Change In the Wind at the 2020 Energy Summit of Northeast Texas

Change In the Wind at the 2020 Energy Summit of Northeast Texas

Mark your calendars now for the 10th annual Energy Summit of Northeast Texas on March 24. In the past decade, this event sponsored by the Tyler Area Chamber of Commerce Energy Committee has become the most well-attended and recognized regional energy conference. Here’s what you need to know about this year’s event.

What’s Changing in Texas Energy

This year’s theme is Texas Energy Matters: The Changing Face of Texas Energy. The conference has always offered the latest insights on oil and gas. Now for the first year ever, part of the focus of the Energy Summit of Northeast Texas will be on renewable energy. Consider these statistics:

  • Texas ranks number one in the nation for installed wind capacity and number of wind turbines.
  • Texas, Kansas, Iowa and Oklahoma, just four states, account for 52 percent of the nation’s wind electricity generation. Of that, Texas generates more than 25 percent.
  • The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) predicts by 2050, renewables will provide almost half the world’s electricity, with wind energy making up nearly 35 percent of that total.

Oil and gas won’t be going away anytime soon, but the mix of energy sources is changing. There’s so much room for growth in terms of renewable energy. It’s an exciting topic Energy Summit speakers will explore in-depth.

Why 10 Years of Energy Summits

The Tyler Area Chamber of Commerce Energy Committee has sponsored the Energy Summit of Northeast Texas 10 years in a row to raise awareness about the industry in general and to highlight its connection with jobs in Northeast Texas.

“Most people relate to the energy industry only when they are filling their car up with gas,” said Gates Brelsford, Chairperson for the event. “But it’s one of the most important industries in Northeast Texas. Not just in Tyler but in Longview, Kilgore, Gladewater and the surrounding areas.” As much as one in six area jobs are tied to the Texas oil and gas industry.

The impact of Texas energy spreads far beyond Northeast Texas. “We’re literally changing the future of countries” says Todd Staples, President of the Texas Oil and Gas Association and one of the event’s speakers, “because we are making affordable, reliable, clean-burning energy available for them.”

Who Will Be Speaking

At the Northeast Texas Energy Summit, this list of current speakers (to date) will address the significant changes and adaptations happening now in the industry:

  • Wayne Christian – Chair of the Railroad Commission of Texas (RRC). This state agency regulates the oil and gas industry, industry safety and surface mining. Because of RCC’s influence on oil and natural gas pricing and supply, it might be one of the most important regulatory entities in the United States.
  • Brent Bennett, Ph.D. – Energy Storage Consultant for the Texas Public Policy Foundation. The challenge when it comes to renewable energy involves storing harvested wind and solar energy and putting it into the grid. This Texas native shares his expert knowledge in utility-scale energy storage systems.
  • The Honorable Jason Isaac – This four-time State Representative is now Senior Manager and Distinguished Fellow of Life: Powered at the Texas Public Policy Foundation. He’ll speak on the topic of Raising America’s Energy IQ.
  • BP Strategic Planning Group – A representative will share with attendees The Impact of Renewables on Global Energy Demand.

Who Should Plan to Attend

The 2020 Northeast Texas Energy Summit is for anyone who has an interest in developments in the energy industry. Last year’s event had more than 450 attendees and speakers integral to the industry, with similar numbers expected this year. Event participants weren’t just from oil and gas companies, they were a broad mix of representatives from accounting firms, banks, government agencies, law firms and other business entities.

Sponsorship opportunities are still available and are a way to help raise awareness of top energy industry issues while getting your name in front of a large audience. The Conference takes place in the Green Acres Baptist Church Crosswalk Conference Center on March 24 from 10:30 to 2:00. For more information or to secure tickets, call the Tyler Chamber of Commerce at (903)592-1661.

Common Sense Rules for Texting Job Candidates

Common Sense Rules for Texting Job Candidates

Sometimes text messaging can be the most effective way to get answers when evaluating prospective employees. It seems like people are more likely to respond quickly, which speeds up the hiring process. However, it’s also a more informal form of communication, so things can get sticky if you’re not careful. Your early communication sets the tone for how you’ll interact if you offer candidates the job, so it pays to keep things professional.

