With the recession still in force, many organisations this year will be cost-saving by cutting back on the Christmas celebrations.
Asking people to pay for the staff party, or even cancelling it altogether; not putting up a decorated tree; cutting back on Christmas bonuses; these are all difficult decisions facing cash-strapped companies at the moment.
The risk is in how these cuts will affect the motivation and goodwill of employees – will everyone be so disgruntled that the drop in productivity and morale offsets the savings in festivities?
To avoid an outbreak of ‘Bah Humbug’, employers should be honest with employees and make sure they realise that they are still valued and appreciated, even if Santa can’t be quite so generous this year.
Don’t forget the impact of small but sincere gestures – mulled wine and mince pies all round, a bit of tinsel round the office, token gifts, an early finish in the afternoon – to demonstrate that everyone’s contributions are not only recognised, but appreciated more than ever in this economically-harsh winter!
And should Secret Santa get the sack? Many companies do the Secret Santa at Christmas – everyone draws names out of a hat and buys an anonymous gift for that person, up to a price limit. But often these schemes are problematic – people not wanting to get involved, feeling under pressure to get gifts, not knowing what to buy or being unhappy with their pressie.
If you’re considering doing this with your team check with them first – is everyone OK with it? Make it possible for people to opt-out without being seen as Scrooge. Set a price limit that the even lowest-paid staff are comfortable with. And offer alternatives – maybe everyone would rather donate the amount to a kitty and get food and drinks with it, or donate it to a favourite charity.
Tara Daynes is founder of hr consultancy, Tara Daynes HR.
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