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Seasonal
5 min read

Christmas Bonus - Should Your Employer Pay Up?

At this time of year, many employers consider paying their employees a Christmas bonus. Of course, it is not mandatory but is more a gesture of goodwill and recognises the hard work and dedication that staff have contributed throughout the year.
Written by
Joanna Clare
Content Manager
Published on
December 13, 2023

At this time of year, many employers consider paying their employees a Christmas bonus. Of course, it is not mandatory but is more a gesture of goodwill and recognises the hard work and dedication that staff have contributed throughout the year.

Paying a Christmas bonus to loyal and committed employees sends a powerful message that far exceeds the monetary value. Whether the bonus consists of £10, £100 or even more is far less important than the feeling of knowing that your employer values and has noticed your attitude towards your work and that you are appreciated. This undoubtedly leads to improved productivity and a stronger sense of being part of a successful organisation where efforts do not go unnoticed.

When you think of Christmas, one of the first things that will probably come to mind are the presents! When an employer pays a Christmas bonus, it contributes to the festive spirit and adds a celebratory atmosphere to an already joyous time. This can enhance the overall working experience and contribute to a positive company culture.

If someone unexpectedly gifts you a present, most people’s reaction to this spontaneous act of generosity would be a blend of surprise, happiness, gratitude and a feeling of being liked, thought well of and valued. You would invariably feel as though you want to do something in return such as buy them a gift in return. So, the psychology behind some employers giving their employees a Christmas bonus is simple. They will get something in return from their employees for certain which in the form of continued loyalty and of giving of their best - this way, both parties gain.

However, not all employees are financially able to give Christmas bonuses and this is something that should be taken into consideration. Employees should not be committing to promising bonuses to staff if their current circumstances are against it. Additionally, in cases where only certain employees receive bonuses, employers should make it clear what the criteria is. This will avoid any misunderstandings and maintain transparency within the company. If financial bonuses are not viable then organisations may show their appreciation and recognition in other ways such as allowing employees to finish work slightly earlier as Christmas approaches or by providing a few tins of traditional Christmas chocolates to share within the working environment.

It is important to bear in mind that employers are not obliged to make any changes for their staff as the festive season arrives, yet the potential positive impact on employee morale can not be denied. Employers need to weigh up the benefits against their financial constraints and company culture and ultimately recognise that this end of year gesture will have a positive and long lasting effect upon the workplace.

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