Permission is Easier than Forgiveness

You may have heard it’s easier to ask forgiveness than permission, but in this case that isn’t true. Before you text job candidates, make sure they’re okay with it. Your goal is engagement, and some people just don’t like texting.

It’s okay to ask via text message. Use the candidate’s name in the initial message so if you’re texting multiple candidates at once you can keep conversations straight. Send a brief message that tells your name and job title. Ask if text messaging is a good way to get in touch or if they prefer another method. Much of the time you’ll receive a positive response and know it’s okay to continue communicating via text. If you don’t hear back, double-check the number, then assume text isn’t an acceptable way to reach them.

Keep it Simple

Text is okay for short statements and simple questions. Handle everything else via email, phone call or in person. It’s fine to text interview appointments or request additional documentation, it’s not okay to negotiate salary or talk about things that aren’t job-related.

If you start composing a text and realize it contains more than a few sentences, the topic is too complicated for messaging. Or, if you find yourself going back and forth several times with the candidate, stop and schedule a phone call or meeting.

Stay Professional

Text messages are easy to send from anywhere, so sometimes recruiters get a little too relaxed. Just because you’re texting from the coffee shop doesn’t mean your tone or grammar should be similar to what you use with friends and family members. Here are a few basic rules for staying professional.

  • Only text during business hours. In your first text conversation, it’s a good idea to let candidates know what hours you’re available by text message and to assure them you’ll respect their after-hours time as well.
  • Don’t send or ask for information that should be privacy protected or might indicate discrimination.
  • Check your spelling and punctuation. Don’t use slang, emojis or text abbreviations. Your tone should be the same as you would use for work email or in-person exchanges at the office.
  • Don’t group text candidates.
  • Reply promptly to messages you receive and end conversations when you’ve reached your goal.

Hiring Made Easier

Finding the right job candidates is challenging, but you don’t have to do it alone. Brelsford Personnel handles every step of recruiting, evaluating and interviewing so you don’t have to. Contact us today to learn more about our personal approach.

How to Help New Employees Feel Welcome

How to Help New Employees Feel Welcome

As an employer with a new hire, you spent time and resources recruiting, interviewing and hiring that staff member. You’re hopeful you made the right choice, but there have been times in the past things didn’t go as planned and the new hire didn’t stick around.

That may be due to what happened when the new employee reported to work. During the first days of employment, they are evaluating you just as much as you’re evaluating them. A third of the time something goes wrong, with 33 percent of new hires quitting in the first 90 days.

It takes courage to get through the first few weeks in a new position because the unknown can feel awkward and frustrating. The expectations, the technology and the people all come with a learning curve. New hires hope to make a good first impression, and you can do the same by offering a friendly welcome.

Welcome Employees Before They Start

Of the new hires that quit, a large percentage hit the door because the job wasn’t what they expected. One way to keep that from happening in your workplace is to make sure employees understand what you’re about to require from them. Double-check to see if your job posting fits the actual responsibilities and that your new hire is qualified to fulfill them.

You can make a positive first impression before new staff reports for duty by being the first to reach out. Send a brief personal note via email congratulating them on being the top pick and stating you’re looking forward to working with them. Include information on how to get in touch if they have questions before their start date. If your company is active on social media, send them a link to your feed and invite them to participate.

When you reach out, you can also send first-day paperwork so they can complete it digitally. Doing so allows them to fill out forms from the comfort of their own home instead of having to do it with paper and pencil on their first day.

If possible, send them an outline of what they can expect when they report for duty. If you’re scheduling an orientation or safety training, let them know ahead of time. Explain your employee parking system if you have one.

Positive First Day Impressions

You want a productive employee, and your new hire wants to know exactly what he or she is supposed to be doing. Have a plan in place that meets both your needs to eliminate the uncertainty and awkwardness that makes onboarding hard on everyone.

Prepare their workstation before they arrive. If the last person to sit at that desk left things behind, clear them away. Make sure the phone and computer are hooked up and you have login information for systems they’ll need to access.

