Family Values ‘Top of Mind’ for Small Business at Christmas

Thursday, 15/12/2011

Australian small business employees have just as much reason to celebrate this Christmas as their big business counterparts, with 86% of Australian SMEs hosting Christmas parties for their staff despite challenging economic conditions. 

In a sign that family values are still the number one priority for Australian small businesses at Christmas, the workplace Christmas party remains a strong tradition for SMEs who use the celebration to reward their staff for hard work throughout the year. 

According to the BOQ Straight Talk Survey, a regular nation-wide survey that canvasses the views and experiences of small business owners, nearly 65% of small businesses invite partners and family members to attend their Christmas party because it reflects the family friendly values of their business. 

New BOQ CEO and Managing Director Stuart Grimshaw said that small business employees were not missing out at Christmas, enjoying the same benefits as those from larger organisations.. 

“Christmas spirit is very much engrained in small business culture in Australia, with many organisations going above and beyond to reward their staff at the end of the year,” said Stuart.

“SMEs who extend a Christmas party invitation to their employees’ partners and family also help to foster staff loyalty and a sense of community within the organisation.” 

Accordingly to the survey, the 74% of small business owners who gave their staff bonuses in 2010 offered cash over additional leave or gifts. 

“Small business owners understand that Christmas can be a difficult time financially for families and prefer to give cash bonuses to boost their employees’ bank accounts rather than other bonuses such as additional holidays or traditional gifts,” Stuart said. 

“Employers who can identify and deliver on what their employees want at Christmas will be rewarded with increased staff loyalty in the long term.” 

The BOQ Straight Talk Survey was sent to hundreds of the Bank’s small business clients across the country.
Key findings:

  • 77% of small business owners hosted Christmas parties for their staff in 2010
  • Of those SMEs who did host Christmas parties, 64.3% involved the partners/families of staff members
  • 83.8% of SMEs involved partners/families of staff members because celebrations such as Christmas parties reflected the family friendly values of their business
  • Of those SMEs who will offer their staff a bonus, 74.2% said they would offer a cash bonus over a gift, extra leave or other incentives