The need to retain staff seems to be driving a bigger spend on staff reward this Christmas according to an annual study by the Prepaid International Forum (PIF). Festive bonuses are up by 23 per cent with just over one in five (21 per cent) workers inline for such a gift compared to just 14 per cent last year and 7 per cent in 2014. The findings are supported by reports from prepaid companies that provide services to employers looking to distribute Christmas rewards.
One member of PIF, One4All Rewards reports that sales to corporate and SME customers have risen by 25 per cent, compared to the same period last year. However, this generosity has more to do with business than it does Christmas spirit. Employers admit that their main motivation for such generosity is to retain staff after a year dominated by headlines about skills shortages and concerns about Brexit making it harder to recruit in 2018.
“Our study shows that businesses increasingly understand the importance of retaining their best staff and the impact that providing an annual ‘thank you' has on loyalty and motivation,” said Alastair Graham, spokesperson for PIF. “Christmas is a traditional time to show workers that you appreciate their efforts and provide a little extra to help them celebrate and enjoy themselves over the festive period.”
Commenting on the rising trend Alan Smith, managing director of One4all Rewards said: “We’re seeing companies plan their annual rewards earlier this year and in bigger numbers. It’s also noticeable how it’s not just large corporates that are planning their bonuses and rewards. Increasingly, smaller businesses are also getting in on the act.
“We’ve carried out studies that show that even smaller value bonuses paid through non cash devices like gift cards can have a huge impact on staff motivation and loyalty, particularly with younger workers and those on lower wages for whom a little extra makes a big difference,” he added.
Christmas parties also seem to be getting a boost this year. Payment Card Solutions (PCS), another PIF member, has noted a 400 per cent increase on last year from businesses ordering its prepaid cards to be used for Christmas party spending.
Paul Swinton, CEO of PCS, commented:“We’re especially seeing uptake from businesses with large national networks. More cards are being issued to managers with which to treat staff and help each store or office to organise their own Christmas party and use the prepaid card to fund the evening.”