Employers are being warned not to use the recession as an excuse for failing to acknowledge the efforts of their employees over the festive period. Christmas parties are still deemed “of great importance to the UK workforce”.
Employers are being warned not to use the recession as an excuse for failing to acknowledge the efforts of their employees over the festive period.
The warning comes as new figures released by the Chartered Management Institute (CMI) show that two thirds (65 per cent) of managers across the UK believe that Christmas parties are important in helping to improve employee engagement.
The survey of 1,337 managers found that 66 per cent believe the office Christmas party is vital to recognise the hard work of staff undertaken throughout the year. A slightly higher proportion of managers (71 per cent) also believe end of year celebrations should continue in spite of the recession.
CMI chief executive Ruth Spellman said: “There are too many examples showing that the poor quality of management and leadership in the UK lies at the heart of the disengaged workforce. Our research shows that end of year festivities are clearly still of great importance to the UK workforce.”
However, in addressing the current economic climate, she added: “Employee engagement has never been as important as it is now, but it must come hand-in-hand with a tighter grip around the purse strings.”
The results show that employers are being cautious about the amount being spent on end of year celebrations. Although 41 per cent indicate they are happy for time to be taken for a Christmas party, they plan to make no financial contribution, while 34 per cent have agreed to pay up to £40 per head.
With three quarters of managers arguing that a warm approach to Christmas “is good for staff morale”, the survey shows that organisations will be going some way to improve the reported 42 per cent decline in employee engagement caused by the recession – a figure highlighted in CMI’s Economic Outlook Report, published in Autumn 2009.
Mrs Spellman said: “The benefits to organisations of employee engagement cannot be understated. A truly engaged organisation can expect to experience high levels of staff loyalty, retention, productivity, innovation and profitability as well as low levels of absenteeism. Given the current economic climate these cannot be ignored as they are the stepping stones towards future, long-term success.”
Following to the survey, CMI has developed a micro-site providing more information on how employers can better engage with their workforce.