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Ways to celebrate & reward your employees this festive season

Updated: Jun 14, 2022

It goes without saying that 2020 has been a particularly testing and troubling year for most businesses across the country.

Usually by now we would be getting excited about the festive season ahead, preparing for the end of the year and most importantly, planning the much-awaited Company Works Do!

Unfortunately, the global pandemic has put a stop to almost all social interactions right now, but we believe that it is still so important to reward your employees for all of their hard work and celebrate the achievements that you have made together as a business throughout 2020.

You may already have a culture of recognition and reward within the workplace and now more than ever will this have an impact on your employees and the outlook for their future within the business and for the upcoming year ahead.

If you haven’t already established a culture of recognition and reward, then now is the perfect time to think about how you can implement this into your 2021 outlook.

Some of the benefits include:

· Improved staff morale

· Enhanced employee loyalty to the company

· Reduced staff turnover

· A team that know they are doing the job correctly

· A supportive work environment

· Improved workplace wellbeing

With all that said, how can you reward and recognise your employees this Christmas (there we said it) whilst staying within the rules of lockdown?

Motivating your employees through this festive season may require a bit of a rethink but if you’re still wondering how to do this then here’s our list of things you can do to support, reward and celebrate your employees this Christmas (oops we snuck it in again).

How to support your employees this Christmas

Provide a support package

Many of your employees may be feeling anxious or concerned about the financial implications of Christmas after such a difficult year. Providing a support package for your staff so they can have someone to turn to and speak to confidentially can provide considerable reassurance.

Whether employees are worried about their own family Christmas arrangements or they’re feeling anxious about the future, remind them of the support that’s available in the workplace. This may be a member of your HR team, a mental health first aider or an external company that provides you with employee wellbeing support. Make yourself and managers available as part of this support package and guide employees accordingly.

Offer more festive flexibility

Where possible allow your employees to take extra time off when needed. In the past this may have been done to allow for some child free Christmas shopping or seeing family and friends for Christmas catch ups. This year for obvious reasons this may have changed, however enabling employees to take some extra time off or work different hours can be a real motivator. With more and more school years shutting down and people isolating for one week or more, giving your employees the flexibility to help their friends and family in need could make a big difference.

Say Thank You

Thanking your employees for all that they have done throughout the year has probably never been more important. Of course, a simple card will do but how about taking it that little bit further with some gift vouchers, an extra day off over the holidays or a small bonus if possible?

Recognition is priceless, especially when you’re working remotely or worried about the future, so don’t forget to say ‘Thank you’ in whatever way possible.

Send out gift bundles with wellbeing and self-care as the main theme

This isn’t the first time that we have recommended sending care packages to employees as a way of supporting their wellbeing. In fact, Christmas is probably one of the only holidays where we forget to look after ourselves and take time to practice good self-care.

Giving your employees a gift that will make them stop and take some time to look after themselves is a real bonus in our eyes.

Home cooking kits, a magazine subscription, bath bombs, herbal teas, Christmas chocolates and goodies to cheer the soul. The opportunities are unlimited. You could even provide a ‘voucher’ for everyone to have a ‘duvet day’ during the month of December. Have fun with it and enjoy a happy and relaxed workforce.

How to celebrate with your employees this Christmas

Don’t worry, we haven’t forgotten that sometimes Christmas is also about letting go, having fun and celebrating as a team.

Celebrate virtually with an activity that everyone can take part in

Although you won’t be able to get everyone to meet up face to face there is still a huge part that meeting virtually can play this Christmas.

Get those Santa hats ready and arrange a company cheese and wine tasting that everyone can do at home. Companies such as Decent Drop have created Christmas tasting kits for this very occasion and can ship their delicious tasting kits straight to the door:

Alternatively, you could host a chocolate tasting event, a gin tasting – anything to get that festive cheer flowing (here at Whitcombe HR we might just take part in a little cheese and wine tasting ourselves).

Secret Santa

It may seem obvious but don’t write off Secret Santa and gift giving just because everyone is at home. This is still a great way to get your employees bonding with each other and sharing the Christmas spirit (and who doesn’t like more presents?).

Christmas quiz

This does what it says on the tin and is a great way to get everyone together for some fun and competitiveness. Why not add a bonus team round so everyone can spend some timing bonding and getting to know each other?

Activities staff can choose from

This is a lovely way to reward your employees and give them the opportunity to chose the gift that they receive. This could be a craft making activity they can do with the family, a crate of wine or beer or a donation to charity.

2021 Calendar

For a little bit of fun and some giggles why not do a 2021 calendar with photos of everyone from the business? There are loads of great websites that allow you to design your own desk calendar and you could even include little wellbeing and mental health tips each month.

We hope this list of ideas will help bring as much festive cheer to your employees as possible this Christmas and if you would like any support creating a recognition and reward scheme for your business in 2021 then please don’t hesitate to get in touch by emailing

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