Assign each new-hire a mentor. Greet them as soon as they walk in the door and introduce them to that person. Then have their mentor provide a tour. Even if your office is small, show them where to find the coffee pot, the restroom, the coat closet etc. Explain office quirks like how to work the recalcitrant copy machine or what to do when the vending machine goes on the fritz. Then offer on the job training starting with simple tasks. Allow them to gradually settle in and develop confidence.

Welcoming Employees Beyond Day One

Day two might be even more challenging for new hires. Initial training is out of the way and the new has already started to wear off, but it’s too soon to have built relationships or become comfortable with their role and responsibilities.

Make sure their mentor continues to show them the ropes. As their supervisor, check in on them to see how they’re doing and ask if they have any questions. Listen if they have concerns. Over time, your effort will turn what could be an uncomfortable interaction into a positive experience.

Brelsford Personnel helps East Texas employers with everything from recruiting to onboarding. Find out more about our services here.

5 Must-Have Resume Sections (And 3 Optional Ones)

5 Must-Have Resume Sections (And 3 Optional Ones)

What are your career goals in 2020? A well-written resume can help you reach them. It’s a critical document in every job search, and for some people that’s intimidating. That’s why we’ve created an easy-to-follow template that will work for almost any position. Here are the basic sections every resume needs, along with many of the optional categories that can help get your foot in the door.

Always Include These Resume Sections

Make your resume visually appealing and simple to understand so employers can see what you offer at a glance. Use easy-to-read font, high-quality paper and consistent formatting. Here’s what every resume should include.

The Header

The top section of your resume should include your full name and all of your contact information. Use large letters for your name, then list your name, phone number, cell phone number and email address. Including your physical address or social media handles is optional. Avoid using your current work email address on a resume, and make sure the email address you do provide makes a good first impression.

Summary/Objective

In this section, briefly communicate what you’re looking for and why you’re the best pick. Start with an objective statement that includes the job title you’re applying for. Then state two or three of your top qualifications or most relevant skills. Conclude by letting the employer know what they stand to gain by choosing you.

Education Section

This resume block is pretty straightforward. Start with your highest completed degree and work backward. If you earned a college degree, you don’t need to list your high school diploma.

Include the type of degree you earned, your major and minor, and the name of the school from which you received your degree. If you received academic honors, list those as well.

List licenses and certifications in much the same way. State the name of your certification, the institution from which you received it, the date you became licensed or certified and applicable location information. For example, if you’re only licensed or certified in a certain state or region, clarify where you can use that education or qualification.

Work Experience

Again, start with your most recent job experience and work backward. Include this information for each entry:

  • Employer name
  • Your job title
  • Dates employed
  • Job tasks and responsibilities

Under each employer, highlight your achievements using data wherever possible. If you increased sales by 15 percent, reduced marketing costs by $3,000 a year or saved 100 man-hours every month, let that hard evidence speak in your favor.

Skills

Employers are looking for candidates who already possess the skills the position requires. They’re looking for abilities like problem solving, teamwork, organization, flexibility and strong time management. Evaluate your strengths and make a list, then revisit the skills section of your resume every time you apply for a job.

Look at the skills each employer lists on the job description. If you have those skills, make sure they’re on your list.

Optional Resume Sections

Almost all employers are looking for the above information on your resume. You also might want to include the following optional sections:

  • Awards
  • Volunteer work
  • Professional associations

How do you know whether or not you should include optional sections? Ask yourself how each relates to the position. Your first place award at the state chili cook-off doesn’t make you a more attractive candidate at a CPA firm, but it definitely counts if you’re applying to be the kitchen manager at a local restaurant. If you’re applying for a social worker position, your volunteer experience at that children’s summer camp says something about your heart.

When your hobbies or professional associations show you’re more qualified, connected or passionate, include them on your resume. If they aren’t connected to the position for which you’re applying, leave them off.

More Job Resources

If you’re looking for East Texas jobs, we want to help. Find more resume tips in our online resources or browse our available positions today.

Finding Bilingual Jobs Near Tyler Tx

Finding Bilingual Jobs Near Tyler Tx

If you speak more than one language, you have a powerful skill that automatically makes you more qualified to fill certain positions. Communication is the building block for business, education and public service. Bilingual employees are highly valued in almost every field because without their skills, some interactions become frustrating or impossible.

