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October 5, 2009

Why cutting festive events could be damaging

If any business was hoping to get out of a Christmas party this year due to tight budgets, be warned, employees could rebel, according to a new survey by Outsourced Events.   

The survey responses came from more than 200 employees from a range of industries: government, advertising/marketing, healthcare, education, finance/insurance, travel/hospitality, technology and professional services. The findings revealed that, even in the recession, 60% of employees still want some kind of festive event, with 85% thinking it’s essential to raise staff morale and as a reward for hard work and loyalty during the downturn.
Cost conscious
The news for employers doesn’t get better over costs as more than 55% of respondents think their company should spend £31 or more per head on a Christmas do, while 8% thought a whopping £100 plus was the right budget.  

However, it seems employees don’t think their companies will actually spend that much, with only 40% thinking their employer would spend £31 or more. Indeed, 32% thought their boss would splash out less than £30 per employee, while 23% thought no money would be spent, meaning Christmas and staff hard work wouldn’t be celebrated at all.
With budgets tightening in the private and public sector, survey respondents were given a choice of other ways for employers to reward hard work other than the lavish Christmas bash. Most (38%) would opt for an extra day off, 29% thought a team lunch would do the trick, while just a mere 3.5% thought that going to the boss’ house for drinks was a  good substitute. Some 26% still thought having a top-notch do was essential, tight budgets or not.

Talking point
“The survey was fascinating –  employees from all industries readily answered the questions, showing in speed alone, that it’s a topic close to their hearts,” says Alexandra  Sibley, director of Outsourced Events

“A Christmas party is a tradition in this country, and one that the Great British working public are not willing to do without. There will certainly be scorn for those employers that don’t.   

Sibley went on to comment that budget need not be a major obstacle.

"Christmas events do not have to be expensive,” she says. There are good ways to tighten the purse strings and still do the right thing for employees.”
On top of rewarding employees for their loyalty and commitment, Christmas parties can help companies perform better as the recovery kicks in, as they can play a key role in retaining staff when there are more opportunities for them in the job market and therefore an increased temptation leave.

More information, visit www.outsourcedevents.com

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