Queen's 'penny-pinching' staff Christmas gift serves HR lesson

Queen's 'penny-pinching' staff Christmas gift serves HR lesson

Around this time of year, many employees look forward to the gifts that grateful employers feel fit to bestow upon them - whether it’s a Christmas party, a small box of chocolates or even a free drink at the local bar.

However, if you work for the Queen - whom Forbes estimate to have a personal worth of £415million - you might think you’d earned a bonus fit for a King. Or, y’know, Queen.

In a tradition started by her grandfather, George V, the Queen gifts each of her 1,500 staff members a Christmas pudding, as well as a card.

In previous years, the Christmas pudding was purchased from Harrods or Fortnum & Mason. (It all sounds good thus far.)

However, this year, there are reports that the Queen has switched to Tesco’s when buying gifts for her staff. Media commentators are viewing this as a penny-pinching move.

Whilst longer serving staffers get gift vouchers, junior members might expect a Tesco’s dessert - ranging from £1.50 to £8 in price.

Although this might not seem like such an issue, low-value perks, benefits and bonuses can actually negatively impact staff morale.

Staff might think that their employer isn’t attuned to what they want and need or, simply, doesn’t value their hard work.

Recently, Amazon came under scrutiny after it was reported that supervisers were giving staff on 11-hour shifts 7p chocolates in order to boost spirits.

The worker who revealed this also said that he was “dead” after just four shifts and admitted crying on his commute to work.

In this instance, the chocolate ‘perk’ comes across as insensitive and tone deaf.

For the sake of the Queen’s Christmas staff, let’s hope the Tesco pudding is at least from the top-of-the-shelf range.

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Comments (2)

  • Jenny Reid
    Jenny Reid
    Sat, 16 Dec 2017 3:58am GMT
    As employers these days you are damned if you do something because it's not good enough and damned if you don't do anything at all. Gone are the days of being grateful
  • Boris
    Fri, 15 Dec 2017 12:53pm GMT
    While getting bonus' is nice, I wouldn't know since i work in public services, it shouldn't be the be all and end all. Getting anything unexpected from your employer for xmas, aside from a redundancy notice, should be considered a bonus. Expectations should be kept low so that if you do get something it'll be a nice surprise.

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