get your year off to a great start.

But get it wrong and it could have the opposite effect. And we’re not just talking about what you give (or don’t). How you give it is just as important.

You only get what you give

According to corporate rewards and loyalty specialist, Love2shop, an increasing number of employers are offering gift cards or e-gift cards to their employees at Christmas. They can offer a Love2shop gift card, accepted by around 150 retailers, up to the value of £50 tax-free.

The Love2shop Employee Value Report 2023 revealed that for 90% of UK employees a surprise gift of a multi-retailer gift card would make them feel more valued while 57% said multi-retailer gift cards made the best rewards.

Presented in the right way, gift cards are actually a really great way for a business to give back at Christmas. Everyone is struggling with the increased cost of living and a multi-retailer gift card like Love2shop can make a real difference to people’s ability to spend and enjoy the holidays.

But just dropping them on people’s desks or sending our digital codes on email or SMS without a by-your-leave is a recipe for trouble. It can make a genuine, meaningful gift feel like an afterthought and could have a negative impact on morale and performance.

So how can you present your team with their gifts to show you’ve really thought about them?

Keep it real

We don’t think you should be hiring smoke machines, glitter cannons and streamers (but hey, you do you).

You need to be authentic, s if that’s not your usual way, don’t force it. Christmas means different things to different people. Also, in these cash-conscious times, nobody wants to think that you’ve spent more on the presentation than on the gift itself.

Keep things tasteful, perhaps decorate the kitchen or board room and call a team meeting to give everyone their gifts. Get some mince pies or festive chocolates and make a little bit of fuss over the team as a group as you thank them for their work and present each of them with their gift.

For larger teams, you could arrange meetings at each site or, if that’s not practical, even gather groups remotely on conference call to publicly thank everyone, highlight some key achievements and let them know that their gifts are on their way.

Never too late

Christmas may be fast approaching but there is still time to put some thought and planning into the presentation to avoid the last minute panic on December 20.

Don’t get hung up on presenting the reward in person. Working environments have changed significantly over the past few years. Flexible and home working, client visits and conference calls all reduce the time that people physically spend at their desks.

We are all now so much more comfortable with technology. An e-code sent out with a warm festive message is simple but can make a lovely surprise and it’s easy to include within a personalised festive message for the recipient.

What we give is more important than ever, as people try to manage their budgets and would rather have something to spend instead of a novelty item or office party.

But how we give it affects how our team feel. Make it more personal and authentic and you will amplify the positive impact

Take a look at our Christmas reward options here. Alternatively, contact our team here today to discuss how you can get your Love2shop gifts delivered in time for Christmas 2023.

Christmas – a time to make your staff feel appreciated

The festive season is in full swing with joy all around – but it’s also a time reflect on a difficult year for both businesses and individuals.

Looking back, 2023 was a year of soaring inflation and eye-watering energy bills. As well as juggling precarious personal finances, your staff have worked hard to help keep your business moving forward during these tough times. What impact would a little bit of extra recognition have?

For people working in sectors such as retail, the festive season offers no end-of-year wind-down. They are in the maelstrom of the busiest period of their year, doing some of their most important work.

But for those in other business sectors there may be a drop-off in work intensity. This offers the perfect opportunity to allow your team to breathe and ‘take a moment’, to step back and appreciate how much they have achieved. They’ve earned it.

Family fun and time to recharge

No doubt arrangements for Christmas parties and nights out are already in the pipeline. But there are more meaningful ways you, as an employer, can show your staff how much you value them in the next few weeks.

Parents for example, will be feeling their own festive pressures. Whether it’s Christmas shopping or finding time to attend the Christmas fairs, nativity plays and concerts that always seem to be scheduled during the school day.

All too often mums, dads or guardians have to use their annual leave to attend such events. Maybe this year you can let them take half a day on you, as a thank-you.

Increasingly some businesses are even implementing Christmas shut-downs. This gives everyone a little more time off, particularly between Christmas and New Year when there may be no need for the whole team to come in. And if work tails off in the run up to Christmas why not let people go home an hour or two early?

A time for giving

Of course, whether you colleagues are buying for their family or trying to enjoy the festive party season, the rising cost of living has hit everyone hard this year. A nice way to show people their efforts in 2023 meant something that makes life easier – like a Love2shop Gift Card.

The corporate gifting experts at Love2shop have just published their Employee Value Report 2023. It highlights the risks of letting your employees believe you don’t appreciate their efforts, but also the value of getting gifting and rewarding right – to both your work environment and your bottom line.

