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The Empuls Glossary

Glossary of Human Resources Management and Employee Benefit Terms

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Holiday Rewards

Holiday rewards help in enhancing customer loyalty and satisfaction, as customers feel appreciated and valued for their patronage. It’s a festive way for businesses to give back to their customers and celebrate the holiday season together.

The aim of holiday rewards is to encourage customer engagement and increase sales during peak shopping periods. They provide an opportunity for customers to maximize their benefits while shopping for holiday gifts and necessities.

What are holiday rewards? 

Holiday rewards typically refer to incentives, bonuses, or special offers provided by businesses or organizations during holiday seasons. These rewards can come in various forms, such as discounts, freebies, loyalty points, or exclusive deals. 

Many retailers, airlines, hotels, and other businesses offer holiday rewards to attract customers during peak shopping seasons like Christmas, Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and other festive occasions.

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Why should employees participate in a holiday rewards program?

The reasons why employees should participate in holiday reward programs are: 

  • Cost savings: Holiday rewards programs often offer discounts, special promotions, and exclusive deals that can help employees save money on various aspects of their trips, including flights, accommodations, activities, and dining.
  • Additional perks: Participants in holiday rewards programs may enjoy additional perks such as complimentary upgrades, bonus points, freebies, or access to exclusive amenities and services, enhancing the overall experience.
  • Flexibility and convenience: Holiday rewards programs typically offer flexibility in terms of booking options, allowing employees to redeem their rewards for travel dates that best suit their schedules and preferences.
  • Accumulation of points: By participating in holiday rewards programs, employees can accumulate points, miles, or other forms of rewards over time, which can be redeemed for future travel, upgrades, or other benefits.
  • Personalized offers: Many holiday rewards programs offer personalized offers, recommendations, or incentives based on employees' preferences, enhancing the relevance and value of the rewards.
  • Loyalty benefits: By consistently participating in holiday rewards programs, employees can build loyalty with specific airlines, hotels, or other travel providers, potentially unlocking additional benefits and privileges over time.

What are the different tiers in the holiday rewards program?

The different tiers in the holiday rewards program are:

  • Basic or entry level: This is usually the starting tier for all members. Members at this level typically enjoy basic benefits such as earning points or miles for purchases, access to limited-time promotions, and basic customer service support.
  • Silver or elite level: At this level, members often receive additional perks such as priority boarding, priority check-in, complimentary checked bags, and access to exclusive deals or offers.
  • Gold or premier level: Members at this tier usually enjoy even more benefits, including enhanced rewards earning rates, access to airport lounges, priority security screening, complimentary upgrades (when available), and dedicated customer service support.
  • Platinum or executive level: This tier typically offers the highest level of benefits, including all the perks of lower tiers plus additional privileges such as guaranteed upgrades, concierge services, bonus miles/points, waived fees, and more personalized experiences.
  • Invitation-only or vip level: Some holiday rewards programs have an invitation-only tier reserved for their most elite customers. This tier often includes highly exclusive benefits, personalized services, access to special events, and other luxury perks tailored to the individual's preferences.

When are the peak times to use holiday rewards for travel bookings?

The peak times to use holiday rewards for travel bookings are: 

  • Holiday seasons: Peak times for using holiday rewards often coincide with major holidays such as Christmas, New Year's, Thanksgiving, Easter, and other popular vacation periods. During these times, demand for travel is high, and redeeming rewards for flights, hotels, and other accommodations can provide significant value.
  • Off-peak seasons: While holiday rewards can be valuable during peak travel periods, they may offer even greater value during off-peak seasons. Consider using holiday rewards for travel during shoulder seasons or less popular times of the year when demand is lower, and prices for flights and accommodations are typically more affordable.
  • Advance planning: To maximize the value of holiday rewards, it's often advisable to book travel well in advance, especially for peak travel periods. Many holiday rewards programs have limited availability for reward redemptions during peak times, so booking early can increase the likelihood of securing desired dates and destinations.
  • Flexible travel dates: Flexibility with travel dates can also enhance the value of holiday rewards. Being open to traveling on weekdays, off-peak times, or alternative dates can increase the chances of finding available reward options and may offer better redemption rates.
  • Program-specific promotions: Keep an eye out for special promotions or offers from holiday rewards programs. These promotions may provide bonus points, discounts on reward redemptions, or other incentives that can enhance the value of using holiday rewards for travel bookings.
  • Destination considerations: Consider destinations that align with the holiday season you're planning to travel during. For example, using holiday rewards for a winter getaway to a ski resort during the Christmas holiday season or for a beach vacation during the summer holidays can provide a more immersive and enjoyable travel experience.

