07 Dec 2021

Why rewarding staff is more important than ever this year

With more than three quarters (76.4%) of UK professionals intending to look for a new job in 2022 according to a new survey by CV-Library[i], Adrian Lewis, Commercial Director at Activ People HR advises that rewarding staff and showing appreciation could be key to retention and has never been more important this festive season.

This follows a warning from the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) and  KPMG[ii] in September saying the UK is facing worst labour shortage since 1997 and it is expected to continue into 2022 – with hospitality, retail, farming, healthcare, and construction to be particularly hard hit.

Adrian says, “The UK economy has faced one of its most challenging periods since records began due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The impact on staff has been equally as difficult with working from home and dealing with lockdowns and restrictions causing a rise in mental health conditions.

“This is leading workers to reassess their career and many it appears seem ready to jump ship in 2022 and find a new job. Also, just as we thought we were coming out the other side of the pandemic the new variant of concern, Omicron is casting doubts on whether we will get the ‘normal’ Christmas we had all been hoping for.

“Retaining staff is cheaper then recruiting new ones, so employers should show how much they value their workforce this festive season. A reward to say thank you for a job well done could make a big difference to how people feel about their role and increase staff loyalty.”

Adrian offers the following suggestions for how staff could be rewarded this Xmas:

Christmas party or lunch – organising an office party/lunch can be a great perk and the chance for staff to let their hair down. If a face to face party/lunch is not possible because of restrictions, then an online Teams party/lunch where everyone has a glass of wine or two together can be great for morale.

Plan a team/office away day – If a Christmas party or lunch isn’t feasible this year, why not use the funds that would have been spent to plan a team or office outing in the spring? This could be a spa day, an experience such as wine tasting/bowling or golf or a trip to the theatre with dinner. Get staff involved and ask them what they would like.

Give a thank you gift-card – Recent Blackhawk Network research[iii] found that almost half of employees (44%) would be happy to receive a gift card this Christmas. Instead of a bottle of wine, chocolates or even a hamper, a gift card is not only easy for an employer to organise, people can spend it on what they want and it’s a great way to say thank you to people for their hard work this year.

Half day off for Xmas shopping – Why not consider giving people an extra half day off to say thank you during December? People could use this to go Christmas shopping or whatever else they choose to do. Staff will likely really appreciate this this year, especially if it’s completely unexpected.

Introduce flexible working – Not introduced flexible working yet, despite it being a key employee benefit? Why not make 2022 the year you do, your employees will thank you and it could benefit the business too. A survey of 8,000 global employers and employees conducted by Vodafone found 61% thought flexible working boosted company profits[iv].

A good HR system which includes absence management software can make introducing flexible working easier and ensure the business doesn’t suffer. It enables managers to keep track of staff working flexibly, as well as record absenteeism and holidays, giving transparency and clarity across the business.

Adrian adds, “We’ve all had a tough year so rewarding your staff and thanking them for their loyalty can really improve motivation and morale. A company is nothing without its workforce and starting 2022 with everyone feeling positive is a great way to kick off the New Year.”

For more information on Active People HR visit: www.activpeoplehr.co.uk.