Recent data from the UK’S National Debtline has shown that around 6.5 million people will struggle to heat their homes sufficiently this festive season. Christmas is always an expensive time of year and even more so in 2023, as the cost-of-living crisis continues to bite, people are and will struggle. But employers can help to make things easier and not just at Christmas. Whether it’s a small gesture of gratitude with a seasonal ‘reward’, or all-year-round access to employee benefit options to help salaries go further.
Christmas is a huge opportunity to demonstrate to staff that they are valued and supported, yet nearly two-thirds (61%) of employees do not anticipate getting a ‘gift’ from their employer this year. Undoubtedly This could be because companies are also feeling the effects of an uncertain economy and don’t have the cash for additional gifts, rewards, or workplace perks and benefits. But, by not meeting expectations or disappointing employees, businesses run the risk of demotivating staff during the festive period which could cost more in the long run.
Blending tangible financial support and rewards, with thoughtful ‘thank yous’ or even an additional day off Christmas or New Year break will help towards building morale and creating a happy, engaged and productive workplace culture.
Whilst balancing non-financial recognition and financial rewards are still a must, additional support for employees doesn’t have to break the bank. By offering meaningful and impactful initiatives, employers can help ease some of the financial pressures staff face, while also ensuring that they feel valued and listened to.
Salary sacrifice schemes such as Techscheme are a great way to do this. Techscheme is a salary sacrifice solution from BHN Extras, which helps employees save up to 12% on home and tech products from Currys and IKEA. They not only save employees money but also allow them to spread the cost over 12 months. Whether it's upgrading to the latest laptop for their loved ones, surprising the gamer in their life with a cutting-edge console, or simply treating themselves to furniture or home accessories. Costs of big-ticket items can be spread out over time to reduce the burden on end-of-year household budgets.
Cashback cards like bYond are also great money-saving tools to empower employees to manage their spending with retailers that give back. With bYond you can spend at over 100 high street and online retailers, restaurants, and supermarkets where you can earn cashback on your card with every shop.
The world of employee benefits is complicated. There is an endless stream of options and knowing the right thing to do and when is difficult. Choice is an employer's best friend as it allows the employee the freedom to get exactly what they want or need when they need it. But, to see the most ROI no matter the time of year no benefits strategy will be successful without first listening to and understanding your employee's needs and wants.
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