3 Ways to Give Your Employees a Holiday Gift They'll Love
Nov 23, 2015
By: Kelly Spors
No one wants to be like the boss in the movie Christmas Vacation who gave his employees a one-year Jelly of the Month Club membership. But how do you give holiday gifts your employees will truly appreciate?
First, remember that employees will only truly appreciate any gift from their manager if they feel appreciated year-round — not just around the holidays.
“Truly, from bosses I liked, anything was great because I appreciated that they thought of me,” writes Suzanne Lucas, a corporate human resources consultant, on Inc. "From ‘bad’ bosses, anything would annoy me. You can't make up for being a jerk with a token of any kind once a year.”
But management style aside, there are ways to ensure your holiday gift is memorable and appreciated. Here are three:
1. Personalize it
If you’re lucky enough to know everyone who works for you, personalization is a great route. Consider what you know about your employees’ personal hobbies or pastimes.
A book on a subject an employee really likes or gift certificates to their favorite restaurant are solid ideas, writes Deborah Sweeney, CEO of MyCorporation, in Forbes.
If they enjoy listening to music while they work, perhaps buy them a top-notch set of headphones. If they nurse a cup of coffee at the desk, find something that helps them keep their coffee warm, such as a thermos or mug warmer.
2. Make it an experience
A boring trinket could easily end up stuck in an employee’s closet, or worse, their trash can. Great experiences, though, last forever.
The recession is long gone now, so perhaps it’s time to once again splurge on an awesome holiday party at a nice restaurant or event location. If the budget is tight, you might invite your employees and their spouses or significant others over to your house for a party.
“It doesn’t have to be anything fancy (think pasta or pizza). Bringing the team together for an evening of casual conversation can be a great way of helping everyone bond,” writes Jacquelyn Smith and Aaron Taube in Business Insider.
Lucas in Inc. recounts one employee’s story of a manager who brought the whole office to the horse track, dressed up as Santa, and circled around passing out an endless supply of $10 bills to bet on the races. It was clearly a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
3. Don’t overlook the power of money
Of course, what many employees ultimately want is more money, Lucas says. If the company has performed especially well this year, a holiday bonus for everyone could be a great way to spread the joy after a year well-done.
Be careful of how you award a bonus, however. “If the bonus is tied to performance, it's not a present. It's part of a compensation package,” Lucas says.
Your employees are one of your business’s most important assets. As you mail out holiday cards or gifts to your clients or customers, don’t forget to show your employees appreciation, too.
About the Author
Kelly Spors is a freelance writer and editor based in Minneapolis. She previously worked as a staff reporter for The Wall Street Journal, covering small business and entrepreneurship.
All content provided herein is for educational purposes only. It is provided “as is” and neither the author nor Office Depot warrant the accuracy of the information provided, nor do they assume any responsibility for errors, omissions or contrary interpretation of the subject matter herein.
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