Home Group involves its employees in a range of reward schemes during the festive period to show its appreciation of their work throughout the year.
As well as decorating offices and desks, the provider of social housing, and care and support services, has held a 12 Days of Christmas event in the last few years. This involves a different activity or focus each day in the run-up to Christmas, for example, a Christmas jumper day, present wrapping in exchange for a donation to charity, a Christmas quiz and a local school choir singing carols.
The chief executive, Mark Henderson, has also given all employees an extra half-day holiday this year in the run-up to Christmas.
Home Group also organises a Christmas shoe box appeal to benefit its own services. Employees can donate small gifts that are then distributed to vulnerable adults, or women and children service, for example.
This year, employees are also able to donate parcels to the Salvation Army food banks to help support its local communities.
The organisation sends out weekly announcements of the best discounts available through its voluntary benefits scheme so that if employees are doing their Christmas shopping, they know that they can save money through work.
At its head office, Home Group gives employees a chance to do some last-minute shopping if they are pushed for time with a stall in its receptions area selling items such as chocolates, jewellery, and bath accessories.
Laura Bailey, reward business partner, says: “There’s a mix of things going on, but [we’re] trying to create a relaxed and informal environment so [employees] can wind down and look forward to the Christmas activities.
“It’s [about] that appreciation and the work-life balance; we’re really keen to allow colleagues flexibility at Home Group so it’s a big focus for us. It’s recognising that [they] can have fun while [they’re] at work, and there are other important things in life.”