Is January the best month for rewards?

Over a fifth of workers would rather receive staff rewards in January than December.

This is according to Virgin Incentives, who found that 21 per cent would be more than happy to see this at their place of work.

They also found, that 49 per cent of employees would be open to this idea. Younger workers (16-24-year-olds) are the demographic who are most in support behind this idea, (62 per cent).  With only 34 per cent of 55+ employees feeling this is a good idea.

The main reason (78 per cent) why staff wanted a January reward rather than in December is that it was a good way to lift spirits after they return to work. Over a quarter (28 per cent) would value a January reward as they believe it “would improve their mental health” especially for younger staff.

Still, a large enough proportion (21 per cent) of employees have never received a reward from their employer and 21 per cent saying they have received bad ones. More than one in ten (11 per cent) claim the reward they received was “sexual” in some way and another 10 per cent accused their employer of gender stereotyping.

However, the rewards that made staff feel most valued were financial bonuses (82 per cent), followed by extra vacation days (78 per cent) and the option for employees to choose their own rewards (71 per cent).

Danni Rush, chief customer officer at Virgin Incentives, said:

Our research reveals that January rewards are emerging as a new and increasingly popular alternative to the traditional Christmas reward, and employers are beginning to recognise it as a potential opportunity to distinguish their business and create more memorable moments with staff.

Some employees are less comfortable with breaking from tradition however, and so it’s important that employers considering January rewards factor in the average age of their employees, the size and location of the business as well as their sector.

For those businesses who do choose January, they could benefit from greater variety and better priced options alleviating budgets to create more spectacular rewards, while also helping to support staff mental health in a more meaningful way.

To collate this research, Virgin Incentives surveyed over 2,000 UK workers.