New survey: The effect of a festive bonus on staff retention

21 December 2018 -

Festive bonusAn end-of-year reward for employees could reduce New Year resignations

Jermaine Haughton

The milestone of a new calendar year often triggers resignations as employees look to make a change in their careers. But a new survey has shown that a festive bonus could improve staff retention.

In a poll of 1,096 UK employees by gifting service One4all Rewards, nearly half of workers (46%) admitted that a bonus or gift from their manager had persuaded them to remain loyal to their employer.

Furthermore, if they were offered a new job now, 45% of individuals say they would be less likely to accept it if they were given the same bonus again.

December is the ideal time to thank top performers, according to the research, with employees desiring bonuses more during this month than any other.


A transparent festive reward could be a vital motivator for under-pressure managers and executives, who have experienced a fall in basic pay and bonuses in recent years.

CMI research found the average UK manager received a 2.4% pay rise in 2017, lower than the Consumer Price Index (CPI) rate of three per cent for the same period. Likewise, the average bonus payment to directors has slumped by 16% since last year – from an average of £53,504 to £44,987.

The decline in rewards has occurred in spite of the stressful working culture experienced by many managers. The CMI’s Quality of Working Life report revealed that leaders worked an extra 44 days of unpaid overtime last year – up from 40 days in 2015 – and this is likely to have had a negative effect on their health and productivity.


Although the cost of December staff bonuses may seem high, it is typically dwarfed by the cost of replacing team members.

Alan Smith, UK managing director at One4all Rewards, says: “When you consider the amount of money that can be lost through recruitment when a member of staff resigns – never mind the knock-on effects that employees leaving can have in terms of morale in the workplace – it is clearly something that is worth investing in.”

He added: “Thanks to HM Revenue and Customs’ recent introduction of tax exemptions on benefits of £50 per employee or less, it has never been more affordable for businesses to gift staff a little something to make sure they feel valued, ahead of the busiest time of the year for staff departures.”

Image: Shutterstock

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