Fruit cake, gift card, bonus, product, or something else…agh! What do I give? Holiday giving in the workplace can be as tough as figuring out what to get your Great Aunt June! If you are thinking about giving holiday gifts to your staff this season consider these few things.
Before you put the effort in to finding the perfect gift, double check your company handbook (or ask your superior if necessary) to make sure holiday gift giving is allowed. Then develop a consistent approach for selecting who and how much you’ll invest. Remember gifts can come in many forms, not just money. I’ll share a few ideas below!
Consistency doesn’t mean you have to give equally across all employees, but you do need logical reasoning to justify your decisions. For example, if you are providing a Christmas bonus, perhaps you base the value on % of salary or weighted based on revenue generated.
Being consistent across employees is obviously the easiest, but doesn’t always make sense. And, it could depend on what you are gifting. Just remember, you don’t want holiday gift giving to become a demotivator for the team because there is unexplainable inconsistency amongst what various team members receive.
If you regularly provide holiday gifts and of the same nature from year to year, your staff will naturally come to expect it. Right or wrong, they will. Remember what happens to Clark in National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation? If you need to make adjustments to your routine holiday gift giving (particularly if you gift in the form of money or bonuses) communicate those changes and as early as possible. While the change may be tough to take, you don’t want your employees disgruntled because expectations weren’t met.
What to Give
As I mentioned, money/bonus isn’t the only form of showing appreciation around the holiday season. Here are a few ideas for meaningful holiday gift giving:
- An extra day of vacation — encourage your staff members to use the day to complete Christmas shopping, do baking, finish up holiday cards, or just relax. The holidays are a busy time and often we get so wrapped up in all that needs to get done that by the time we reach the actual holiday, we’re exhausted! The gift of time goes a long way.
- Gift cards — select options from their favorite restaurants, stores, gas stations (if they need to travel for the holidays), coffee shops, etc. While generic gift cards are great, the more personal touch you provide by tying it back to their favorites the more meaningful.
- Product — does your company produce something that staff members could enjoy? For example, produce or ham, things that can be used during the holidays or enjoyed in the New Year. If you don’t have something tangible, how about vouchers for logoed company attire or other logoed items of use?
- Home delivery options — No, I’m not talking about a jelly of the month club! There are a variety of fun home delivery services that can provide unique gifts that create efficiency around the holidays or can be enjoyed throughout the year. Some examples — Blue Apron, HelloFresh, Produce Box, Dollar Shave Club, Graze, etc.
- Specific gifts — sometimes a small token of sorts goes a long way. Throughout the year your team will share things about themselves and as you build your professional relationship, hopefully you learn some of their favorites. Jot notes throughout the year and use those to make holiday shopping a little easier.
- Hand-written cards — don’t have the budget to provide staff gifts? A simple hand-written card that says thank you and highlights some of the reasons you are appreciate them this season can do wonders for the spirit. Remember the old adage — ‘it is the thought that counts!’
The holidays are an opportunity to reflect on the past year and give thanks for what has been accomplished; the milestones made and a look toward the future. Holiday giving can come in many forms. Overall though, as you go about holiday gift giving, if you remember the purpose — to spread a little cheer and show your appreciation — you won’t go wrong. Happy holidays!
Learn more about weighing benefits and perks from this blog post.