10:00 AM, 02 01, 2018

How to reward and recognise employees in 2018

Stats show that almost 90% of companies now use recognition programs (Towers Watson Global Workforce Study)

With most companies now wanting to be a great place to work, it makes sense that you have a real plan in place for spending time with employees outside of a pure work context in 2018!

Did you know that according to a new study “Optimal Hours with the Boss” from Leadership IQ, most people spend only half the time they should be spending with their boss. People who do spend an optimal number of hours interacting with their direct leader (six hours per week) are 29% more inspired, 30% more engaged, 16% more innovative and 15% more intrinsically motivated than those who spend only one hour per week.

It seems that interacting with employees could be the secret to a more productive and engaged workforce. We wanted to give you some tips for the year ahead!

14 February: Valentine’s Day – It doesn’t seem work compatible at first and might sound like a fast track to a legal case against you, but don’t forget that on Valentine’s Day the coupled up members of your workforce might want to get out of the office early (and the singles might also want to get out of the office as well to get away from the couples!). It’s also a great time to give gift cards that really help people spoil themselves or their other halves. We would suggest a restaurant gift card. You might choose a Pizza Express gift card, a Zizzi Gift Card or even a gift card for a supermarket so they can make their own romantic meal for one, or two!

17 March: St Patrick’s Day - Celebrated by Irish communities all around the world, this is a great time to see your company host your own St Patrick’s Day events too. Dress in green, grab a pint of Guinness and head out with friends to join in the celebrations! Pick up a supermarket gift card and get all the drinks and foods without needing to worry about expenses! You might also want to make this into its own ceremony – recognising the people with the luck of the Irish, the ‘greenest’ (best sales or most eco-aware) and the best attitude. Think outside of the box!

1 April Easter - There are two bank holidays in Easter: Good Friday and Easter Monday. As you will know, this Christian holiday is traditionally celebrated with a family meal, usually featuring roast lamb to mark the beginning of spring. Another delicious tradition is chocolate eggs - supermarkets offer a huge variety, from tiny ones to eggs the size of your head! Pick up your own gift card for a supermarket again, or why not treat your employees to a day out using a gift card that can be ‘eggschanged’ for a team day out? You can even arrange your own egg hut on site – what about some clues relating to your business?

First Monday of May: Early May bank holiday. This is a day off, but why not spoil your employees with an Argos or House of Fraser gift card? These great ‘multi use’ gift cards can be used to purchase anything that the weather allows – whether we get some unexpected BBQ weather or if they want to pick up a waterproof pair of walking boots.

Last Monday of May: Spring bank holiday. Again – another day off! If you’ve already treated your employees, why not pick up a gift card for a coffee – perhaps Caffe Nero or Costa, and help your team get back into work after a wonderful 3 day weekend?

21 June: Summer solstice - Celebrate the longest day and shortest night of the year with a summer BBQ! Grab all the essentials using a gift card for Debenhams and don’t forget a sound system using a Curry’s PC World gift card!

Last Monday of August: Summer bank holiday - the last bank holiday until Christmas, this is the perfect time to give employees a gift card to say thank you for their work this year so far. Why not tie in a special gifting and award ceremony instead of waiting until Christmas? You might also see benefits in offering peer to peer gifting opportunities in your business, allowing employees to give gift cards to each other for great work.

31 October: Halloween - Originally based on the ancient Celtic religion, the modern way of celebrating Halloween is becoming increasingly popular in the UK. Expect to see witches, monsters and ghosts as children and adults alike enjoy Halloween fancy dress parties on this spooky night!

5 November: Bonfire night - This event marks the anniversary of Guy Fawkes’ plot to blow up the House of Lords in 1605. You can always put on your own fireworks display – health and safety allowing – but if that’s not quite right, why not award the sparkling employees in your business? You could even make a mini ceremony, whether you all wrap up warm and share a mulled wine (or squash!) and raise a glass to the employees who are going the extra mile. Make your own branded awards, get some medals and trophies, along with some Preference Gift Cards so they can select the gift card for their retailer of choice, and then enjoy the spectacular firework displays.

25 and 26 December: Christmas Day and Boxing Day – And just like that – before we know it, it’s Christmas again and that means a big celebration in the UK! The build-up starts weeks before with Christmas markets, parties, trees, presents and mince pies taking centre stage through most of December. Why not start a holiday incentive to keep staff motivated before the big day, whether you reward activities like calls, customer care excellence or just ‘holiday cheer’ – a gift card with a contrast such as a TUI gift card, or perhaps a big value gift card for a luxury brand like Harrods will really have some impact!

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