By News Staff
The holiday season is a time for giving, and companies are increasingly focusing their generosity on employee appreciation, recognition, benefits and compensation. According to Snappy's 2023 Holiday Gifting survey 78% of employees report increased job satisfaction after receiving a meaningful gift from their employer, highlighting the important role of gift-giving in fostering gratitude, appreciation and positive business relationships.
"The holiday season is a great time for leaders to show appreciation to their employees for all the hard work they have done," says Beth Hanson, DeVry University's vice president of human resources. "Providing meaningful benefits and compensation, especially during this season, leads to higher engagement and loyalty."
Spot bonuses, extra paid time off, contributions to health savings accounts and flexible time off or extra PTO are some of the top trends in holiday employee benefits this year. For many employees, an extra $500 or $1,000 can make a big difference during an expensive time of year. Flexible paid time off is another trend, giving employees extra days off to spend with loved ones. Some companies are providing an additional week of paid time off or closing between Christmas and New Year's.
"It is really about giving employees meaningful time off so they can recharge and spend time with loved ones. A more personalized approach is also popular, with peer-to-peer recognition programs, handwritten thank you notes and one-on-one meetings with managers," adds Hanson.
In fact, employees at organizations with integrated recognition are 18x more likely to say they hope to be at their organization in a year and 5x more likely to say they plan to stay for at least three more years, according to O.C. Tanner Institute’s 2024 Global Culture report.
While some companies take a generic approach with little impact, the most effective holiday benefits are meaningful and personalized.
"Avoid a one-size-fits-all gift like a company-branded coffee mug," she adds. "Instead, consider offering choices or tailoring benefits to different employee groups. Contributions to HSAs, for example, might be most appreciated by employees with families. Spot bonuses could be tiered based on employee tenure or performance."
While the holidays are a perfect time for companies to express gratitude, employee recognition shouldn’t be limited to just one season. Ongoing programs that celebrate wins, milestones, and values year-round lead to higher job satisfaction, productivity, and retention. The best way for companies to say "thank you" this holiday season and beyond is by making employee appreciation a priority every day.