The festive season is well underway and while employers and their employees are in the full swing of celebrations, a disconnect has emerged.
Whereas employers are looking to crack on with new year plans and strategies, many employees are beginning to look for jobs elsewhere. The ‘Great Resignation’, as it has been termed, has become one of the major pandemic issues facing organizations across the country.
A recent survey by Randstad found that 69% of workers are feeling confident that they will move jobs in the coming months, which is a worrying statistic for employers who are likely to lose core staff from their workforce as a result of this.
The challenge for businesses is how to retain their best talent while driving productivity and end results. The answer could well be better gifting and rewarding.
The importance of employee gifting
Providing employees with tokens of appreciation, especially around Christmas, has been standard practice in many businesses for years. Organizations find that it boosts employee retention, as well as happiness. A recent study by Deloitte backed this up, revealing businesses that have employee recognition protocols in place enjoy a 31% lower voluntary turnover. 94% of employees state a gift from their employer would make them feel more valued.
This clearly demonstrates that bringing in an employee gifting strategy at Christmas can be a subtle yet impactful way of keeping employees on board. However, sometimes HR teams are not supported with the tools that enable more appropriate gifting opportunities. Research from Aberdeen Group shows that only 14% of organizations provide managers with the necessary services for rewards and recognition. This needs to change if organizations are to keep their hands on their most valued staff.
Choosing the perfect gift
Once the appropriate rewarding strategies have been agreed, and platforms implemented, the next step is to choose appropriate rewards for employees. In the hybrid work world, this needs to be something that would be appropriate no matter their working location, and which is tailored to the individual recipient.
Virtual food vouchers remain one of the most popular options. This is because voucher systems are perfect for our new way of working. In-office employees can spend their reward on team lunches and healthy snacks, whereas those at home are able to order their food online and enjoy it in the comfort of their home.
Another option for virtual gift vouchers is to give access to free rides to employees. Traveling via a ride-hailing service can aid employees who live far away, and traditionally have to endure long commutes, enjoy a smoother ride home. Employees that live nearby can share rides, keeping costs down and helping to support them doing their bit for the environment.
What is most important about such rewarding processes is that they should be offered to all employees, yet tailored to the specific wants and needs of the individual. Whether this is a specific food voucher that relates to a worker’s preferred cuisine. Or a relevant ride-hailing service that enables them to get to and from the office most easily.
Personalizing the experience
Each company is different, and therefore there’s no one universal approach to employee happiness. With this in mind, HR departments need to be aware of what their employees want and adjust gifting accordingly.
The driving force behind any successful gifting program will be having a touch of personalization so that each employee feels their contribution has been valued. For example, being aware of what days employees commute, and offering ride vouchers to correspond with this. Or if an employee chooses to stay virtual, this could mean sharing a meal voucher on their last day of work before Christmas, to make it more special while they stay at home.
HR departments that are at the heart of a business will be in tune with what would best suit the culture of their company and know the best next steps to take. It is up to business leaders to ensure they have empowered their HR departments to gift accordingly and trust that any decisions made will be in the best interest of their employees and their overall work experience.
If employees want one thing post-pandemic, it’s to be part of a wider work community while retaining their sense of self-worth and this worth being recognized internally. Christmas can be the perfect time to enact this, by investing in gifting for the whole team.
Making Christmas hybrid-friendly
The decisions businesses make during the Christmas period in regards to their employee wellbeing will have a lasting impact on their business outcomes in 2022. The companies that reward their employees today will ensure they are able to retain the best talent tomorrow.
Rewarding has always been integral to ensuring a happy employee, but now, as we slowly emerge from the pandemic there has never been a more appropriate time for organizations and HR teams to refresh their approach.
Ultimately businesses need to realize that gifting isn’t just for Christmas, it’s for all year round. By investing in rewarding platforms, businesses ensure they have the right tools in place to offer the very best employee experience possible.
Head of Uber for Business, EMEA
Christophe Peymirat is the Regional General Manager of Uber for Business, EMEA. Previously, as a founding member of Egencia, he held various posts in the organization - most recently the role of Chief Commercial Officer. In his early career, Christophe started as a sales and marketing executive at L'Oréal. He then worked as a business consultant at Bain & Company. Christophe graduated from the HEC School.
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