Best and Worst Employee Gifts for 2019

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The holidays are here, the year is winding to a close, and it’s time to start thinking about your hard-working employees. They’ve given it their all, and you want to reward them without breaking the bank or giving them something they won’t enjoy.

Employee gifts are a nice gesture meant to convey to your employees that you appreciate them. But sometimes, it can be difficult to find just the right gift, especially when you have a lot of employees and not a lot of time. It doesn’t have to be an expensive gift, just a thoughtful one.

The Dos and Don’ts of Employee Gift-Giving

Don’t give them all the same gift. It can be difficult to find something personal for everyone but giving the same item to all your employees comes across as cold and thoughtless.

Do add a personal touch. When you go out of your way to make the gift personal, then your employees will appreciate the effort. They’ll know you care about them as a person.

Don’t give the same Christmas card. When you print off thirty of the same generic Christmas letters and pass them out to the team, they will feel like you couldn’t take the time to write out a simple note.

Do hand-write a note. Hand-writing a note to give to each of your employees shows that you were thinking of them and that you were willing to take the time to show them.

Worst Gift Examples

A lot of employers make the mistake of giving out merchandise with the company logo on them. T-shirts, coffee mugs, backpacks, you name it, someone has handed it out at the holiday party. Somehow during the holidays, covering everything in the company logo makes it feel like less of a gift and more like self-promotion. It’s no longer, “I appreciate you,” but instead it becomes, “free advertising.” Or worse, you’re re-gifting merchandise left over from the last event or promotion.

Office supplies are another big no-no. You may have good intentions, but your employees don’t need another set of pens or sticky notes. It sends the message, “Happy holidays, now go work more.”

A gift card seems like a good idea, but it isn’t always. You don’t have to shop for your employees, you just give them store credit and they go buy it themselves. But your employees want to feel like they’re worth more than a twenty-dollar piece of plastic. If you’re giving gift cards, personalize the gift, if possible, by learning where each employee likes to shop or eat and purchasing cards from their favorite vendors.

Best Gift Examples

List what you know about employee likes and dislikes, then use that to generate your gift list. One good idea is to buy food or drinks for your employees. Gourmet chocolates, fancy coffee beans, a favorite type of tea, or other items are good examples. You don’t need a large quantity, just seek out things they wouldn’t buy for themselves but would still enjoy.

Consider a scarf for the employee who is always cold at the office. For the dog lover, purchase a subscription to BarkBox or Pooch Perks.

However, one of the things that your employees will appreciate most isn’t a material item. Paid time off or leave-early passes are great ideas for inexpensive and appreciated gifts.

This holiday season give your employees something they will feel good about. You’ve all worked hard over the year, now it’s time to enjoy the holidays with your family. For more advice on being an outstanding employer, check out Bad Boss or Motivational Leader – Which One Are You?

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