Six gifts you can give your employees this Christmas – people matters


Giving someone a gift is a tricky business. You are never sure of your choice, even when the subject of your largesse is a close friend or family member. For employers, however, it should be relatively easier. They could build on their learnings over the past two years to design giveaways – neither in cash nor in kind – that can potentially re-energize their employees, keep them motivated and engaged by the end of 2021. The Omicron variant has been a big hit. spoil this Christmas, dampening holiday cheer and derailing travel plans as the New Year approaches. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to grow and wane, restricting social activities and further delaying a return to power, what can businesses do to help their staff happily weather the continuing crisis?

Christmas has come just in time to help employers and the workforce find a reason to come together, even virtually, and look past the endless curve balls that come their way. If you’re still wondering how to make the most of Christmas at work, well, Secret Santa is here with a bunch of ideas to make your employees happy.

If you’re wondering how to best reward your employees this holiday season, here are a few gifts that speak louder than the occasional cash gesture:

Give them flexibility

Driven by the pandemic and the talent crisis, people have more choices and voices than ever before. Defying traditional ways of working, employees around the world are demanding more flexibility.

An Ernst & Young survey found that more than half (54%) of employees around the world said they would consider leaving their jobs if they didn’t have flexibility in where and when of their work.

The flexibility to work from anywhere, anytime will be a gift employees have come to expect from organizations in the New Year.

This flexibility would also imply exploring new working methods. More and more companies will explore shorter work weeks. In the EY survey, 33% of employees polled said they wanted a shorter work week.

The demand for flexibility will also translate into other talent policies and benefits.

A new work culture centered on flexibility can benefit both employees and employers. It will help businesses attract and retain top talent. Organizations that want to retain top talent should put flexible working at the center of their talent management strategy.

Work-life balance can do wonders

In a series of conversations hosted by McKinsey & Co. with key HR leaders on workplace trends for 2022, one respondent highlighted how prioritizing work-life balance across industries will impact fundamental on the economy. As the world of people and work continues to swing like a pendulum between totally distant and hybrid, how organizations design strategies to enable their employees to maintain a healthy work-life balance will be crucial.

In an increasingly digital world, burnout is common among employees working long hours and this will negatively impact the productivity levels of the workforce. As a result, employee engagement will also decrease, but most importantly, their well-being will also decrease. Employee experience and wellness programs are closely linked these days with the goal of making workplaces less stressful, more encouraging and more attractive to their employees and work-life balance will continue to improve. play an important role. Employees rightly ask managers to pay attention to their mental health, to implement strategies that, while flexible, will also allow them to get adequate overtime rest. Such a culture is also what today’s new talent is looking for.

While most of the time it is up to employees to find that balance between their work duties and other social commitments, the evidence shows how organizations can play a role. Whether it’s keeping separate channels for work-related communication, restricting employee hours that can encourage vacations, regularly reviewing workloads and having confidence in your employees can be a few. – some simple but effective means.

Growth matters

Improving skills has been a major focus of talent management over the past two years, and will continue to be a priority in 2022 as organizations and employers seek to be more adaptable and agile in a changing world. evolution. And it’s not just about business needs; it’s about helping employees achieve their own aspirations.

As people gain experience and confidence in their role, they naturally seek opportunities for advancement both vertically and laterally. They seek both personal and professional development, the opportunity to acquire new skills and take on new responsibilities. And of course, they look forward to the increased recognition and compensation that goes with it all.

The gift of growth opportunities is so important that employees can leave if they don’t receive it. A study by researchers at the University of Miami shows that stagnation is one of the main reasons employees consider leaving their current jobs.

On the other hand, being generous with professional development opportunities doesn’t just improve retention rates. Numerous studies have linked professional growth and development to individual engagement and performance, overall team performance, and broader business performance.

Building a culture of acceptance

In order to truly learn, grow and prosper, you have to be able to be yourself. However, to recognize their own strengths and areas of development, and seek support to develop, what is also crucial is an ecosystem that fosters such growth, without prejudices or discrimination that fuel the labeling of its potential or dictating where they are. should be and should not. If the pandemic has taught us anything, it’s the importance of community, belonging and accepting who we are, who people are and how we can come together and build a more inclusive world. Especially since socio-economic events have brought injustice to light, it has also allowed many to come forward as one, not representing a community but representing justice and fairness for humanity, independently. of their origin and their social identities.

From legal systems and workplace policies, to open dialogue and much more, moving to accepting our differences in ways that bring them together to cement a stronger foundation that enables community, creativity and innovation have come to the fore. Employers take a more active role in empowering individuals and collaborating across geographies, functions, removing barriers and creating a sense of psychological security and acceptance for all. The benefits of fostering a sense of community and belonging at the organizational level have been proven in the past, and the past 20 months only confirm it. Give your staff the present of acceptance and see for yourself how it changes the performance and future of your business, individuals, and society in general.

A friend, philosopher and guide

No matter what industry you are in, we all need someone who can listen to us, see what we’re capable of, and guide us to keep us on track in our professional journey.

Most successful professionals will likely tell you about the person (s) who helped them in their initial careers or guided them in their professional development, in addition to their hard work and determination. They call them Mentors.

Workplace mentoring is a formal or informal learning relationship between an experienced senior employee and a new / inexperienced employee and has many mutual benefits for both employees and employers.

In addition to being a great way to improve and enhance the work culture in an organization, mentoring boosts staff retention and encourages career progression among employees. Workplace mentoring not only helps facilitate effective knowledge sharing, but can also be used to train new leaders for an organization and help with succession planning.

Most employees, especially millennials, see career advancement as one of their top priorities. However, they often lack the experience necessary to move up through the ranks. Research shows that Millennials who plan to stay in an organization for more than five years are twice as likely to have a mentor as not. A study by the American firm Robert Half shows that 86% of executives believe that having a mentor is important for career development.

Recognize and lead

Since the pandemic, employee recognition strategies have been essential to maintaining an organization’s culture and are now widely recognized as a useful tool to motivate, communicate and recognize the workforce.

The existence of recognition of rewards is linked to the awareness by employees of their own motivations. In the golden days, the employee trusted their organization and managers for their well-being, but in modern times the workforce is already motivated to work, despite having a prior knowledge of their priorities as well as the type of reward they would seek once the tasks are completed. completed.

But is it enough to celebrate an employee’s work anniversary or personal milestones? Large companies are going further by reassessing the ways in which they plan to reward their staff. Inspired companies focus on employee orientation and the quality of the workplace experience by designing rewards programs such as four-tier peer-to-peer programs, creating corporate mottos for low cost exchanges and more.

According to, 32% of companies have invested in recognition budgets since the pandemic, up from 21% in 2015. Executives are proactively engaging to illustrate how this HR element can play an important role in starting the road to organizational success.

As 2021 draws to a close, organizations can reflect on their year and understand that employees can bring their A-game when their wishes come true at the behest of Santa at work. So in the future, you may wish for the best solution from the above options and hope your business recognizes it. Let the party begin. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year everyone!

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