The Do’s and Don’ts of Holiday Gift Giving For Employers (Plus a Few Ideas)

Can you believe it’s already December?

Seems like just yesterday we were all turning the calendar page to January and here we are ready to do it again.

The holiday season marks an important time to give thanks to your employees for another year of hard work. After all, your success is due to their success.

So if you find yourself getting caught up with gift giving ideas for your team, here are a few things to keep in mind.

  • Do have a budget. The idea of gifting your employees something fancy may seem like a good one, but don’t break the bank on gifts. You’ll be surprised at how much more a thoughtful gift is appreciated than an expensive one, too.

 

  • Don’t play favorites. Spend the same amount of money for each employee. By giving a different or a more expensive gift to some, you open yourself up to accusations of favoritism. You can make an exception for a personal assistant, since you work directly with them on a daily basis and they deserve the most thanks.

 

  • Do stay professional. Remember that they are still your employees, so exercise caution with gag gifts or gifts where the intent may be misconstrued. But that doesn’t mean that your gifts can’t be fun. Keep it creative.

 

  • Don’t make it monetary. It may seem like a good idea, but it can turn into a slippery slope. So if you’re on a budget or don’t want to be falling into the trap of having to give out bonuses every year, skip it.

 

  • Do take into account employee backgrounds and preferences. There’s another fine line to walk when it comes to gifts. Since a business is a melting pot of different personalities, religions, backgrounds, etc. your gift should be something that everyone can and will enjoy. Not taking this into account can be interpreted negatively by your team members.

 

  • Don’t think a party is out of the question. It doesn’t have to be a harbor cruise with unrelated entertainment. Just shut down a few hours early and enjoy a catered meal in the office. This avoids the added hassle of getting dressed up and worrying about fighting traffic. It also means that they can enjoy their evenings or weekends with their families and friends. Just remember to keep everyone safe (and keep the “work” talk to a minimum).

With that being said, what CAN you give your employees for the holidays?

Here are a few ideas:

  • Company branded gifts- But make it practical, like a small blanket or a quality engraved pen.

 

  • Gift certificates/cards – Think movie passes, bowling alleys, iTunes, etc.

 

  • Books- This requires that you know your team members and their tastes, but it’s extra thoughtful.

 

  • A note of appreciation- A sincere note thanking each team member for their hard work and showcasing their individual accomplishments. Genuine appreciation is a priceless gift.

This is your chance to show your team that their efforts over the last 12 months have not gone to waste.

It’s also a good opportunity to start the next year out on a positive note that will carry until this time next year.

Do you have any great ideas for employee gifts?

Leave a comment below and share your ideas.

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