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Christmas is a season for giving. Christmas 2022 in particular is going to be an important time for helping your employees get through the worst of the cost-of-living crisis.

Public holidays such as Christmas provide the perfect opportunity for you, the employer, to recognise and reward the hard work and commitment of employees, and bring in some much-needed joy and levity. More recently, though, they are an opportunity for you as an employer to demonstrate your support and understanding towards what is going on externally.

Incorporating external influences as part of your total rewards strategy

The cost-of-living crisis has seen inflation shoot up, affecting the cost of everyday items we put in our shopping baskets. Rising interest rates affect mortgage and rent levels, energy rates double our heating bills, and fuel increases add to the cost of running a car. While, in general, the ability of the individual to balance their own household budget is not the direct responsibility of an employer, during these times, the ability to pull together will help all parties to navigate challenging times and steer towards a more secure future.

Considering Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, during more affluent times of growth, a total rewards strategy might reflect the professional progress and accomplishments of an individual over and above their salary, fulfilling the ‘esteem’ and ‘self-actualisation’ elements of Maslow. When it comes to the Christmas period, that festive bonus fulfils the ‘Love and Belonging’ element.

Today, as we all face mounting financial pressure at home, your total rewards strategy may need to change its definition to satisfy the more basic necessities as outlined by Maslow – those that cover ‘safety’ in terms of feeling secure in their jobs, and that their very basic needs are being met in terms of water, shelter and clothing.

Incorporating the conflicting demands of the market

Adding to the complexities of current market conditions for employers is the fact that unemployment is at its lowest rate, and there is a dire shortage of skilled and unskilled labour. To this end, employee retention must be a driving factor when implementing total rewards strategies. Your competitors are going to be facing the same struggles as you in terms of finding enough people to ensure you can fulfil your obligations to your clients and maintain any competitive edge that you have in what could be becoming a constricting marketplace as the recession starts to bite deeper.

Never forget, people talk to people. In your market sector, there will be a talent pool from which both you and your competitors are looking for the best people. The reputation of your business is crucial in encouraging the right talent to come to your door. Ensuring you have the right total rewards strategy in place, alongside a valued reputation, will improve you retention rate and avoid the need to spend unnecessary budget trying to plug the gap;  growing and developing a great team that is going to help carry you all safely through any rough patches can then be the focus.

Create structure around your total rewards strategy

To this end, it is important that you are not implementing total rewards strategies in a chaotic and haphazard way but creating a structure in which your workforce can experience a degree of security when times are difficult, and progression when times get better.

Ultimately, all businesses should have a clear goal in mind, and the participation of your workforce is core to achieving that goal. A Christmas bonus can be a big part of that. However, it will only be effective if it is delivered alongside a comprehensive total reward strategy across the rest of the year.

When implemented correctly, the benefits of a total reward strategy will see your business carried through market turmoil by a team of people who are genuinely invested in its success.

If you would like to discuss creating a more structured approach to your total rewards strategy, then get in touch with us for an initial discussion.

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