It revealed just over 5.5m workers – around 18% – said they don’t feel valued at work. Of those disaffected workers, almost 1.5m are willing to leave their job as soon as possible, without a new role lined up.

But those surveyed also told Love2shop how employers can get it right. Additional days off, flexible or hybrid working and spontaneous gift cards as a little pick-me-up are the top three ways employees say bosses can improve their happiness.

And for a relatively low cost, you can show your appreciation with Love2shop Gift Cards, e-Gift Cards and vouchers. These are quick to deliver and can be tax efficient.

HMRC offers a Trivial Benefits allowance. This allows an employer to give non-cash gifts up to the value of £50. They can be given in the form of a £50 Love2shop gift card or e-gift card. The beauty of these gifts is that they are tax-free and require no additional paperwork.

You can find out more about how to give gifts tax-free using Love2shop’s free Tax-Free Gift Calculator tool here.

Love2shop is one of the best known gifting brands in the UK and is accepted by around 150 retailers. These include well-known brands such as Marks & Spencer, Iceland, Matalan, Argos, Costa, Harvester, Tui, Jet2Holidays and many, many more.

There are big risks to allowing your staff to feel their efforts are not recognised or appreciated. Fixing it is easy. With just a little bit of thought and effort you can create a warm glow around your team this Christmas that will last well into the New Year.

Contact our team here today to discuss how you can get your Love2shop gifts delivered in time for Christmas 2023 or visit our self-serve portal and get started yourself here.

How a ‘trivial’ gift can be a big deal for your employees

Christmas is approaching fast and many business owners are weighing up how to show their employees appreciation during the festive season.

Traditionally, companies have offered a Christmas bonus or gift. While always welcome, cash gifts made through payroll are subject to tax and National Insurance. This can make them a costly headache for either the employer or the employee.

For an employee, if tax and NI are not factored in the tax man takes their cut and the gift becomes a lot smaller.

On the other hand, if an employer wants workers to receive a specific amount, they will have to cover the tax and NI on top. This could almost double the cost.

A better way

There is a third way to gift employees however – which is both straightforward and cost-effective.

Corporate gifting experts Love2shop have been helping employers of all types and sizes to offer rewards for their staff for decades. Now they have launched a handy tool that helps employers see the savings on offer by switching to gift cards.

The Tax-Free Gift Calculator allows employers or HR teams to input the amount they want each employee to receive as a gift after tax.

It will calculate how much they will pay in real terms – including tax and National Insurance – for both basic rate taxpayers and higher-rate taxpayers. Alongside this it will show how much the same gift would cost if given in Love2shop gift cards.

The tool is free and you can try it here.

According to the second annual Love2shop Employee Value Report 2023, 90% of UK employees said a surprise gift of a multi-retailer gift card would make them feel more valued.

And 57% of people said days off, multi-retailer gift cards or flexible working are the best workplace rewards.

Now, HMRC may have a reputation of being a little Scrooge-like, but they have a key allowance that can help employers give generously to their employees – the Trivial Benefits Provision.

This allows employers to offer staff non-cash gifts up to the value of £50 per employee, free from tax or National Insurance.

That means if an employer wants to gift up to £50, they can do so using Love2shop Gift Cards, Contactless Gift Cards, E-Gift Cards or vouchers. No tax, no National Insurance and no paperwork.

A time for giving

In other words, giving each employee £50 with Love2shop will cost the business just £50 per person – and the recipient will get the full amount.

Love2shop is one of the best known gifting brands in the UK. Available as a gift card, e-gift card, contactless gift card or voucher, its products are accepted by around 150 retailers.

These include well-known brands such as Marks & Spencer, Iceland, Matalan, Argos, Costa, Harvester,Tui, Jet2Holidays and many more.

That flexibility means that employers can be certain their gift is what everyone wants, as it really is the gift of choice. It may be called ‘trivial’ but it’s a benefit that will prove anything but for both employers and employees.

Contact our team today to discuss how Love2shop can help you get gifting right this Christmas, with physical gift cards and digital codes still available for pre-Christmas delivery.

Work Christmas Do? We’d rather have work Christmas dosh!

The traditional work Christmas party could be dead following new research revealing that the majority of UK workers would prefer a festive financial bonus over a staff Christmas party.

