According to Australian staff, feeling valued at work and receiving praise or recognition from senior staff are two of the most important factors when it comes to being productive.
Research also shows that the amount spent on hiring and training a new employee can cost up to 6 to 9 months’ of that person’s salary, further highlighting how putting budget towards regular small gestures to show appreciation is much more cost effective than recruiting.
Managing Director of online office catering leader Order-In, Jonathan Rowley says, “There is no doubt that showing appreciation for staff in the lead up to Christmas, and all year round in fact, has a range of benefits. As the research reiterates, it does increase productivity but more importantly it also significantly improves job satisfaction and workplace culture, and helps retain staff for longer periods.”
Jonathan adds, “Our data shows that the latest trends of how Australian offices are rewarding their team has shifted. We’ve found that most companies are now prioritising meaningful gifts over expensive and elaborate activities or functions, which can be seen as impersonal and redundant. These days, gifts that are around $50, that are still unique, practical and loved by many, are definitely in high demand.”
Jonathan continues, “Further, in 2015 we found that many companies provided Christmas buffets for staff to celebrate the end of year. However in 2016 there was a shift towards ordering normal corporate catering that had a Christmas spin, and cheap and cheerful options like finger food platters, cold meats, cheese and antipasto that included a range of Christmas themed items increased by over 30%. When it comes to corporate gifts, expensive packaged food and alcohol hampers are also on the out and instead, fresh options like baskets of mangos are popular. To cater to this trend, in Christmas 2017 we’re increasing our offers to provide a wider range of fresh options such as baskets of croissants and Christmas muffins and boxes of cherries that people in the office can share and love to eat.”
To help give inspiration to workplaces across Australia, Jonathan shares the most popular gestures he and his team have observed when it comes to providing quality (but affordable) staff appreciation ideas for any occasion:
1. Be family friendly. If you’re a family friendly company, what better way to show appreciation than to treat the team’s entire family? Hosting a corporate BBQ and inviting their families is the perfect excuse to get out and enjoy the fresh air and sunshine whilst also getting to know the people who mean the most to your co-workers.
2. Invest in the long term. Buying an expensive coffee machine for the team to use, and providing quality office catering with a well-stocked office kitchen filled with milk, fruit and other snacks and treats is a simple way to fuel your team and increase team morale all year round. This also leads to team members being in the office working more, so it’s a win win for both staff and employers.
3. Get seasonal. Fruit baskets are a great fresh option that will be loved by both healthy and sweet loving staff alike. Every year, part of the Order-In team’s Christmas present is their choice in either a box of mangoes or cherries. It is always a hit, and also encapsulates the feeling of summer and being Australian.
4. Have a pizza party. Pizza is one of the most loved foods, and it’s perfect for group situations as it’s simple to share and cost effective. It’s also a good choice in terms of catering to dietary requirements, as most suppliers offer a range of vegetarian, and gluten and lactose free options.
5. Bring in a masseuse. It might not be feasible to take the entire team out for the day to get pampered, but getting a mobile masseuse to set up a room for the team for a day to treat them one at a time is an extremely cost and time effective way to show gratitude.
6. Be spontaneous. Rather than planning a large scale event, set aside a budget to be spontaneous in the lead up to Christmas. For example, if it’s a hot weather day, buy the team ice-cream, or if it’s a beautiful day let them all take the afternoon off.
It’s the small things that make a big difference, so don’t be afraid to try out one or all of these ideas and mix it up. You’ll find that the entire team will appreciate it and so will the company’s bottom line.