How are holiday rewards compared to other travel loyalty programs?

The way holiday rewards are compared to other travel loyalty programs are:

  • Earning and redemption opportunities: Like other travel loyalty programs, holiday rewards programs allow members to earn points or miles through purchases or transactions, which can then be redeemed for various rewards such as flights, hotel stays, car rentals, and more. However, the specific earning and redemption opportunities can vary depending on the program and the participating partners.
  • Program partnerships: Holiday rewards programs often have partnerships with specific airlines, hotels, rental car companies, and other travel-related businesses. These partnerships may offer members exclusive benefits, such as bonus points for booking with partner companies or access to additional perks and amenities.
  • Seasonal promotions: Holiday rewards programs may offer special promotions, discounts, or bonus points during peak travel seasons or holiday periods, allowing members to maximize their rewards earning potential and enjoy additional benefits during their vacations.
  • Tiered membership levels: Many holiday rewards programs, like other travel loyalty programs, feature tiered membership levels that offer increasingly valuable benefits and privileges as members progress through the tiers. These tiers often include perks such as priority boarding, complimentary upgrades, access to airport lounges, and more.
  • Specialty focus: Some holiday rewards programs may have a specialty focus, such as catering specifically to holiday travel or offering rewards tailored to seasonal destinations and activities. This specialization can provide members with unique opportunities and experiences not available through other loyalty programs.
  • Flexibility and restrictions: Holiday rewards programs, like other travel loyalty programs, may have certain restrictions or limitations on earning and redeeming rewards, such as blackout dates, seat availability, or expiration dates for points or miles. However, they also typically offer flexibility in terms of booking options and redemption choices, allowing members to tailor their rewards to their individual travel preferences.

How can holiday rewards enhance the vacation experience?

The ways in which holiday rewards elevate vacation experience are:

  • Cost savings: Holiday rewards often come in the form of discounts, special offers, or bonus points that can help travelers save money on flights, accommodation, dining, and activities during their vacation.
  • Upgrades and perks: Some holiday rewards may include complimentary upgrades to premium seats on flights, room upgrades at hotels, or access to exclusive amenities and services, such as spa treatments or guided tours, which can elevate the overall vacation experience.
  • Additional value: By redeeming holiday rewards, travelers can maximize the value of their vacation budget, allowing them to enjoy extra amenities or activities that they might not have otherwise been able to afford.
  • Flexibility and convenience: Holiday rewards programs often offer flexibility in terms of booking dates and options, allowing travelers to tailor their vacation plans to suit their preferences and schedules.
  • Personalized experiences: Certain holiday rewards programs may offer personalized recommendations, exclusive access to events or attractions, or special perks tailored to individual preferences, enhancing the uniqueness and enjoyment of the vacation experience.

Employee pulse surveys:

These are short surveys that can be sent frequently to check what your employees think about an issue quickly. The survey comprises fewer questions (not more than 10) to get the information quickly. These can be administered at regular intervals (monthly/weekly/quarterly).

One-on-one meetings:

Having periodic, hour-long meetings for an informal chat with every team member is an excellent way to get a true sense of what’s happening with them. Since it is a safe and private conversation, it helps you get better details about an issue.


eNPS (employee Net Promoter score) is one of the simplest yet effective ways to assess your employee's opinion of your company. It includes one intriguing question that gauges loyalty. An example of eNPS questions include: How likely are you to recommend our company to others? Employees respond to the eNPS survey on a scale of 1-10, where 10 denotes they are ‘highly likely’ to recommend the company and 1 signifies they are ‘highly unlikely’ to recommend it.

Based on the responses, employees can be placed in three different categories:

  • Promoters
    Employees who have responded positively or agreed.
  • Detractors
    Employees who have reacted negatively or disagreed.
  • Passives
    Employees who have stayed neutral with their responses.

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