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August 28, 2012
Survey: Small holiday rewards make big impact

As HR managers start their annual hunt for holiday or end-of-year rewards, Parago, a global incentives company, has unveiled its second annual employee holiday incentives study. The research revealed that most employees still do not expect end-of-year gifts from their employers, but they are even more appreciative of small rewards than in 2011.

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In fact, 61 percent of employees said just a $25 prepaid card would meet their expectations, and 85 percent would be happy with $100 or less. The research also showed that employers that are able to reward staff this holiday season will foster loyalty and positive morale.

The employee survey was established by Parago last year to generate insights on employee expectations and sentiments surrounding end-of-year rewards and holiday gifts. The 2012 research was conducted independently through online delivery and surveyed more than 600 employees. Key findings include:

  • Holiday incentives are still not expected: 69% of employees do not expect their employers to give end-of-year rewards or holiday gifts this year, which is the identical response from 2011.
  • A little reward goes a long way: This year employees are satisfied with even smaller rewards. 61 percent of employees said it would take just a $25 prepaid card to meet their expectations, up from 55 percent in 2011. Additionally, 85 percent of employees reported that an end-of-year reward of a prepaid card valued at $100 or less would meet their expectations, up from 84 percent last year.
  • Rewards will boost morale: 83 percent of employees said a reward would make them feel either appreciated, motivated to work harder or more loyal to the company, up from 81 percent in 2011. Also, 82 percent% of employees said that receiving an end-of-year reward would mean that they had done a great job and worked hard or that their employer appreciates and/or values them, up from 79 percent in 2011.
  • Prepaid cards are preferred: When given the choice of a $50 Visa or MasterCard prepaid card or $50 worth of gift cards as an end-of-year reward or holiday gift, 81% would choose a prepaid card. When asked about their favorite features of prepaid cards, the majority of employees pointed to the fact that prepaid cards can be spent anywhere the card brand is accepted and at multiple retailers.

"This data shows a huge opportunity for employers to foster a loyal environment and maintain a productive workforce, because employees are satisfied with smaller holiday rewards and feel even more appreciated and motivated when they receive them," said Juli Spottiswood, president & CEO of Parago said in a press release. "This is positive news for employers still struggling in the tough economy because it reveals simple ways that they can keep employees loyal and thereby maintain a productive and competitive business."
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