From the managers through to the front line, how do you reward staff? These are the people that make a business tick, and while entrepreneurs, as the face of the company, often get a lot of the plaudits for collective success, the workforce should be rightly praised.
And while I always believe in the importance of a fair day’s pay for a hard day’s work, there are times that employers can thank and reward staff and do that little bit more to show their appreciation.
What better time of the year to reward staff than Christmas? Of course, I’m one of those employers that like to give that bit extra throughout the year to help motivate my team and show appreciation with things like our subsidised canteen and 24-hour gym.
But Christmas, well, it’s a special time of year that I like to take advantage of to thank my Pimlico people for their endeavours throughout the last 12 months.
The annual office “do” has become as synonymous with the festive season as crackers and tinsel and despite the widespread doom, gloom and economic uncertainty sweeping across the country, it doesn’t look like a trend that’s going out of fashion.
In fact, it seems, just like the garish Christmas jumpers so many people used to shun, the work Christmas party is having a resurgence.
Some research by Hitachi Capital Business Finance I came across the other day said that SME businesses will be spending a combined £593m on the Christmas lunch this year to reward staff.
The firm asked businesses what they planned to spend per head on this year’s Christmas lunch with those SME owners in the media and financial sectors budgeting the most at £50 a head – £10 above the national average.
And just like at Pimlico, where this year I am hosting our party in the ballroom of the Royal Garden Hotel, 70 per cent of businesses are celebrating Christmas with a staff gathering.
However, while some will still plump for the traditional turkey and trimmings, just under half of those questioned are going for something a bit different from a pub get-together to a buffet affair in the office.
Whatever they’re doing, for me, it’s a good barometer of current business confidence. While the spectre of Brexit hangs heavy over the country, SMEs are doing what they do best, getting on with the job, which has led to firms growing in the last year, and predicting positivity before the big EU divorce.
In the face of adversity, it’s great that SMEs are using their time and resources to spread a little joy to reward staff, let their hair down and celebrate with their most important asset, their people.
Of course, there’s plenty of work to get done before Christmas – and spare a thought for my dedicated engineers who’ll be keeping homes and business premises working every day and night during the festive season.
That’s why our bash will be something special, because the effort our people put in 24/7 deserves to be celebrated!