Low cost Christmas perks more important to employees

Businesses wanting to reward their employees should consider lifestyle perks and benefits over financial incentives, a new study says.

Less than half (43 per cent) of employees believe free and negligible cost rewards are most important at Christmas perks, more so than bonuses, according to new research from Sodexo Benefits and Rewards Services.

In a survey of 1000 consumers, 19 per cent said extra holiday, 16 per cent chose flexible working or early finishes, with others selecting relaxed dress codes, end of year meetings and awards as the most important Christmas perks. These festive perks are often easy to implement and come at negligible cost to employees.

The research, also shows that balancing work with family activities and Christmas shopping causes 1 in 3 employees (34 per cent) stress around the holiday period. This increased pressure could be alleviated by employers taking a flexible approach to winter working and providing these suggested incentives.

In additional research by Sodexo Benefits and Rewards Services conducted by OnePoll, 84 per cent of employees admit that a non-financial Christmas perk would motivate them to work harder, feel more valued by their employer, more likely to stay in their role rather than job hunt, and feel more recognised for the work they have done.

Iain Thomson, director of incentive and recognition at Sodexo Benefits and Rewards Services, thinks that employers need to understand that the most valued benefits are those which will immediately impact lifestyle rather than financial gain.

Thomson adds, ‘This is a key point in the year when people want to focus on friends and family, with work naturally taking a back seat. Instead of risking lower productivity levels and absenteeism, businesses should look at these simple, affordable options of rewarding their staff.

‘For those companies in industries where more holiday or reduced working time isn’t possible, implementing personalised non-financial rewards and encouraging a relaxed working environment should be considered. Not only will motivation remain consistent or increase, employees will feel valued and listened to.’

Further reading on employee benefits

Owen Gough, SmallBusiness UK

Owen Gough

Owen was a reporter for Bonhill Group plc writing across the Smallbusiness.co.uk and Growthbusiness.co.uk titles before moving on to be a Digital Technology reporter for the Express.co.uk.

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