Why Send a Christmas Gift to Your Employees?

Employers often face a conundrum around bonuses, particularly at Christmas: Should you really reward people for simply doing the job that you hire them for? We’d argue that you absolutely should, but you needn’t spend a fortune on cash pay-outs, and here are our reasons why.

It’s always worth taking the time to say thank you to your employees, it’s good manners, and it’s the right thing to do. Christmas is a good opportunity to pause and do just that. Take a brief moment to look back and show your colleagues your appreciation for the hard work and support that they’ve put in over the last year. At its simplest, recognition of organisational achievements is why we give Christmas gifts and rewards.

Just a simple thank you (mostly)

Of course, while we’d all like to think that a Christmas reward is offered simply for the joy of giving, in reality they serve a purpose for the coming year as well. Done right, they genuinely help boost morale early in the New Year, which in turn could mean that an employee stays with your company for longer. If you’ve invested in training someone on systems or ways of working, then the longer you keep them the cheaper the relative cost of the training.

Once the festive season is over, it is still a couple of months until spring lightens our hearts. The inevitably dreary months of January and February are a time when people look at what they are doing now and question whether they could be doing something better somewhere else. The memory of a well-chosen Christmas gift  could help remind people that they are working in a positive environment for an employer that looks after them. It may help to at least slow their hand before they send out their CV.

Longer-lasting warm glow

Obviously a good Christmas reward is not the only factor in someone’s decision whether or not to change roles, but it can have an influence long after the decorations have been packed away.

We would go so far as to suggest that it could carry positive feelings beyond the spring. Being cynical and more than a little mercenary, it also could begin to have an impact even when people come back with the post-summer holiday blues. If they think that they are going to receive another gift during December, again, it won’t stop them from leaving, but it might make them move a little slower. (Obviously this is dependent on the perceived value of the rewards an organisation issues).

Bridge the gap

Looking at it from an alternative angle, offering a gift or reward at Christmas can also form an effective tactic in an internal communications strategy. As companies grow, it is all too easy to let a gulf form between senior leadership teams and the people on the ground, and that gulf can quickly become a rift that is less than positive from a company morale point of view.
Giving a Christmas gift in alignment with a considered Christmas message from the leadership team can help bridge the gap, and if you are using the Christmas message as an opportunity to (briefly) outline the company strategy for the year ahead, it can mean that people may come back with innovative, on-the-ground suggestions about how a strategy can be achieved.

A Christmas gift for employees should come from the heart, appeal to all and represent a genuine token of appreciation. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t also consider the wider positive impact it could have on your bottom line.