Awkward small talk (45%) and annoying drunk co-workers were cited as two of the most-hated things about seasonal celebrations with colleagues, according to research by Love2shop.

83% would choose a Christmas bonus or gift over a staff party, with over half (56%) not bothered about having a work celebration at all and almost a quarter (24%) saying they don’t like socialising with colleagues outside of work.

Workers say a £110 payment would be a sufficient alternative to a Yuletide soiree, according to the study, with 92% saying they would at least like to be given a choice between the two.

Around one in five workers (19%) want to receive this bonus in the form of a gift card or voucher, the data shows.

Surprisingly, the poll of 2,000 Brits revealed the average worker is forced to contribute £33 to fund their staff Christmas party to finance costs such as food, drink and decorations.

Just one in 20 Brits (5%) are lucky enough to get both a Christmas party and a financial bonus at Christmas.

Exactly half of UK workers (50%) generally do Secret Santa with their colleagues, with the average expenditure on a present amounting to £14.

Younger people aged 18-24 spend more than double the amount on their present than older co-workers, splashing an average of £23 compared to £9 for those aged 55-64.

According to the study, Secret Santa is particularly disliked in Scotland, with just one in twenty Scots (5%) saying they enjoy participating – the lowest number in the UK.

Frank Creighton, Director of Business Development at leading gifting and engagement experts Love2shop, said that the research findings were a clear indication that festive financial rewards are exponentially increasing in popularity.

He said: “Everybody has experienced a rise in their cost of living since the pandemic, so it’s hardly a surprise to see the work Christmas party become less and less of a priority as people struggle to make ends meet during the festive period.

“This should be a wake-up call for UK business owners to start listening to what their employees want – and that’s a financial bonus. The money that would otherwise go on a seasonal celebration could be better spent going straight into the pocket of employees.

“While the benefits of a cash injection in December are evident, employers should also note the knock-on effect it can have on their workforce, increasing morale and retention rates in the long run.”

You can explore Love2shop’s gift card range at

10 reasons NOT to give staff Love2shop this Christmas

Irritating music in every shop, glitter covering every surface and staff clamouring for time off and early finishes.

Christmas is coming – and don’t we know it. If your business wants the season of giving to be given the big heave-ho, you probably don’t plan to give your team any gifts or rewards this Yuletide season. Or maybe you think they get enough from you already, so plan to give them all something super-cheap so you’re not seen as a total Grinch?

Here at Love2shop, we want to help, so we’ve put together a list of top reasons to NOT give your team gifts or bonuses this year.

1. You fancy bit of Christmas party drama

Everyone loves a moan over Christmas drinks, so make sure you’re the one they’re all talking about by giving everyone something cheap and nasty – or even nothing at all.

The top reason for UK workers feeling undervalued according to the 2023 Love2shop Employee Value Report was that their contribution to the business was not acknowledged.

So give the gift of gossip and make tongues wag as your staff give you a proper bashing behind your back at their Christmas party for being miserable and ignoring them. Don’t worry, you won’t hear it as you’re probably not invited!

2. You secretly adore being called a Scrooge

We all have our idols – those who inspire us. Despite business podcasts not being invented at the time, Ebenezer Scrooge is a name that has still managed to stand the test of time so he must have been on to something, right?

Pinching pennies from employees already struggling with the cost of living is guaranteed to secure your place in infamy – and could end up costing you more in recruitment and training costs when your staff leave.

If you do want to avoid the Ghost of Christmas Present(s), pass on the love instead with the gift of choice – a Love2shop Gift Card, e-Gift Card or voucher.

3. You love giving money to the taxman totally unnecessarily

Who is disliked more than a terrible boss? That’s right, the taxman! The bad guys need to stick together though so if you are going to give bonuses or gifts to staff, at least doing it through payroll means you pay full tax on it.

If you give an employee a £50 gift as a direct payment for example, you could pay up to £48.10 on top of that in tax and National Insurance, meaning your £50 gift will cost your business almost £100 per employee.

If you don’t like the idea of your business paying more tax however then HMRC’s Trivial Benefits provision allows you to give gifts, including Love2shop Gift Cards, e-Gift Cards and vouchers  – up to the value of £50 per employee tax-free.

If you like the idea of your business paying more tax you definitely should NOT use Love2shop’s Tax-Free Gift Calculator. It shows you how much you could save by giving gifts using Love2shop Gift Cards, e-Gift Cards and vouchers instead of direct payments.

