Tis the Season for Giving: Gift Ideas for Your Employees

You shouldn’t need an excuse to show your team just how much you appreciate all they do for your business. After all, your gratitude can go a long way to improving job satisfaction for employees. It’s also been known to improve productivity at work.

But you couldn’t pick a better time of year to make a habit of saying thanks, and one way of doing this is obviously with a holiday gift. While this isn’t to say that gift-giving is ever mandatory, or that it’s even allowed, you should know that there’s a right way and a wrong way to show your gratitude during the holidays.

The following are some of the best holiday gifts to give employees:

Coordinate a holiday event.

Life experiences often outweigh gifts. In fact, research shows that people who spend money on experiences rather than things are happier and feel the money was better spent. Instead of hosting a traditional holiday party, consider coordinating a shared experience for your team. Take employees to a big sporting event, escape room, or even something touristy.

Skip the tchotchkes.

Imagine buying every single person in your family a pair of socks this holiday season. Sure, the gift is useful — but not all that thoughtful. That’s the message you send when you buy employees the exact same tchotchke, even a practical one. If you can’t afford decent gifts, then it’s often better to give nothing at all — or at least donate the funds to a local charity. Tis the season of giving.

Give back to the community.

If you don’t yet offer a workplace-giving program, there’s no better time of year to start. Studies show that 67 percent of people would rather work for a company that supports social initiatives. What’s more, corporate social responsibility can improve employee loyalty by as much as 38 percent. Offer matching gifts and support staff volunteerism to give back to both your team and the community.

Sprinkle in a little flexibility.

Talk about a gift that won’t cost a thing, offering flexibility does little impact to your business while helping reduce some of the stress your employees will feel this time of year. Consider letting people work from home, come in late, or leave early when needs be. It may take a bit more coordination on your part, but nothing builds trust within your team more than some flexibility on your part.

Consider extra time off.

While not all companies can close down during the holidays, you may still have the means to give the gift of time in other ways. Maybe a few hours off prior to the big day would be useful to get some last minute shopping done. If business allows, you may find the time to give employees an additional day off, allowing them to extend their vacation and come back more refreshed than ever before.

Toss the holiday cards.

Holiday cards are really just a waste of paper when sending them to employees, especially when not accompanied by a gift. They often come off as an empty gesture of gratitude. Instead, hit the work floor and offer your thanks in person. Tell staff how much you appreciate their contributions, and don’t forget to get down to the specifics. It’ll show that you’re aware of exactly what they do for your business.

Choosing the perfect holiday gifts will be different for each business. If you plan on giving gifts this time of year, to make sure you give a little thought to the item or experience. 

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