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Annie Hayes

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Big guns fail to get in the festive spirit

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Small businesses are putting large firms to shame with their festive spirit and seasonal generosity.

According to the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development’s (CIPD) Annual Reward Management survey 2008, 80 per cent of small businesses are likely to throw a Christmas party this year – a figure that compares to just half of companies employing 5,000 staff.

Workers in smaller organisations (up to 49 staff) are far more likely to benefit from the Christmas spirit, with 17 per cent of small firms providing a seasonal gift, such as hampers and vouchers, whilst just 15 per cent of those with 5,000 staff will do the same.

The survey shows that private sector service employers are the most generous, with 84 per cent likely to provide a Christmas party or lunch. The manufacturing industry has shown a leap this year, with 77 per cent now offering Christmas parties, an increase from 60 per cent last year.

There has also been an increase over the past two years in the public and voluntary sector organisations, however they still remain the least likely to provide a gift or throw a Christmas party.

Charles Cotton, CIPD reward and employment conditions adviser, said that Christmas parties and gifts provide smaller organisations with the opportunity to boost team morale and thank staff for all their hard work during the year.

“A little can go a long way in creating a better atmosphere within the workplace. However recognition need not only be a once-a-year occurrence, but can be an ongoing process with managers recognising achievement with a simple thank you.

“It will be interesting to see what happens next year, when we will see the full affects of the credit crisis in the city, especially the impact on the financial and professional service firms. The scrooge mentality could come into force as companies cut their Christmas parties.”

In related news, HR Zone reported on findings from the Chartered Management Institute revealing an overall decline in the number of organisations holding the traditional office Christmas party.

The full CIPD survey highlighting all aspects of UK reward management practices will be launched at the CIPD’s annual reward conference, on 6 February 2008.

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Annie Hayes

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