4. They already get enough benefits (like 20 days’ holiday and paid toilet breaks)

We all know the struggle – trying to juggle team members who expect time off to spend with their families and actually use all their annual leave. It’s almost as if they are never there. When they are, we don’t even stop paying them when they take a loo break!

So why should we give them more? Spontaneous gifts are proven to increase productivity –  according to the Love2shop Employee Value Report 90% of UK workers would feel more valued if they received a gift card from their employer and happy workers are 13% more productive.

In other words, avoid gifting if you want a team that just turns up and goes through the motions.

5. You love naff staff gifts

What’s better than watching a team member opening a gift from you, then seeing the crushing disappointment as they realise you’ve bought a job-lot from the local discount store?

Spending time understanding each employee is a full-time job and who has time for that? Give naff gifts and let them show their gratitude by updating their LinkedIn profiles and CVs and leading a New Year exodus of staff.

It’s not as if someone has invented a product that can be given tax-free (up to £50) that gives individuals the ability to choose a gift they really want. (Spoiler – they have, it’s Love2shop).

6. To discourage your staff from shopping online during worktime

Do your staff ever look online at social media or shopping sites during work? Of course not, because you are a master of industry who commands respect – they spend every single minute toiling away at their station with barely a break, right?

Surely a gift that could help ease their money worries and help them focus on work is pure fantasy. A gesture that helps stop them being so anxious to find bargains that they spend every spare minute searching the internet for deals?

As well as Love2shop’s gift cards and vouchers, we also offer the Everyday Benefits Card. For a relatively small fee, you can provide these cards to your staff. They can pre-load them with funds at a 7.5% discount to save money on high street and online spending. And they can keep using it long after Christmas.

7. You don’t want people getting too choosy. In case they choose another job

Gift giving is a double-edged sword. Give them something good and they’ll expect better next time. In the end you’ll fall short and they’ll look for another job, so why not avoid all that hassle and lower expectations instead?

If setting the bar low doesn’t work for your customers, it won’t work for your employees either. Increased productivity and revenue from motivated staff should more than cover the cost of festive giving each year. Then again, what do we know, we’ve only been doing this for decades.

8. You’d sooner get them something motivational (like an alarm clock)

Creating a hustle culture is what matters. Going to bed at 5am, getting up at 4am to create a 25-hour day instead of 24 like all those other losers – that’s how to get ahead.

Being such a motivational leader feeds into everything you do and you need to pass that on to your team. Turn gift giving into an opportunity to show people what they need to do to improve – whether that’s buying them an alarm clock to get them up earlier or a duvet to wrap themselves up in at their desk so they never have to go home.

Alternatively give them the freedom to choose. With Love2shop’s range of flexible gifting options, they can choose their own path and you can maybe just chill a little…

9. They might pull a sickie to go shopping

Let’s play devil’s advocate. You are generous and give your staff Love2shop gifts this Christmas. But when will they spend them? Of course it won’t be during the evenings or weekends, and certainly not on any annual leave days. No, they are most likely to pull a sickie and call in with ‘flu’ or a stomach bug so they can go on a mini spending spree.

Yeah, it doesn’t sound right to us either, because that’s not generally what people do. Trust and loyalty are a two-way street, but the Love2shop Employee Value Report found that 29% of UK workers felt loyalty was a one-way street with employers not supporting them.

Why not show your workforce a bit of trust? Make them feel appreciated and you’ll see the benefits.

10. They’re overworked enough without having lots more choice to think about

None of our previous tips are relevant to you as you are a benevolent, kind boss. You don’t give staff Christmas gifts, it’s true. But only because you don’t want to burden your poor employees with any extra worry.

They have so much to do, giving them something like Love2shop, which offers them so much choice, will simply be too much for them to cope with.

How will they be able to concentrate on the upcoming fiscal reports or correctly filling out the warehouse dispatch forms when they are bamboozled by where to spend their Christmas gift card? Usually they think about nothing but work during their shift, don’t they?

We’re sure that if this last point even remotely resonates with you, your HR department must be putting in overtime to deal with unhappy employees.

Much of what distracts and stresses your staff is either financial worry, frustration at a lack of acknowledgement or a sense they are not valued by the business.

Gifting at Christmas is an easy way to start to change this mindset and giving gifts that offer them choice can ease those financial concerns at a pretty expensive time of year.

