Christmas office party should be replaced with rewards throughout the year

Under two-thirds of employees would happily forego an office Christmas party or a holiday bonus in favour of more consistent rewards and recognition throughout the year.

This is according to Reward Gateway, an employee engagement platform that brings together employee benefits, discounts, perks, reward and recognition in one unified hub.  Their research found that 65 per cent of employees would be happy to sacrifice their Christmas party and holiday bonus for rewards all year round.

Under half (46 per cent) of employees also seemed to prefer savings on everyday purchases throughout the year than a standard holiday party.  Christmas time does bring with it a heightened level of stress as 65 per cent of HR managers have acknowledged employee’s financial health takes a hit during the holiday, with 40 per cent of companies offering support in this area during the holiday season.

The research found that certain age groups place different levels of importance on rewards, as 58 per cent of recent graduates said they would agree to exchange a Christmas party and holiday bonus for more frequent rewards throughout the year, compared to just over 42 per cent of employees aged 45-54 who would do the same.

Overwhelmingly 76 per cent of employees believe their business could do more to understand what would be most helpful to the employees during the holiday season.

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.

Organisations that prioritise 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.

Reward Gateway surveyed 1,400 employees and senior decision makers across the UK, US and Australia to obtain these results.