Deserving staff need creative rewards this Christmas

Longford Leader Reporter

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Deserving staff need creative rewards this Christmas

Director of CIPD Ireland Mary Connaughton

HR and Learning & Development organisation CIPD Ireland is urging employers to think creatively when it comes to rewarding staff this year.

The traditional Christmas party is a no-go as restrictions continue and many businesses are still operating on a part or fully remote basis.

Despite this, CIPD Ireland says it’s more important than ever that staff feel their contribution is valued. After an extremely difficult year, a gesture of appreciation and encouragement goes a long way towards this goal. 

The organisation has issued tips to their 6000 members around the country on how they could reward and encourage staff this Christmas, including some of the following:

Additional time off - This could take the form of additional annual leave, or in the case of many companies who have already decided, closing earlier than normal this year. As well as rewarding employees for what they have done to sustain the business, it recognises the benefits of additional rest where fatigue is setting in.

Personal recognition – Increase the level of recognition for employees. CEOs and line managers should make an effort to recognise those who went above and beyond, for example by sending personal emails or making a call and acknowledging their contribution. Vouchers are a useful tool where finances allow.

Get-together online - Host a virtual meet-up and schedule food deliveries or fun packages to coincide with it, encouraging teams to take time out and chat about their experience of 2020 in all its highs and lows. Get employees involved in creating fun events.

Sponsored wellness - CIPD research has shown how wellbeing has become more and more important to employers and employees, so offer a range of sessions for staff, whether it’s for mindfulness, yoga, book club, walking/exercise challenge, choir or even a mental health check-up with an appropriate service provider. 

Director of CIPD Ireland Mary Connaughton says it’s been a long road for those at every level in business: “How surreal it is to think that this time last year we were debating venues and entertainment at Christmas parties. Businesses that have made it this far must recognise the effort it took their workers to keep going. The need to recognise their contribution has never been greater and it’s not about nights out, or pizzas in the canteen. It’s about appreciating hard-working staff and strengthening the social  connections that keep people going.”

Looking ahead to 2021, Mary expects uncertainty will continue for some time to come: “Vaccine developments are offering some exciting light at the end of the tunnel. However, we can’t take for granted that we’ll suddenly return to a pre-Covid working environment. Employers should spend some time in the coming weeks preparing for how their operation will look next year, balancing on-site and remote working, as well as their overall strategy for how they’ll work in the future."