Christmas is just around the corner, and as the cheer begins to creep in, so too may a light touch of guilt.
Not everyone can afford to throw a Christmas party for their staff. And for many SME businesses, the staff is a tiny handful of people – which practically rules out a party altogether.
However, if you do have staff and you want to help to bring about a little bit of festive cheer, there are plenty of ways that you can say thank you for a year of hard work done well, and none of them need to break the bank. Read on for our suggestions.
1. Christmas cards
The easiest way to say thank-you. Give each of your staff a Christmas card as a small gesture of appreciation, with festive greetings and best wishes for the year ahead (and if you want to go that step further, try adding a scratch card or lottery ticket inside each one).
2. Advent calendars
If Christmas cards and a raffle don’t cut the mustard, there’s one fool-proof option: chocolate. Desk-drop (or hand out personally) advent calendars to everyone – because nothing gets you in the festive spirit like eating chocolate first thing in the morning.
This could be part of a wider festive-isation of the workplace: a miniature, decorative Christmas tree, some lights and tinsel, crackers left on desks… your imagination is the limit.
3. Festive feasting
Go one-up on advent calendars. Put aside some time, whether over lunch or out of everyone’s day, to sit down with some seasonal treats – mince pies, chocolates, and so on – to take a break from work and catch-up on each other’s plans over the festive period.
Taking the time out to catch-up on life outside of work is a great way to show that you’re invested and interested in your colleagues. An indoors festive picnic is more economical than a sit-down meal and can be a good way to manage shifts during a busy period.
4. Christmas jumper day
Give your staff a dress-down day and let them wear a Christmas jumper to work. This could also double-up as a charity fundraiser. Homelessness charities are particularly busy around Christmas, but your staff may have some suggestions, too.
5. The gift of giving
According to Perkbox, an employee engagement business, almost 50% of businesses offering incentives and rewards saw an uptick in both staff motivation and productivity.
Recognising the hard work of your staff, thanking them, and rewarding them appropriately can genuinely help to drive engagement.
A Christmas giveaway could be just the right thing: an opportunity to reward your staff at important time. Think about the small things that you can commit to giving away to demonstrate your appreciation to your staff – for example…
6. Early finish Friday
The ultimate treat – give your staff an early finish on a Friday, either to give them some time to catch up on Christmas shopping, family time, or to relax. This gives you some time back in your own day to get on with admin – or get caught up in the festivities, too.
7. Christmas lunch…
Treat your colleagues to a festive lunch at a local venue. This will be at the more expensive end of the spectrum, but it will still come in well below the cost of a full-blown party.
If you’re thinking of doing this, get looking sooner rather than later, as lots of places get booked up quickly in the run-up to Christmas.
8. …or dinner and drinks
If you want to make more of an occasion of it (or a less easily remembered one), go all out and treat your staff to a festive meal and drinks one evening after work (hangovers permitted the next day).
As above, everywhere gets busier in the build-up to Christmas, so get planning and booking earlier than you think you need to.
There are plenty of ways that you can thank your staff. Whatever you do, just don’t start the Christmas playlist before the end of November!
And don’t forget the importance of switching off over Christmas, where you can. It’s important to take a break and have some downtime for your own wellbeing – and doing so doesn’t have to mean your business will suffer.