The end of the year is a time when many employers boost staff morale with an extra reward – it’s worth exploring the options now

Hamper

It may seem that we have only just returned from the summer break. But the reality is that Christmas is only a few months away and it is imperative to start thinking about how you will motivate employees in the run-up to Christmas.

There is a clear correlation between incentives and performance and Christmas is a great time to capitalise on this. This is the time of year that annual targets will be achieved and customer contracts renewed, so what better time to drive sales and reward goodwill?

On the flip side, many companies will have experienced a tough and uncertain year, with pay freezes and spending cutbacks.

With this in mind it is even more important that managers show their staff that they are valued and continue to keep them motivated and engaged for 2017.

5 tips for rewarding at Christmas

Employers are becoming more creative with Christmas rewards in light of uncertain economic conditions. However, businesses that have historically rewarded staff at Christmas will be pleased to know that there are plenty of affordable, low-cost options that they can call on to ensure that staff remain motivated.

Here are five cost-effective tips to consider:

1 Choose the right reward and incentive

We’ve established that it’s important to motivate staff in the run-up to Christmas, but what reward is best?

For example, there is no point in giving employees a bottle of wine to say thank you, when some members of staff do not drink. The right reward takes some thought. Cash incentives can be confused with bonuses and salary and often get swallowed up in everyday expenditure.

This is the reason the gift cards are so popular with employers. Not only do they offer choice and appeal to all age groups, but employers can also use their negotiating power to gain discounts where buying in bulk, making it cost effective.

2 Set achievable targets & communicate them!

Targets set for employees in the run-up to Christmas should be specific, measurable, challenging but achievable and timed.

Plus, make sure you communicate them. There is little point in going to the effort of creating a Christmas reward scheme and then failing to tell anyone about it or what they need to achieve.

These days there are a number of communication methods that can be employed, including text messages, emails, newsletters, company intranet and websites.

3 Do publicly reward & get the timing right!

Formally presenting a gift card during staff meetings and employee events is really important for staff morale and may be just as important as the reward itself. Ensure that you give out the reward quickly once the target has been met, so that employees will link the treat with meeting the objective. This will ensure maximum productivity and engagement.

4 Don’t forget to reward temporary staff

Christmas is a key time for the hiring of temporary employees. One of the most important ways of gaining commitment from them is to ensure that temporary members of staff feel as much a part of the business as their permanent counterparts.

Daily targets, games and competitions resulting in on-the-spot rewards are an easy way to motivate staff, generate sales and create a general buzz in the workplace.

5 Continue the motivation and reward scheme into the New Year

It is really important to continue to incentivise staff in the New Year. In order to ensure happy, motivated and engaged employees for the year ahead, and banish any January blues, it’s a good idea to spread the motivation programme across the festive period into the New Year.

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