Wednesday, December 12, 2018
Buying employee Christmas gifts can be trickier than it sounds. Depending on the size of your company, you might have a limited budget, and nice employee Christmas gifts can get pricey. On the other hand, you don't want to give out trinkets or garbage. Employees are generally pretty smart, and they'll recognize token employee Christmas gifts for what they are. So how can you express genuine appreciation and gratitude without breaking the bank?
What Not To Get
If you want your employee Christmas gifts to express real appreciation, there are a few things it's best to avoid:
anything with "World's Greatest Employee" or the like stenciled across it
joke gifts: they may seem amusing, but if an employee misunderstands one, you could have a problem on your hands
gifts that say 'I'm cheap' or 'this company's in financial trouble.' For example, a gift basket of discount store cookies for the employees to share screams "I'm cheap."
If you're working on a seriously limited budget, or you have a huge pool of employees, think about group employee Christmas gifts. Rather than getting each person something small, you can splurge on a nice gift basket for the employee lounge. Food is always popular (so is alcohol, although you'll probably have to keep it to after hours!). Just make sure that there's enough to go around and that the basket is genuinely nice -- fill it with food, not styrofoam. Professionally prepared gift baskets are probably the way to go.
So what do I get?
There are a couple of general rules to keep in mind when shopping for employee gifts.
1. Company logos are fine as long as they're on something people will actually want. Nice jackets with the company logo are fine; coffee mugs are not.
2. Stick with general gifts that work for everyone. It's fine to make some distinctions (for example, to get one set of gifts for the women and another for the men, or to get one set of gifts for the accounting department and one for the secretaries), but don't start making distinctions based on employee performance. That's what bonuses and salaries are for. This is a gift, not an evaluation.
3. When you shop for employee Christmas gifts, try to think of what they would like. Here are some suggestions to guide you:
-Everyone appreciates gift cards, even if it's just a $5 card from a local coffee shop
-Instead of buying something, consider doing something: take everyone out for a nice lunch, for example, or give everyone a bonus vacation day!
-Practical workplace items can be meaningful gifts: things like pen sets and office supplies, for example, make excellent gifts for office workplaces.
-Anything that cheers up the cubicle is a nice touch: potted plants, framed or engraved staff photos, or even nice picture frames.
-Chocolates always make nice gifts, but be picky: most people will prefer 3 or 4 really good gourmet chocolates over a box of grocery store standards.
-Remember we said no joke gifts? That stands, but it doesn't mean you can't get something fun as long as it's tasteful and impossible to misunderstand. Office Playground is a great site for this sort of thing, with items like stress balls, desktop zen gardens, and funky office accessories, all for a relatively low price.
Don't let shopping for employee Christmas gifts ruin your holiday season -- use these tips to make it a fun and rewarding experience!