Ah, Christmas! It’s a time of great hope and gratitude. Twinkling lights, carols, mince pies and mulled wine – it’s enough to make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside isn’t it? it’s also a time of year that can fill managers with a creeping sense of self-doubt as they face the prospect of rewarding their team for an entire year of graft sweat and tears (hard work).
What gift is authentic and sums up your gratitude? What if you get it wrong? What if you cause offence, Is it enough? Is it fair? How can you come up with something that has the mass appeal you need without giving the impression you don’t appreciate everyone as an individual? These are all worries that we hear time and time again. More often than not, companies do get it wrong – our top tip is to “Make it Authentic and Do It Well”.
5 top tips to reward staff at Christmas
There’s absolutely no need to feel like a reindeer in the headlights, though. At Team OutThere we’ve got your back!
Here are some tried and tested ideas that our team LOVE. Let’s call them the feel-good festive five:
1. Leaving early
What better gift than time off to get ahead of your Christmas shopping, catch that tear-jerking nativity performance or just spend time with the family? The average team have all sorts of things going on in their personal life, from caring for partners or elderly relatives to childcare and volunteering. This is a chance to recognise this at an individual level.
Go on, why not give your team time back for what matters most, whether that’s free time to attend an event or a bit of breathing space ahead of the activity of Christmas? It costs nothing but can mean a lot.
2. A “proper” break
It’s been a hard slog of a year hasn’t it, flexing between remote working and office working, creating the ideal hybrid situation whilst trying to find a work-life balance somewhere in the mix. Christmas is a great time to recharge those batteries ahead of doing it all again next year!
So why not wind down business-critical activity and recommend a full two-week break to your staff? It may be the best way to use up all of that carried over annual leave from 2020.
It’s an approach that’s bound to pay dividends come January, when everyone’s fresh and full of new ideas – and as the boss, well, you can be part of the solution. Halt the email deluge, lead by example and show that you really do believe Christmas is a time for families, friends and letting your hair down.
3. A luxury gift
If you’re running a small business, Christmas can present a welcome opportunity to recognise the efforts of your team with something a little more personal and a bit special. How about a spa day to relax and unwind? a posh meal or a luxury hamper that has some thought behind it that fits your employees tastes and interests. Whatever will chime well with each employee or the team as a whole, it’s time get your thinking cap (or Santa hat) on and help make some memories.
4. Gift vouchers
Larger companies in particular may favour the option of gift vouchers given the issues associated with distributing numerous or bulky gifts, especially when covid is still impacting on where staff work. And it needn’t be impersonal – in fact it’s a clever way for a diverse team of different ages and personalities to get exactly what they want.
Take time to add a personalised, handwritten note and everyone should be happy, especially if the voucher can be used in a range of high-street stores.
5. A big night out or team gathering
This one is really down to your company culture. If you buy into a ‘work hard, play hard’ approach and go out regularly as a team, a Christmas night out just has to be done. Or perhaps, you don’t do it nearly enough now remote working is on the rise and feel Christmas is your one chance to gather everyone in the same place, at the same time?
The dress code might be glitter and glam or the obligatory Christmas jumper (the more outrageous, the better) but one thing’s for sure, money behind the bar or the offer of a meal out will always be appreciated.
Santa can’t do it all though… We hope this has given you some useful ideas.
On reflection, it’s worth remembering that Christmas is but a few weeks of the year. So, rather than placing too much emphasis on it, you should free yourself up to see the bigger picture.
Employee recognition and reward is a continual journey, and in turn, team culture is built step by step, or rather kindness by kindness, over time.
This Christmas, managers would do well to remember that, especially given the stress and uncertainty of the last couple of years. Make your staff feel valued year-round by taking a moment out to acknowledge their achievements personally and taking a genuine interest in their wellbeing, and the festive spirit is sure to flow every time Christmas comes around.
Merry Christmas from us all at OutThere: may your Christmas be happy and your team even happier!