As the world gets more connected, the demand for multi-lingual employees will only continue to rise. If you speak more than one language, East Texas employers need you to fill bilingual jobs throughout the area.

3 Major Advantages of Hiring Bilingual Employees

When job candidates speak a second language, it can be the deciding factor in the hiring process. There are bilingual jobs in almost every field. Whether you’re hiring a bank teller, teacher, paramedic, customer service representative, salesperson or other role, candidates are an asset to your company if they can communicate with people who struggle understanding and speaking English.

  • Bilingualism makes companies more competitive. They can reach more people than a monolingual business.
  • Hiring bilingual employees communicates the organization cares about demographic groups for whom English is less understandable than their native language.
  • Hiring multi-lingual employees allows businesses to be increasingly global. Bilingual employees don’t just know another culture’s vocabulary, they often know its customs and etiquette.

Bilingual Benefits for Job Hunters

If you speak a second language, make sure it’s on your resume. Being bilingual is a highly sought after skill which will give you a better overall chance of landing the job.

Plus, bilingual jobs pay better. AOL Finance suggests bilingual employees make between five and 20 percent more than employees that otherwise have the same skills and serve in the same capacity.

Being bilingual creates opportunities. For some jobs, you might get to travel to help meet your employer’s needs. For others, being the go-to person when your boss needs a translator makes you the person they think of first when a better position becomes available.

Most Common Languages Spoken in Texas

What languages make you the most in demand? Texas has a diverse ethnic composition. As of 2017, more than 16 percent of the population was born outside of the U.S. The most common foreign languages are as follows:

  • Spanish – 7,726,208 speakers
  • Vietnamese – 225,079 speakers
  • Chinese (including Mandarin and Cantonese) – 161,502 speakers

Bilingual Employees Needed

If you speak another language, here at Brelsford Personnel we recognize the high value of your language skills. Submit your resume for one of our open positions to start the hiring process today.

New Overtime Rules Start Jan 1!

New Overtime Rules Start Jan 1!

In September, the U.S. Department of Labor issued a new rule that takes effect January 1, 2020. Up to 1.3 million workers that previously weren’t eligible for overtime pay will soon qualify for one and a half times their regular hourly rate when they stay more than 40 hours a week. Whether you’re an employer or a salaried worker, here’s what you need to know.

Salaried Workers and Overtime Pay

According to the Fair Labor Standards Act, employees should receive one and a half times their hourly pay when they work more than 40 hours a week, unless they have exempt status. Currently, that exemption applies to salaried workers who make over $23,660 a year or $455 a week.

A salaried worker makes a fixed amount set by their employer. Their pay isn’t hourly, they make the same amount monthly or annually no matter how many hours they work. Employers expect them to complete agreed-upon duties even if that means working more than 40 hours a week.

Nobody likes having to stay extra, but employees with a high salary understand that’s just part of the job. When employees don’t qualify for overtime pay because they receive a salary, that’s called exempt status. Currently, for workers whose salary is under $24,000 a year, working overtime means sometimes they earn well under minimum wage.

What’s About to Change

The threshold of $23,660 was established in 2004, and a lot has changed since then. Starting in January 2020, workers with salaries up to $35,568 annually or $684 per week will be eligible for overtime pay. Employers will have to reclassify more than a million workers that were previously exempt from overtime pay.

The rule also mandates changes for highly compensated employees. Until now, employees who made $100,000 or more a year and had specific duties and responsibilities were exempt from overtime pay. As of January 1, 2020, that threshold increases to $147,414 per year, an almost $50,000 increase. Employers can count bonuses, incentives and commission toward a percentage of the standard salary requirement.

How Employers Can Prepare

If any of your employees make less than the new threshold, you have two options:

  • Increase their salary to the new threshold so they still qualify as exempt.
  • Re-classify them as non-exempt, start tracking their time and pay them overtime on weeks where they put in more than 40 hours.

You might not choose the same option for all employees. For example, some may only work more than 40 hours a week during the busiest times of the year. Paying them time and a half overtime will cost less than raising their salary by thousands of dollars. However, if you have workers that work long hours all the time, it may cost less to raise their salary than to pay them overtime every pay period.

Brelsford Personnel keeps employers and employees up to date on job trends and employment news. Follow us on Facebook so you don’t miss a thing.

