November 27, 2018
The holidays offer an opportunity for employers to show appreciation towards employees, creating better year-round engagement in the process, according to a new study from Hawk Incentives, a Blackhawk Network business that provides rewards and incentives solutions. Although such gifts can keep employees motivated, most companies surveyed don't offer holiday reward programs: The survey found that just 41 percent of US employers offer annual holiday rewards. 

Of employees surveyed that currently receive rewards, only 43 percent get holiday gifts -- yet they are one of the top three reward types employees surveyed want to receive. Eighty-six percent of employees surveyed said receiving a holiday gift from their employer makes them feel valued more than any other reward type. Additionally, 70 percent of employees surveyed reported receiving a holiday gift from their employer makes them work harder. Finally, when a holiday reward or employee gift is received, 83 percent of employees surveyed said they are satisfied.

The most preferred holiday reward type, according to the survey, is a physical gift card. Forty percent of employees responded that an in-person delivery from their supervisor or manager adds meaningful value to a reward. 

The research findings were based on a survey of more than 1,400 American adults on their attitudes and preferences toward specific workplace reward programs and how these rewards keep them engaged at work.

"Employee engagement matters. Holiday rewards are intended to thank employees for their contributions throughout the year and motivate them to continue working hard in the future," said Theresa McEndree, vice president of marketing at Blackhawk Network. "Our research found that successful holiday reward programs do just that. Employees want to feel appreciated and offering annual rewards at the holidays gives them the recognition they deserve while maximizing engagement and overall potential."

The survey, which focused on the presence and impact of different types of employee reward programs at organizations across the country, also looked at who is being rewarded at the holidays and what employees desire. 

A list of meaningful employee gift ideas that are easy to get and to give is available here.