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Xmas is coming! What can small businesses do to make their staff feel appreciated?

Xmas Is Coming! What Can Small Businesses Do To Make Their Staff Feel Appreciated?

There’s snow doubt about it – the Christmas trees are going up and the gaudy jumpers are coming out once again. The festive season is firmly here…

Christmas is the perfect opportunity to show your appreciation to the hardworking people who have helped drive your business over the last year.

But what to do?

It can be tricky to get the balance right between celebrating Christmas, accommodating the needs of each team member and ensuring workplace productivity doesn’t come to a standstill!

But it doesn’t have to be overwhelming, we’re here to offer up some simple tips to finish 2022 on a high note and show your staff just how much they are appreciated.

Are your staff full of festive cheer?

It’s worth quickly considering how people feel differently about Christmas. According to a YouGov poll, over two-thirds of people are looking forward to Christmas this year. Yet, 27% percent of employees are less motivated around Christmas than at any other time of year, with 23% feeling more stressed during the Christmas run-up period.

There’s a complex mix of feelings to manage!

Whilst some staff might have a lighter workload catching up on smaller tasks before the break, others will be working frantically to make sure everything is done, and deadlines are met. That’s not to mention tasks outside of the workplace such as buying Christmas presents, managing personal expenses, balancing time spent with family – the list can go on.

So, it’s important to keep in mind that not everyone is excited about Christmas, in fact it can be a very difficult time for those dealing with feelings of isolation, financial worries and other challenges.

Always remember:

  • Staff’s different religious beliefs or personal preferences – not everyone celebrates Christmas!
  • Staff can feel added pressure this time of year to drink and eat more – yet, for personal reasons (health issues for example) they might not want to
  • Not everyone has people to spend this time of year with – take a moment to not make assumptions!

Idea #1: Simple gifts

Offering small gifts or financial rewards are a simple way of showing gratitude to your teams. Especially when you consider that many UK workers overspend by an average of £150 each Christmas!

Rewards could be:

  • Regular gifts e.g., chocolates, wine, grocery basket, beer case – you name it!
  • E-vouchers Inc. discounts at supermarkets covering extra food costs / family days out to fill up the Christmas break!
  • Gift cards e.g., Amazon, John Lewis, Asda – helping with Christmas presents or for staff to treat themselves
  • Online portals & E-gifting – discount codes / vouchers sent directly to staff via emails or portals

Idea #2: Flexible working options

Although hybrid and flexible working is now more commonplace, businesses may decide to introduce it temporarily over Xmas or increase its availability.

At work, the pressure is on to get everything finished up before the holiday period. At home, the pressure’s on to get the shopping done, be involved in the kids’ festive school activities, plan for Christmas celebrations, or even just for staff to take a moment for themselves!

Allow your staff to:

  • Work from home when needed
  • Start earlier in exchange for early finish
  • Take a slightly longer lunch (fitting that Christmas shopping in where possible)
  • Shift up hours across different days or times
  • Avoid the daily commute

Providing a change in flexible working just for this time of year could be a nice gesture, but always ensure individual staff members get to choose whether to take it up or not. Some people prefer to come into work!

Idea #3: Early finishes and extra holiday

Some business may choose to allow for earlier finished or extra days off around Christmas. Offering just an extra day or two off for the festive period can go a long way to helping staff get their pre-Christmas prep done in time.

Of course, they’ll have to get any outstanding jobs done beforehand!

Idea 4#: Workplace celebrations

Keeping things simple with workplace activities can help create a festive and upbeat atmosphere in the office. These could include:

  • Christmas decorating
  • Secret Santa
  • Christmas event e.g., finishing early to go for lunch/dinner
  • Workplace Christmas games e.g., Christmas bingo
  • Trip to local Christmas market/shopping
  • Bringing Christmas snacks and drinks into work for an early finish on the final day

How Hooray get in the Christmas spirit

Christmas 2021

Christmas 2021

After an incredibly busy and manic 2021 year, the Hooray Health & Protection and Engage Health Group teams definitely deserved a show of appreciation! We went out for a Christmas dinner at an Italian restaurant, very festive we know! Each team member was also given an Amazon gift voucher.

Another small tweak which helps at this time of year is to move our pay day forwards so that it’s before Christmas, to give those Christmas funds a boost.

This year, we’re going for Secret Santa across the office – let’s see how well we all know each other! And, not to break tradition, we are also attending another Christmas meal at a local Brighton Italian to bring the team together after another long year of hard work.


Try making Christmas magical for everyone!

Christmas can be a wonderful and relaxing time to share with family and friends, but it is also a fantastic opportunity to remind everyone of your company values, bring people together and perhaps even cheer up someone who is struggling.

Offering the perfect balance of support to your staff is something that needs to be achieved all year round, so get advice and support from Hooray Health & Protection! We help to get things started by taking the time to listen to your specific needs and answer any questions on employee benefits and health insurance.

Contact us at [email protected] or call 01273 222805 for FREE no-obligation advice and support.

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