Simple Strategies That Impress All Employers

Simple Strategies That Impress All Employers

You feel like it should have happened already. Every day you show up on time, you do your work, you support company initiatives. It seems like by now you should have received a promotion or a raise. But somehow they keep going to someone else. Your boss is nice, but they don’t really notice you. Here are some simple ways to show administrators that you’re capable of more responsibility and deserving of higher pay.

Go Above and Beyond

Many job descriptions include similar responsibilities: show up at this time, dress this way, do these things, go home. But if you’re doing what everyone else is doing, you aren’t standing out in the eyes of your boss. That’s where going above and beyond can help you.

Don’t just show up on time, try to show up a few minutes early. If you have to stay late, do so cheerfully. The employees that show a willingness to get the job done are going to leave an impression.

Leave your problems at the door when you arrive every day. Do your best to remain positive throughout the day. The employees that complain about everything are the ones that resent extra responsibility, so don’t let your boss put you in that category.

Rise above the rest by asking how you can help. When your boss notices you are taking the extra initiative, they’ll remember when it comes time for a promotion or a raise.

Get to Know Your Boss

As much as it would be nice to say that raises and promotions are 100% performance-based, they usually aren’t. When it comes time for a raise, your boss is going to think of the people they frequently interact with first. If that’s you, you’re in a better position to get that extra responsibility and pay.

Getting to know your boss doesn’t just mean introducing yourself and saying hello when you see them. It’s more about the relationship. Your job is to support your boss and make his or her life easier. Supporting their goals and priorities is a good way to start. Have conversations with your boss about their expectations and your expectations. Learn how they communicate best and use that to improve your relationship. Take a look at Better Listeners Make Better Employees – Here’s How to Get There.

Look to the Future

Communication is the basis of relationship. If you want to succeed, you must communicate. Just like you take time to get to know your boss, let him or her get to know you. Talk to your boss about your future goals.

Demonstrate a long-term interest in not just your boss, but also the company you work for. When you make their goals your own, it shows them that you have the company’s best interests at heart and that you’re ready to take it to the next level.

When You’re Really Stuck

Sometimes you hit a dead end because there’s no possibility for growth within your organization. If that’s the case, you might need to look somewhere else, and Brelsford Personnel can help. If you’re looking for a better position, we place qualified employees in some of the most sought-after jobs all over East Texas. Take a look at our job postings today.

When Seasonal Work Ends – Find Jobs Near Tyler Tx

When Seasonal Work Ends – Find Jobs Near Tyler Tx

Your seasonal position at an East Texas business got you through the holidays and put some much-needed cash in your pocket. However, January will be here before you know it. Your employer was clear about the fact he or she would slow down after Christmas, and your job was only temporary. Now is the time to start planning ahead.

Get Ready Early

You’re still busy with your seasonal job, and you don’t have a lot of time to run around East Texas filling out applications and dropping off resumes. But if you don’t want a long stretch of unemployment between this job and the next, don’t wait until the ball drops and the holiday decorations are taken down to start looking for your next job. Here’s a list of tasks for December:

  • Update your resume to include your current position. Add skills you learned on the job.
  • Draft a cover letter you can tailor to each employer when you start to apply.
  • Ask someone you know and trust to proofread your resume and cover letter.
  • If you developed a good relationship with your manager at your place of seasonal employment, ask for a reference.
  • Check the rest of your reference list to make sure it still contains the best reference choices and gives correct information for contacting them.
  • Go through your social media posts and make sure there’s nothing you wouldn’t want potential employers to see.
  • If you have a LinkedIn profile, update it with achievements, advancements, new skills and experience.

Start Networking

During the holidays you set aside time to be with family and friends. When they ask how you’re doing and what you’ve been up to, be open with them about the transition you’re facing and what your ideal job looks like. You’ll get practice articulating your experience, skills and goals that will come in handy later during interviews. Plus, they might be connected to someone who is already looking for a candidate with your skills.

Make a Wish List

This one isn’t a letter to Santa, it’s a list of the types of positions you’d like to have (for which you qualify) and the companies you’d like to work for. Once your seasonal position is over and you no longer have a steady paycheck on the way, you might be tempted to apply with anyone who will pay you. However, if you can find a job that’s the right fit, you might never have to be in the jobless and hunting position again.

