As we move into the holiday season you’re likely focused on finishing the year strong, and looking towards next year, but one of the factors that will determine what next year looks like is the happiness of your employees. You want to be sure that your employees come back from the Christmas break energized, motivated, and ready to get the year started, but what’s the best way to do that? As many companies have figured out, it isn’t through hosting a company Christmas party. It turns out the majority of employees who attend, 74%, do so only out of a feeling of obligation. In addition, 90% of those surveyed said they would rather have the extra vacation day, or holiday bonus, over the company party. So if the party is off, what is on?
Recent studies have found that there are several items that are most likely to get your employees motivated to work hard, many of which are easy to implement and won’t cost the company large amounts of money.
The first is charitable giving. 75% of employees interviewed for the study stated that it was important to them that their employer participate in charitable giving. This can be something simple like promoting a food drive or Toys for Tots program with your company being a donation site. It could be something more unique like giving employees Global Giving gift cards which allows them to then select from more than 3,000 non-profit charity organizations to which they can donate their gift card. Or you could do something that would both build a sense of team with your employees as well as contribute to charitable giving such as spending a day with your employees helping at Habitat for Humanity or serving at a homeless shelter. It turns out that younger employees in particular were highly motivated to work for companies associated with charitable giving.
The second option for motivation is to give employees something tangible. Rather than cash, that will be quickly forgotten, give them something they’ll have for years to come. The best way to do this is to give something that benefits not just the employee but their family as well. Consider sending them a gift basket from Omaha Steak or sign them up with a meal delivery service which would allow them to select a few meals per month to be delivered to their home. If you’d rather focus on the employee maybe a watch, gym bag, or a Fitbit would be a good choice. Just be sure to steer clear of putting your company logo on it as it shifts from being a gift to being advertising at that point.
As you look towards 2019 and what you might focus on to help reach your company goals, finding ways to support and encourage your employees will pay huge dividends. With nearly 2/3 of small businesses getting rid of holiday bonuses, maybe it’s time to come up with an alternative to let your employees know you value their service.