Three ways to reward your employees on a budget this Christmas

Three ways to reward your employees on a budget this Christmas

It’s been a difficult 12 months for people around the UK, with living costs on the rise and household budgets stretched to the max. This will likely have a hugely negative impact on the overall financial wellbeing and mental health of your employees, with people concerned about how they’ll make ends meet as we head into the festive season. In fact, research from Mumsnet shows that 68% of users are more worried about the cost of the festive season than they usually would be. It’s, therefore, more crucial than ever that your business finds ways to show its support and appreciation for its people this Christmas.

Luckily – as your business’ budget will also likely be tight this year – rewarding your employees for their hard work over the past year doesn’t have to be overly expensive. Of course, if you can offer more substantial, high-impact financial support, now would be a really valuable time to do so. But, there are also lots of great, low-cost things you can do to show your employees how much you appreciate them when it matters most and kickstart the new year the right way. Let’s take a look at how:

Use social recognition to spread the sparkle

If you’re on a tight budget and looking to deliver non-financial rewards this Christmas, don’t underestimate the power of rewarding with recognition. A sincere thank you costs nothing and, when delivered at the right time and in the right way, can be really effective. There are a number of ways you can elevate how your business says ‘thank you’ to ensure it has a longer-lasting impact on its team, including sharing recognition publicly to amplify its positive impact. 

As individuals, we feel great when we receive praise and recognition. That’s why implementing an interactive social wall – like the one we offer through our reward and recognition solution – is a great way to spread the sparkle on a low budget this Christmas. Not only does this allow recognition to be shared publicly by senior team members, but it also gives employees the chance to be thanked and recognised by their peers as well.

Using this tool, Senior Managers and employees alike can publicly share messages of thanks, in-the-moment which means your team can collectively celebrate positive actions and achievements, big or small, that happen over the Winter months. By encouraging public, peer-to-peer recognition you’ll also help to embed a culture of business-wide gratitude which is a great way to boost morale and camaraderie, which everyone could do with a bit more of this Christmas. Further to that, the tool gives employees the ability to ‘like’, comment on and share the recognition posts, which make them even more significant to the individual and further spread Christmas cheer. It’s a gift that will keep on giving long into the New Year. 

Use media to add a personal touch to your festive ‘thank yous’

If you’ve got a low budget for your end-of-year rewards this year and decide to focus on recognition, adding a dash of extra personalisation is key. One way you can take your ‘thank you’ from a formality to a meaningful message of appreciation is with media recognition. This involves using an image, video or audio file to support your message and, in turn, increase its significance. With a video message, in particular, Senior Leaders and employees at all levels will be able to express genuine gratitude and share how much the recipient’s hard work has meant to them. In the context of your business’ CEO or Managing Director recognising the team, this is really powerful way of getting that genuine appreciation across. They could even put a festive spin on the message to give spirits a much-needed lift. With our reward and recognition solution, employees from around your business can share public and private messages of thanks using images, videos and audio files to recognise their colleagues’ hard work – not only during the festive season but throughout the year to truly build a culture of appreciation.

Give the gift of choice

With budgets especially tight this year, make sure that if you do choose to deliver something tangible alongside your messages of thanks, it’s in a meaningful and thoughtful way. When choosing a token of thanks to send to an employee, think about what will have the biggest impact and provide the most support within the context of the cost of living crisis. 

That’s one of the perks of delivering reward points through a flexible rewards scheme – it gives individuals the choice to pick a reward that aligns with their preferences and priorities this festive season. It also gives you as an employer the power to choose to send as little or as much to each employee whilst still showing how much you’ve appreciated all they’ve done this past year. 

While on the surface you’re giving your employees the same thing, they can redeem their points in any way they like – a festive day out, a gift for a loved one, a supermarket gift voucher or even on their Christmas tree. By giving them this element of choice, you’ll boost the long-term significance of the reward as well as demonstrate that you value them as an individual and are keen to support them through this uncertain time. As lots of individuals’ outgoings rise and savings fall, this could be hugely valuable in boosting morale and helping your team plan the Christmas they love for less.

Final thoughts

To summarise, whatever your business’s budget, your employees will need your support more than ever this Christmas. Whether through a simple note of appreciation confirming a great year of work or something monetary like a gift card or reward points, delivering end-of-year rewards is crucial to keep morale high at a challenging time and kickstarting the new year the right way. If you haven’t got a budget for financial rewards, remember the power of recognition and make sure you’re saying ‘thank you’ in a way that’s personal and meaningful to the recipient. If you are delivering financial rewards – remember that low-cost rewards can have a high impact if they offer relevance, choice and support. 

Using our flexible reward and recognition solution, you can deliver festive ‘thank yous’ and rewards in a number of different ways to suit your business and boost morale when it matters most. 

Read next: How to help your employee save money on their Christmas spending this year

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With cost of living increases continuing to create financial challenges for people in the UK, now is the time for businesses to take action to provide valuable, long-term support to help their employees.

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