Time to confess…

If you’ve got this far into the article and still feel like gifting employees at Christmas is a waste of time and money, sorry, but our tongue was firmly in our cheek on this one.

The truth is – and the data supports this – gifting employees at any time of year boosts happiness, productivity and loyalty.

At Christmas, when people are feeling their budgets squeezed even more, the effect is much greater.

Put away the Grinch suit and embrace gifting your staff this Christmas. It’ll be the best gift your business could receive.

Contact our team here today to discuss how you can get your Love2shop gifts delivered in time for Christmas 2023 or visit our self-serve portal and get started yourself here.

How you can show staff you care this Christmas

Christmas is meant to be the ‘most wonderful time of the year – but too often real life doesn’t get the memo.

For many people the festive season is all about family, gifts and parties, but for plenty of others it just represents stress. Worrying about what presents to buy and whether you can afford them, forking out for nights out and new outfits, buying extra food.

These seasonal pressures can manifest in both our home and our work lives. It can be especially challenging for people working in businesses such as retail or hospitality, where Christmas is the busiest time of the year. Even organisations that are not dependent on Christmas often have end of year deadlines that increase pressure at this time.

You can’t wave a magic wand and completely take the worries and chaos out of your employees’ lives. But there are some straightforward, low-cost ways you can make things that little bit easier.

Don’t be a Scrooge

An annual bonus or gift or the promise of additional leave come high on the list of many workers desires according to the Love2shop Employee Value Report 2023. Love2shop is a leading provider of corporate reward programmes with decades of experience.

The Employee Value Report 2023 reveals 57% of people said days off, multi-retailer gift cards or flexible working are the best workplace rewards.

Taking a common-sense approach often works best. Unlike Dickens’ famous Ebenezer Scrooge, who saw taking Christmas off as an ‘inconvenience’, you can be a bit more flexible at this time of year. For example, allowing people to work from home a little more can help support those with families.

And a few hours off to allow parents to see a child’s nativity play or Christmas concert, without it coming off their holiday entitlement, would be welcomed by many.

We know that at least some of the weekdays in between Christmas and New Year are technically normal working days. But it tends to be a quieter time for many businesses, so maybe offer extra time off or shorter days during this period to compensate for any increase in pre-Christmas pressure.

Healthy body, healthy mind, healthy workforce

This is also a good time to remind people of the workplace benefits they already have access to. That could be reduced gym memberships or helplines that offer one to one support at times of stress or crisis. Anything you offer that helps support mental or physical wellbeing will not only help them cope, but make them feel cared for.

It can also be a good idea to introduce your team to some basic relaxation, breathing or mindfulness techniques that can help them if they are feeling overwhelmed during the day. HR may be able to arrange a short taster session in the office at relatively little cost.

But, as the Love2shop survey points out, tangible rewards can also prove invaluable when it comes to supporting your staff. Other findings included:

  • 34% of people would spend a multi-retailer gift card from their employer on the weekly shop. 12% would spend it on school essentials for their children
  • Six-in-10 employees said spontaneous gifts or gifts or vouchers at key times of year (like Christmas) would make them feel more valued.
  • 90% said a surprise gift of a multi-retailer gift card would make them feel more valued.

Love2shop is one of the best known gifting brands in the UK. Available as a physical voucher, gift card, email or smartphone voucher, Love2shop is accepted by around 150 retailers.

These include well-known brands such as Marks & Spencer, Iceland, Matalan, Argos, Costa, Harvester, Tui, Jet2Holidays and many more.

What’s important to remember is that this isn’t just about Christmas. Since the pandemic the phenomenon of people being prepared to switch jobs to improve their own circumstances has grown rapidly.

People still want to be paid well, but they also want to work in places they feel valued, where achievements are rewarded and where wellbeing is seen as an intrinsic part of business performance.

People want to know their employers genuinely care about them as people. A little investment this Christmas could reap long-term dividends in terms of staff retention, productivity and higher revenues.

If you want to implement an employee engagement programme that delivers long-term benefits for your team and your business, contact our expert advisers here to discuss Love2shop’s Engagement Platform and our Gift Card, Contactless Gift Card and e-Gift Card options.

What UK workers really want from their employer this Christmas

For the second Christmas in a row employers and employees are sharing the pain of the rising cost of living.

Can festive bonuses or gifts make a real difference – and are they cost effective?

Inflation and energy prices may have come down from the scary peaks of early 2023, but they remain stubbornly high. So how can employers reward staff when budgets are tight – and what to their workforce really want to help them through?