Finish Strong

When you know soon you won’t be accountable to your manager, there’s a temptation to give less than your best. After all, before long they won’t be offering you incentives for good behavior or disciplinary action if you do something wrong.

Instead of just coasting through the rest of the season, go above and beyond. Your initiative might convince your employer to make your temporary position into a more permanent one. If they can’t afford to keep you, you’ll still leave a good impression and earn a positive reference.

Start Your Job Hunt

At Brelsford Personnel, we have temp-to-hire and permanent jobs to fill every season of the year.

Search our job board, then submit your resume online today.

What Personality Tests Reveal About Job Candidates

What Personality Tests Reveal About Job Candidates

Recruiters, employment agencies and HR departments are split over whether or not it’s beneficial to use a personality test to evaluate job candidates. Pre-employment personality testing is designed to evaluate character traits and temperament to find new hires that will be an exact fit for teams and departments. It seems like a solid hiring practice, since when a person’s temperament and interests are suited to a position, he or she stays more engaged.

But what do personality tests really reveal? Are they accurate, and should you be incorporating them in your interview process? What’s the best way to remove the guesswork and hire the right fit for your organization?

Most Important Thing to Know About Personality Testing

Personality testing for work has been around for a long time. Experts continue to publish new research and new test variations regularly appear. What doesn’t seem to change is the data indicating personality testing alone gives some insight, but isn’t enough to evaluate fit.

Researcher Frank Schmidt conducted a meta-analysis of productivity data and selection practices over the past 100 years to identify the correlation between test scores and predicted job performance. His research showed when employers base hiring just on an interview, reference checks and a personality test, often that wasn’t enough to make accurate predictions about job performance.

Personality tests are one hiring tool, but they don’t offer a complete picture. Plus, there are thousands of personality test variations to choose from, and they’re not all created equal. Schmidt found personality testing works best when you choose a test designed for evaluating job candidates and combine it with other types of testing.

Candidates Can Manipulate Data

Do a quick search that includes personality testing for work and you’ll find first page results with tips on how to pass, fake or beat the evaluation in order to get the job. With a little bit of research and practice, candidates can sometimes skew answers so the data shows they’re a better fit than they really are.

It’s not that most candidates are deceptive, they just already have a sense of what employers want to hear. Taking a test alone causes anxiety. If they “pass,” they have a shot at the position. If they “fail,” their hope of a job with your company goes out the window.

Some Personality Tests Aren’t For Hiring

The popular Four Quadrant or 4-Q personality test has been around in some variation since 450 BC. In all that time, it hasn’t changed that much. Today’s candidates choose words from a list that are most and least like their preferences.

Potential candidates who want to make a good impression simply choose the words they think best align with the job description. Plus, 4-Q tests tend to measure “states” or emotions and feelings. Those are subject to change.

Another well-known personality test for work is the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, a questionnaire employees complete to reveal how they make choices and interact with others. It offers insight into the type of work candidates like to do, but doesn’t evaluate how proficient they are at anything. Since the answers are open-ended, candidates can reply based on what they think the test administrator wants to hear.

Both types of tests can be useful after hiring to better understand employees and build stronger teams. Employers might use them to better understand communication habits, to plan future staff development or to measure traits important to customer satisfaction. They just aren’t a reliable indicator of whether or not employees are a good fit.

Choosing the Best Personality Assessments

The best personality tests on the market measure traits, not emotions. They include control questions or a lie-detector scale that tips off the administrator candidates might be trying to work the system. Strong personality assessments for hiring allow you to compare scores across candidates and traits. Test vendors can provide data to prove their test is bias-free, in compliance with local and federal guidelines and that it’s reliable and accurate.

Hiring the Right Fit Every Time

Hiring is time-consuming and expensive. Hiring the wrong person is even more so. When you work with Brelsford Personnel, we put decades of hiring expertise to work for you. We match candidate personality and skills with employer requirements and culture for a good fit. Let us know your staffing needs when you get in touch today.

Best and Worst Employee Gifts for 2019

Best and Worst Employee Gifts for 2019

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?