As bosses look to retain staff in 2018, spending on festive rewards and Christmas parties rockets

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Friday (22nd December) will see more people than ever before receiving an extra gift from their bosses, as employers spend millions on festive gatherings and bonuses to reduce the risk of losing employees and the skills and worker shortages in 2018.

The study by the Prepaid International Forum (PIF) reveals that there has been a 23% increase in the number of employees due to receive a festive reward or bonus this year. These findings are based on reports from prepaid companies that provide services to employers looking to distribute Christmas rewards.  

One4All Rewards, a member of PIF a leading provider of corporate incentives, providing multi-retail prepaid gift cards such as bonus and reward schemes, reports that sales to corporate and SME customers has risen by 25% compared to the previous year.

Commenting on the rising trend Alan Smith, managing director of One4all Rewards said, “We’re seeing companies plan their annual rewards earlier this year and in bigger numbers. It’s also noticeable how it’s not just large corporates that are planning their bonuses and rewards. Increasingly, smaller businesses are also getting in on the act.”

This generosity is less about spreading goodwill amongst employees and more about good business sense. Employers have admitted that their main motivation for handing out rewards and bonuses is to retain staff after a year dominated by headlines about increasing skill shortages and concerns about Brexit making it harder to recruit in 2018.

 Alastair Graham, spokesperson for PIF, says: “Our study shows that businesses increasingly understand the importance of retaining their best staff and the impact that providing an annual “thank you” has on loyalty and motivation.Christmas is a traditional time to show workers that you appreciate their efforts and provide a little extra to help them celebrate and enjoy themselves over the festive period.”

Festive gatherings have also seen an increase as Payment Card Solutions (PCS), another PIF member, has noted a 400% increase on last year from businesses ordering its prepaid cards to be used for Christmas party spending.

Paul Swinton, CEO of PCS, commented: “We’re especially seeing uptake from businesses with large national networks. More cards are being issued to managers with which to treat staff and help each store or office to organise their own Christmas party and use the prepaid card to fund the evening.”

Regardless of the reason for such generosity, increasing bonuses and planning Christmas parties for staff can have a great effect on staff motivation and engagement which will carry out into the new year.