As individuals we’re worrying about whether we can afford to put the heating on, cutting our food budget to feed our families and questioning whether we can afford fuel to get to work.

Businesses are also feeling the squeeze. The cost of energy and raw materials rose sharply earlier this year – it may now be rising more slowly, but it’s still high. Employers have to consider whether to absorb those costs or pass them on to customers.

All of which could make rewarding employees this Christmas for their hard work and commitment throughout the year difficult. Indeed, some employers will be tempted to view it as an unjustifiable expense or an easy saving.

Cut gifts now, repent at leisure

New research shows that taking such a short-term view is a false economy that will create more further down the line with motivation, productivity and employee retention all negatively impacted.

The team at Love2shop are experts in this field. For decades the have worked closely with more than 150,000 employers from across multiple sectors to create simple, effective rewards strategies that increase employee value, reduce staff turnover and support positive, motivated working environments.

Love2shop has just published its second Employee Value Report and it makes stark reading for any employer considering scrapping rewards for staff this Christmas.

It revealed 5.5m UK workers feel undervalued in their jobs, with 80% of them actively looking for a new role.

However, the UK-wide survey also found 87% of people say a spontaneous gift from their employer would give them a feeling of recognition. And 90% said being surprised with a multi-retailer gift card would make them feel valued.

Ease the festive financial pressure

Digging deeper into the statistics, extra days off, multi-retailer gift cards or flexible working were the top rewards favoured by 57% of respondents.

And a gift card makes a real difference when it comes to making ends meet. The Employee Value Report found 34% of people would spend a multi-retailer gift card from their employer on the weekly shop – the same number as would spend it on a meal out.

It also discovered 12% of UK workers would spend a gift card on school essentials for their children.

That’s is a clear indication of the financial pressure we are all dealing with. The most meaningful gift employers can give this Christmas is something that practically helps your colleagues to simply get by.

Love2shop is one of the best known gifting brands in the UK. Offering gift cards, contactless gift cards, e-gift cards and vouchers, Love2shop products are accepted by more than 150 retailers including Marks & Spencer, Iceland, Matalan, Argos, Costa, Harvester, Tui, Jet2Holidays and many more.

Make your list, check it twice

It’s not too late to deliver a special gift for Christmas 2023.

With Love2shop, bulk orders for gift cards can be delivered in time for Christmas if ordered by Friday, 15th December. Digital products like Love2shop Contactless Gift Cards and Love2shop e-Gift Cards can be sent straight to their inbox and can be set to arrive anytime, even on Christmas Day!

It’s also worth remembering that gifts up to the value of £50 do not need to be declared to HMRC and are not subject to tax or National Insurance under the Trivial Benefits provision, which means no additional paperwork or costs to your business.

Use Love2shop’s Tax-Free Gift Calculator to instantly see how much you could save on Christmas gifts compared to giving through payroll here.

Gifts that keep on giving

With workers more likely to spend any extra money on just getting by, can employers support their teams all year round?

They can with Love2shop’s Everyday Benefits Card. This allows cardholders to preload funds to access savings on their purchases. An average family could save more than £1,300 each year.

When you load funds onto your Everyday Benefits Card however much you load on is discounted by 7.5% – so every £100 loaded on only costs you £92.50. Employees can top up their funds all year, receiving the same discount each time.

This can help them save all year round on essential purchases including their weekly shop, clothing and more.

If you haven’t set your Christmas staff gifts in stone yet, now is the time to think carefully about what you offer. If you’re still not sure feel free to contact our team here. They can help you find the right gifts for your employees right up until Friday, 22nd December.

Five unhappy workers at a Christmas Party

Is a bonus better than a Christmas party?

Christmas is the time of year when everyone looks to let their hair down – and everyone loves a works Christmas party… right?

Well, to a point. While many people in work get excited about the works Christmas ‘do’, others contemplate it with a quiet dread. There are even some who simply aren’t bothered.

And research supports that. A 2022 study by global workforce consultancy Resource Solutions found that in the UK only 37% of workers expect a Christmas party from their employer and of those who don’t, 42% would prefer a gift or bonus.

Reasons for not wanting a Christmas party included: not celebrating Christmas (11%), not wanting to socialise with colleagues (34%), or preferring to arrange something with close colleagues (30%).

Do people really not like Christmas parties?

