Research* from Hawk Incentives, a Blackhawk Network business that provides rewards and incentives solutions, found holiday rewards can help motivate and engage the majority of employees surveyed, but many aren’t offered annual holiday gifts. While offering holiday rewards can be a simple solution to helping employees feel appreciated during a hectic time of year, the survey found that most employers do not offer them.

“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, 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 really want. For a list of purposeful and meaningful employee gift ideas that are easy to get and to give, download our employee holiday gift guide. Key holiday program findings include:

Less than half of employees receive holiday rewards
Forty-one percent of the employers surveyed that offer some type of rewards offer annual holiday employee gifts. Of employees surveyed that currently receive rewards, only 43 percent currently get holiday gifts, yet holiday employee gifts are one of the top three reward types employees surveyed want to receive.

Employees surveyed prefer gift cards and a personalized experience
Of the employees surveyed that receive holiday rewards or employee gifts, physical gift cards are the most preferred reward. Employees surveyed also reported that their employers can increase the intrinsic value of the reward simply by making it more personal. Forty percent of employees responded that an in-person delivery from their supervisor or manager adds meaningful value to a reward.  

Holiday rewards motivate and make employees feel valued
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 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.

*About The Efficacy of Employee Rewards Research
The “Efficacy of Employee Rewards” research was an online survey conducted independently by Murphy Research on behalf of Hawk Incentives between Jan. 29 and Feb. 7, 2018. The sample size included 1,472 American respondents ages 18+. A probability sample of the same size would yield a margin of error of +/- 2.5% 19 times out of 20.