With cash bonuses long associated with end of year reward for hard working employees, research released today (Monday 18 December) by HR analytics firm Peakon, reveals it’s actually a pay-rise most want at Christmas.

Despite workplaces offering Christmas parties, long lunches and sweet treats aplenty, a survey of 3000 employed Brits shows that financial reward is what we’re really hankering for at this time of year, with more than a third (34%) saying a pay rise would be at the top of their Christmas list. A further 28% said a bonus would would be their preference.

It’s not all about the money, though. Extra annual leave would keep 15% happy, and almost one in 10 would be kept happy with the addition of an office cat or dog (8%). Another 8% say a promotion would be the greatest gift they could receive.

Dan Rogers, co-founder of Peakon, which helps businesses to measure employee engagement and retention, says: “It’s no surprise that at this stressful time of year, financial reward is top of employees’ Christmas lists, but we’d actually advise businesses against splashing out on bonuses and pay-rises.

“Research tells us that traditional “carrot and stick” methods of motivating employees are incredibly ineffective. Instead, we’re more likely to be motivated by work that’s personally gratifying.

“You can help your employees to feel gratified by showing them you value them. So, while (personalised) gifts are a good way to spread goodwill, it’s best to do little things to make your employees feel valued each year. Give them the freedom to self-direct their work, be generous with positive feedback, and if you want to splash out at Christmas, offer flexible working hours to help them unwind.”

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