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How to Give Employees Gifts—That They Really Want | North Woods Associates

Staff satisfaction and motivation are vital to keeping your business performing at its best. If your employees are feeling unsatisfied or unappreciated, their motivation, and subsequently their productivity, will drop. Show your staff that they are valued to boost and maintain morale. One way to demonstrate how much you appreciate and value your employees is to provide a holiday gift for employees—a holiday gift that they really want.

A new survey of workers by the online print company, Instantprint, illustrates how important giving a holiday gift for employees is for your business. 94 percent of respondents said a holiday gift from their employer would make them feel appreciated, valued, and happier at work.

To make the most of the holiday gifts you offer your employees, you need to ensure you are giving them something that they want. Undesired gifts won’t help boost staff morale or provide inspiration. Instantprint’s research has also unveiled the most popular gifts to receive from employers, as voted for by workers, to help you choose gifts for employees that they really want.

Gift Cards as Gifts for Employees

Gift cards came in as the most popular gifts employees could receive from their companies with almost one-third of the vote (29 percent). In addition to employee appreciation of gift cards as gifts, gift cards offer further benefits.

First, they are easy for an employer to provide. Other options on this list, such as providing early time off from work, involve staff time to plan. Gift cards, however, are readily available to purchase both online and in a wide range of stores.

Second, gift cards give employees the freedom to choose a gift they will really use. With gift cards now available that are valid in most major stores, giving them to your staff can help make the most of your gifts for employees.

Early Finishes During the Holiday Season as a Gift for Employees

Coming in at a very close second to gift cards in terms of most popular holiday gifts to receive from employers is the option of an early finish. With 28.8 percent of the vote, little difference exists between the two gift options.

The holiday season is about spending time with your loved ones, so it’s not surprising that early finishes to the workday rank so high. Getting away from work early can make all the difference when it comes to finishing your Christmas shopping or making it to the family get-together.

Two ways in which you can arrange early finishes for your staff are these:

  • Allow staff to choose on which day they want to leave work early. Set up a spreadsheet, similar to one for monitoring annual leave, and ask staff to request their day to leave work early, so you can ensure you always have adequate coverage.
  • Choose a day for the entire company to leave early, for example, Christmas Eve, when many companies close at noon. Just make sure you give fair warning to clients and customers that this will be the case.

Provide an Open Bar at the Holiday Party as a Gift for Employees

One in five employees says the holiday party would be better if their company offered an open bar. Providing an open bar is a way to encourage staff to attend the holiday party and helps your employees enjoy themselves.

Covering the bar tab for the entire company is costly, but you don’t have to go this far at your holiday party if the cost isn’t in your budget. Consider offering to cover everyone’s first drink instead. Or, issue a certain number of drinks tokens or coupons employees can use throughout the night. This will stop everyone from piling up to the bar and ensure that all staff has equal access to the perk.

Physical Gifts for Employees

One in ten employees wants to stick with the classic option for the holiday season, asking their employer to get them a physical gift. Physical gifts allow you to team build when the employees unwrap their gifts together.

To achieve this, however, you’ll likely have to give all of your employees the same gift. This one-size-fits-all gift-giving is difficult to get right. You’ll want to talk to your staff, take note of their interests and habits, and use their ideas as your inspiration.

Often the classics are best when you give employees a physical holiday gift. For example, your staff is likely to use a travel cup, and the cup should last for a long time. Gifts like travel mugs and company clothing with logos add an extra benefit to your employee holiday gift as they are useful to increase your brand awareness.

Charitable Donations as Gifts for Employees

When your employees are having fun, celebrating this holiday season with gifts and gatherings, it’s important to remember those less fortunate than themselves. 7 percent of staff want their employers to help them accomplish this mission by making a donation in their name to charity.

The holiday season is a difficult time of year for employees to donate, with all the financial pressures of gift-giving, festive outings, and feeding the family. Donating to worthy causes in the name of your staff can help them ramp up the feel-good factor this holiday season.

If you donate this holiday season as a gift for employees, thoroughly research your chosen charity. Choose one that aligns with your company values. Local causes are also solid options as they increase your standing as a business that gives back to its community.

You don’t have to limit yourself to just one of these options for holiday gifts for employees. You can offer several to make the most of the holiday season for your staff. You’ll boost their motivation well into the New Year.


Written By: Elliot Horn



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