Employees would sacrifice their Christmas party in return for more regular rewards throughout the year

21 November 2019

With the festive period rapidly approaching, a survey has highlighted that ongoing benefits are more attractive than one-off perks that are offered to staff around this time of year.

1,400 employees and senior decision-makers from the UK, USA and Australia have taken part in a study conducted by Reward Gateway, which has revealed that staff would find rewards that are offered consistently throughout the year preferential to receiving a Christmas bonus or having a Christmas party. 65% of respondents also noted that their employers could have more understanding of what they would find beneficial during the holiday period, and 76% of HR members and business leaders confessed that they recognize this and that they could be assisting staff in more helpful ways over Christmas.

The figures show that percentages do vary based on the age bracket of the employee and that 58% of recent graduates would sacrifice a Christmas bonus if offered the option of more frequent rewards offered throughout the duration of the year. This dropped considerably to 42% for respondents aged between 45 and 54. Overall, over half of staff confirmed that they would forego the Christmas party if it meant that they could have access to ongoing rewards, recognition and savings.

It is an undeniable fact that most people are under additional financial pressure during the run up to, and over the Christmas period. 65% of HR managers acknowledge these higher levels of stress but only 40% of their organisations offer guidance and support in this field. This is potentially an area that needs to be addressed by businesses in an attempt to maintain employee financial and therefore, mental, health over the festive period.

Robert Hicks, Group HR director at Reward Gateway said

“Today, employees are challenging their employers to look at their benefits as well as reward and recognition programs more closely, getting them to understand that what has worked traditionally may not work for today’s modern workforce.

 What’s interesting from the findings is that employee preference is changing, and that managers agree – companies could be doing more to better engage their workforces. Organizations that prioritize listening to their people and delivering continuous rewards and recognition can create an environment where employees are more engaged and excited about where they work all year, not just during the holidays.”

CIPP comment

 To ensure that, if you provide your employees with benefits, you are treating them in the correct way, you should enrol on the CIPP’s P11D, expenses and benefits day-long training course. It will provide you with invaluable information surrounding the tax and NI treatment of various benefits and expenses and equip you with the correct tools to ensure that you are proceeding in line with legislation. The next course is being held on 8 January 2020 in London.

 Similarly, if your organisation intends to, or currently does, payroll benefits, there is a one-day training course that provides guidance on processing Benefits in Kind (BIK) through payroll. This is an increasingly popular method of providing and administering benefits and the next course is being held in Bristol on 18 December 2019.


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