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Survey: 65% of UK managers believe Christmas parties help improve employee engagement
According to new figures released by the Chartered Management Institute (CMI), 65% 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 a similar number (66%) claimed that the office Christmas party is vital to recognise the hard work of staff undertaken throughout the year. A slightly higher proportion of managers (71%) also believe end of year celebrations should continue in spite of the recession.
The CMI says the findings also show that managers recognise the need for responsible reward and celebration. Asked about public perceptions, 58% of respondents agreed that an expensive party could damage their organisation's reputation. The research also found that half of managers believe that a 'team lunch is better than an organisation wide party'.
Commenting on the findings, Ruth Spellman, CMI chief executive, 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 but the survey raises an interesting dilemma for UK organisations. How can employers say 'thank you' without incurring the wrath of the wider public? The answer is that 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."
According to the survey, 41% of respondents indicated that they are happy for time to be taken for a Christmas party, but will make no financial contribution. 34% have agreed to pay up to £40 per head.
The CMI says that with three quarters of managers arguing that a warm approach to Christmas 'is good for staff morale', it is clear from the survey that organisations will be going some way to improve the reported 42% decline in employee engagement caused by the recession - a figure highlighted in the CMI's Economic Outlook Report, published in Autumn 2009.
Ruth Spellman continued: "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."
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