· Insights

Make rewarding simple and effective this Christmas

Christmas for many really is the most wonderful time of the year. For employers and employees alike, it’s often a chance to unwind and look forward to spending time with friends and family after a year of hard work. This Christmas especially is set to see a return to some normality following 2020 in lockdown, where the pandemic had a huge impact on the usual festivities.

The effect of COVID-19 sadly didn’t stop there, and businesses have been battling a new and challenged way of working. Employees have bared the brunt, according to AXA’s mental health report, which finds 81% of employees have described themselves as having a low state of mind and 64% said their work-stress levels have increased since the pandemic.

There’s therefore no better time to reward employees after a difficult year to ensure they feel recognised, valued and loyal into the new year – gift cards make it simple and impactful.

Gift cards as a go-to

Recent Blackhawk Network research into what employees want to receive as a gift at work finds that almost half of employees (44%) would be happy to receive a gift card. Not only this but appetite from consumers is on the rise.

The latest EMEA Retail Report finds that 70% of consumers are likely to buy a gift card this Christmas, while the Holiday Shopping Forecast finds those in the UK purchase gift cards for people who are difficult to buy for or so that people can buy what they want amongst the top reasons. 

Gift cards this Christmas are certainly a go-to with appetite in the UK for multiple reasons. When it comes to employers, getting a gift right will be essential to making the team feel like the reward is something they will use and appreciate.

Gifting with choice  

Flexibility is just one of the many benefits to gifting a gift card, you don’t have to stick to one retailer or one kind.

The demographics, lifestyle and situations of employees are going to vary within any business and it’s important that when gifting a gift card employers take this into consideration.

That's why rather than second-guessing what people would like, you can tailor your gift card option, which can go a long way in helping that employee feel like an individual.

 Blackhawk Network’s research finds employees prefer multi-retailer or restaurant gift cards if given a choice of which kind of card they would like to receive most.

The festive period is a great opportunity to reward employees with a treat to themselves or to use gift card funds to ensure the big day is extra special. The One4all card is the ideal gift with a wide range of retailers to choose from. With a multi-retailer card they have they the choice of spending their gift however suits them most.

Reward with ease

While there are many ideas for gifting, it’s important to gift in the most effective way possible, for the most impact.

There’s no right or wrong but taking into consideration how each employee may prefer to receive a gift ensures it feels tailored. Digital is thriving amongst the consumer audience as the Holiday Shopping Forecast report revealed, and it’s no different for the business environment.

With working from home and flexible working now the norm, it’s worth considering that not all employees will be in the office around the Christmas period. In which case, digital gift cards are an easy alternative to gifting. This also presents the opportunity to personalise your message to go the extra mile in making your employee feel the recognition they deserve.

Take the worry away

This year is certainly a little different to last Christmas, and the effects of the pandemic and Brexit still linger on.

Supply chains have been a worry for many for this festival period with concerns that gifts may not be delivered on time or the options for gifts may be limited.

With this in mind, there is even more reason for rewarding with gift cards, taking the worry away from employers and giving employees that chance to get exactly what they want, when they can.

Rewards aren’t just for Christmas

Christmas is the ideal time of year to reward employees and make them feel valued. However, gifting shouldn’t be limited to this. Employers who want to motivate their team all year around should gift little and often, to recognise hard work.

Gift cards might be an easy route at Christmas but it’s also a simple way to reward employees throughout the year, personalising your gift, giving them choice and keeping the team in good spirits.

If you’d like more ideas or support with your gift cards for employees click here.  

Karen Oosthuizen is director of inside sales at Blackhawk Network