16 October kicks off the ‘10-Friday countdown’ so what options are available? Pugh comments: “There are three options – spend money on a Christmas party for all employees, skip the shindig and give staff an extra cash bonus or do neither and put the money saved towards next year’s benefits package.”
He concedes there are pros and cons with all of these suggestions: “The ‘Christmas do’ is a great way to cap off the year with colleagues, meet new people and build relationships, and often the stories from such an event keep the office entertained for months, but is it really a tangible benefit? It’s unlikely to be included on the company’s reward statement.
“More money over Christmas is always welcome – it gives a morale boost to employees and their families – but how do you decide what to give and to whom? Should the bonus be performance, team or company-related? Perhaps banter-related is a good benchmark?
“Increasing the overall benefits package may look good on paper, but it will do little to increase employee morale or engagement at the time of year when gestures can mean so much. Who really wants to explain to staff that instead of a Christmas party or bonus, they’re getting free dental cover?”
Pugh concludes: “Upon reflection, the Christmas party is the best and fairest option. It gives employers an opportunity to show how much they appreciate the efforts of their employees and will in turn, be appreciated by the party-goers. With only 10 Fridays to go, let the party planning begin.”