A box of traditional sweets as Diwali festival gift is passé for office workers, as most of the readers would agree upon. Cash and gift coupons/vouchers, prepaid cards are among the most desired this Diwali festival across the nation. This was the outcome of a recent study conducted by The Associated Chambers of Commerce & Industry of India (ASSOCHAM).
Crockery, sweets, dry fruits, bed sheets, gold coins, home décor, tableware, luxury watches, designer apparel, expensive writing instruments, free holiday packages, movie tickets, dinner coupons, spa vouchers and hampers with a mix of festive essentials like torans, diyas, aromatic candles remain certain other popular gift options this year too.
The study also revealed that 45 percent of office workers wanted cash or gift coupons/vouchers, 35 per cent wanted gadgets/electronic item/home appliances/utensils and other such things for personal use or for use in their households, 15 percent gift-boxes of sweets or cookies and the remaining preferred various other things.
However, over half of the HR professionals that ASSOCHAM interacted with said that cash rewards have the lowest impact and do little to improve employee satisfaction and performance, many of these opined that non-financial rewards have a greater and longer-lasting effect on the employees.
Most of the HR professionals said their companies have identified staff members who have consistently performed better and deserve to be recognised with something ‘tangible.’
Further elaborating on this aspect, many HR representatives said that their companies adhere to the policy of meritocracy and would reward only the best staff thereby making it performance-based and not across the board.
“Most of the companies in private sector have gradually moved away from a fixed Diwali bonus and instead provide benefits considering employees’ individual performance for past few years, so hardly any change is expected on this front,” said D.S. Rawat, secretary general of ASSOCHAM while releasing findings of the chamber’s survey.
Many HR professionals also informed that though they have earmarked a certain amount towards corporate gifting, they have not increased their budget compared to the last year.
Many of these said they plan to give gift hampers including assorted chocolates, imported liquor, genuine leather bags and even personalised gifts like gym/club membership to their deserving employees and clients this year.
“Though companies are not getting very generous, but considering that Diwali being one of India’s widely celebrated annual festival, corporate gifting has become a tradition to express gratitude, appreciation, develop relationships and generate goodwill amid peers and employees,” said Rawat.
The ASSOCHAM Social Development Foundation conducted an online survey to gauge 1,000 full-time office workers’ opinions and about 500 human resource professionals on Diwali festival bonuses given by companies and their desired gifts between October 1 – October 15 in 10 cities of – Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, Delhi-NCR, Hyderabad, Indore, Jaipur, Kolkata, Lucknow, and Mumbai.