Christmas parties will be thrown by majority of employers in 2008

Christmas parties are still on the agenda for the majority of employers despite the economic crisis, according to research.

Initial findings from the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development’s (CIPD) annual reward survey found that 60% of organisations will still throw a party for their staff this year, despite the impending recession.

The poll of more than 500 employers found that private sector companies are still the keenest to embrace the Christmas festivities with the vast majority (77%) still likely to provide a party or lunch this year (down from 84% in 2007).

However, the voluntary and public sectors fared less well. While the voluntary sector is more likely to reward employees with a Christmas party, the number of organisations doing so in this sector has decreased by 12% this year.

Similarly to previous years, public sector organisations are the most reticent to offer this seasonal perk, with only 24% likely to provide a Christmas party or lunch (compared with 26% in 2007).

Charles Cotton, CIPD reward adviser, said: “If holding a Christmas party is the most effective way of [recognising the contribution of staff], then employers should be wary about scrapping them in response to the economic downturn, because the long-term impact could be damaging to employee engagement and organisational performance.

“As reward becomes ever more individual, the Christmas party is one way of reminding staff that they are part of a common endeavour.”

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