Paul Holcroft, Associate Director at business advice service Croner, explains how employers can use Christmas as a time to reward their hard working teams

Christmas provides an excellent excuse to reward employees for their hard work throughout the year, something that can be key for maintaining a healthy employment relationship. Here are some things employers should consider.


Allow flexible working 

With Christmas presents to buy and children out of school for the Christmas holidays, employers may see some employees struggling to keep up with all of their outside commitments. Managers may want to consider allowing for temporary flexible hours that could let staff come in later, or leave earlier, to help them out in this situation. While this could prove to be popular with employees, and help avoid them ‘throwing sickies’ to go shopping, it is crucial to be consistent. Businesses should not favour one employee over another.


Volunteering days

Employers may consider permitting their employees to take additional time off to volunteer at local charities over Christmas. Taking this action can be positive for company reputation both internally and externally, helping to keep current staff happy and potentially being attractive towards potential future staff. Some companies may even have days where management volunteer to support other areas of the business. This could be working on retail counters, something that can help managers and every-day employees become more familiar with each other.


Provide extra holiday time

Employees are likely to appreciate being able to take some additional time away from work to get their Christmas preparations done. This could also extend to working days just before Christmas Day. For example, over the festive week, management could inform staff that provided they get a certain amount of work done, they will be able to leave early.


Christmas activities at work

Of course, employers still have a business to run, and they will not want their workforce kicking back and doing less work throughout December. Organising Christmas activities throughout the month, such as dress-down days or quizzes can be very popular with staff. Again, care must be taken to remember all employees; some staff may not want to take part in a Christmas jumper day, for example, and should not be made into doing so.


Have a Christmas party 

To thank workers for their hard work throughout the year, many employers will want to organise a Christmas party, most of the time this will be a harmless, fun occasion between colleagues. Employers should remember that the party should include everyone; some staff members may not want the whole night to revolve around alcohol, for example. Businesses need to make sure that employee behaviour does not slip on the night; companies can still be liable for the misconduct of staff even though the party isn’t taking place in the normal working environment.