Until the pandemic there had been an acceptance that extroverts ran the workplace – the go-getters, the self-starters, the risk-takers and the networkers.

While those attributes are still admired, remote working allowed individuals who are motivated differently to shine, highlighting the valuable contribution quieter workers can make.

As writer Jade McAndrew-Barlow put it: “Now, the calm consideration of introverts is having a moment. They are finally valued for all the wonderful things they contribute to the workplace.

“In all the rush and tumble, introverts take time to deliberate, assess and consider the little details and how they will inform the bigger picture. They bring a calming and reassuring presence.”

It’s estimated that between 25% and 40% of people are, to some degree, introverts. In other words, people who prefer a quieter life, both at work and in their spare time. For them, Christmas parties may be something to be endured rather than enjoyed.

In addition to that, the rich diversity of the UK workforce means that for a significant number of people, Christmas is simply not a relevant holiday. Different faiths have different key gifting and feasting moments to celebrate friendship and togetherness that mean more than Christmas.

Festive stress

The work Christmas party is an event that can cause even the more extroverted among us to take a deep breath.

With its excess of food and drink, sometimes loud, lewd and inappropriate behaviour that keep HR teams busy through January, the festive do is an obstacle course where the prize is often a sore head and some stories that will be heavily edited and recounted for 12 months until everyone is fed up hearing them.

Add to that the expense of buying a new outfit, hairdo, paying for taxis (and maybe even hotels) and suddenly, even if the employer is footing the bill for the party, the event can end up hitting workers in the pocket.

With the cost of living stubbornly rising, is it time to rethink the Christmas Party?

Say thanks – and mean it

So if we ditch the Christmas party how to we reward employees for their hard work this past year?

The challenges posed by the rising cost of living – high food and fuel prices and rising mortgage and energy costs – are getting worse. What your staff may really appreciate this time of year is a little bit of help with the cost of Christmas.

Love2shop’s Employee Value Report 2023 may hold the answer. The report surveys workers across the UK to find out how they feel about their employer and the impact of reward and recognition strategies.

One key finding in this year’s report was that 6-in-10 workers said receiving spontaneous gifts at key times of year, such as Christmas, from their employer made them feel valued.

In addition, 57% felt that days off, multi-retailer gift cards or flexible working were the best ways to reward staff.

And a huge 90% of workers said they felt more valued by their employer after receiving a multi-retailer gift card – such as Love2shop.

What’s interesting about that is, when asked what they would spend such a gift card on, 34% said it would help towards their weekly shop.

The increased cost of living effectively means that giving a gift card can help your employees with their day-to-day shopping – possibly freeing up additional money for them to spend on their families at Christmas.

What’s more, 57% of respondents also reported that their productivity increases when they feel valued.

So with people facing a challenging Christmas this year, instead of giving them an extra cost to worry about, why not make things a little easier for them with a Christmas gift?

Don’t be a Grinch

Rethinking the Christmas party isn’t an excuse to simply do away with any sort of festive cheer.

An astonishing 32.5% of UK employers were offered neither a bonus nor a party in 2022, according to research published by Employee Benefits Magazine.

And the Love2shop Employee Value Report 2023 found that 39% of people felt their employer was not generous at all. Indeed, when asked how does your employee show their generosity, as well as spontaneous gifting and organised team events there were also examples like: ‘providing biscuits’ and ‘giving shout-outs on conference calls’.

Employees who feel recognised and valued are happier, more productive and less likely to leave your business.

And gifting is easy thanks to HMRC’s Trivial Benefits provisions. This allows gift cards or e-codes up to the value of £50 to be given as gifts tax-free, with no national insurance contribution or paperwork – so there’s no excuse.

Let us help make Christmas special

Love2shop is one of the best known gifting brands in the UK. Available as a gift card, e-gift card or voucher, Love2shop is accepted by around 150 retailers.

These include well-known brands such as Marks & Spencer, Iceland, Matalan, Argos, Costa, Harvester and many more. Staff can even use Love2shop holidays to put vouchers towards a getaway with more than 150 leading tour operators.

The Love2shop Business team is here to help you get your Christmas gifting right. Love2shop offers a selection of fun festive card designs to choose from. You can even order personalised cards with your business branding on them, although you need to be quick as the deadline to order those is October 20.

Christmas parties can be a great part of the festive mix but if you really want your teams to feel valued and rewarded in an inclusive way this year, it’s worth considering a new approach.

Get in touch with our team today or visit to find out how we can help.