When the holiday season comes around, employers are often left wondering the appropriate route to take as far as gifts for employees. It’s a good idea to go ahead and be proactive with your planning, rather than waiting until the last minute.
“Some companies make the mistake of waiting ‘til the last minute and then they are scrambling to come up with a plan, which results in lackluster gifts,” writes a blogger from Rymax Marketing Services.
So what should you do instead? How should companies handle their corporate holiday gifting this year and why does it matter?
The Importance of Corporate Gifts
You may be wondering why corporate gifting is so important, and there are quite a few relevant reasons.
First and foremost, employees need to feel appreciated. It’s important for culture, morale, and productivity. In a busy workplace where budgets are often tight, there don’t tend to be a lot of opportunities to show appreciation.
Holiday time is one of the few times where you can show your employees how valuable they are to the organization. When your employees feel appreciated it’s likely to improve retention and productivity, and those factors can be invaluable to the organization. Showing employee appreciation can also help with general satisfaction and loyalty.
These are objectives business leaders are often chasing, but they might not see the role of corporate gifting in achieving them.
So, beyond the importance of giving gifts to employees, what else should guide you this holiday season?
Make It Personal
Sometimes employers will give all their employees the same gift, and while that’s easier, it’s not always the best option. It’s better to try and personalize corporate gifts as much as possible. Your objective should be conveying a sense of not only personalization but also thoughtfulness.
Even if you get everyone in the company the same holiday gift, there are still things you can do to personalize them—for example, adding their name to the gift such as a monogram or having it engraved if possible.
As a side note, it’s best to avoid trying to be humorous with employee holiday gifts. Not everyone is going to have the same sense of humor, and you run the risk of being offensive. Joke or gag gifts often don’t play well in a business setting, especially if you don’t know your employees that well.
Don’t Give Promotional Gifts
Sometimes businesses will give out gifts that are essentially nothing more than company marketing materials. Don’t go that route. You don’t want to give your employees something with your company logo stamped all over it.
Go For Practicality
Sometimes if you’re stumped as to what to give for corporate gifts, think about practicality. People appreciate something they can use more than you might think.
If you give something your employees can use, then you don’t have to worry that they’re going to throw it away.
Gifts Don’t Have to Be Objects
You probably already know that you can give cash bonuses as gifts, but you may be looking for something to go along with that, or maybe you don’t have the budget to hand out cash. There are other non-object gifts you can give employees during the holiday season.
For example, what about giving employees extra vacation time or setting it up so they have a few Fridays where they can leave early?
Charity and Donation-Based Gifts
Something that can be thoughtful and appreciated by your employees is giving them the opportunity to give back. You might ask your employees to select a charity or nonprofit organization they’d like to donate to, and then you either provide a donation, or you match what your employees donate.
There is also something called CharityChoice. Charity Choice offers the opportunity to give a charity gift, but in a way that’s easy and time-efficient.
Finally, no matter what you decide on regarding the actual gift if at all possible try and show gratitude to your employees in a direct way as well. Your gift isn’t necessarily going to do all the talking for you. You can send a hand-written note with each gift if you don’t have a lot of employees. You can share your thoughts about why they’re valuable to the company and why you’re grateful to them.
Maybe you just hand-deliver each gift this holiday season and while you’re doing that, sincerely let your employees know that you appreciate all they do throughout the year. Those words may mean more to them than any gift.