New Year’s is widely celebrated and non-religious, making it a good choice for a workplace celebration.
“Focus on thanking employees for a successful year and encouraging the same enthusiasm and dedication to the company for the approaching New Year,” according to the SHRM article “HR Pros: Make Year-End Celebrations Inclusive.”
Thanks, a small gift and shared meal were among the most common year-end employee celebration suggestions from HR pros in a recent SHRM poll.
The New Year is a time of reflection — we look back at the past year and make decisions about how to approach life and work in the coming year. Are you doing this with your employees? It’s a great chance to get motivated and focused together.
Simply celebrating together is a powerful way to build workplace spirit.
“Taking a little time to bond socially and relax can benefit your employees and motivate them to keep coming back for more,” Cynthia Measom writes in the Chron article, “5 Things to Motivate Employees in a New Year.”
What makes a great employee gift for the New Year? Read on for ideas of staff appreciation gifts that communicate gratitude, share in the celebration of company achievements and — most importantly — delight employees!
5 Staff Appreciation Gifts to Kick Off the Year
Why share a New Year’s gift in the workplace? Because New Year’s is…
- celebrated by all.
- an important milestone.
- a time of reflection and goal-setting.
As always, focus on gratitude, however you choose to celebrate and whatever gift you choose for employees.
We’re all excited by the potential of the New Year and a “clean slate,” but don’t be quick to brush last year into the past. Taking time to recognize the wins of the past year is key to motivation and inspiration for the next 12 months.
Choose a gift that shares in the fun, aspirational nature of the New Year. Here are five ideas:
1. ‘Happy New Year’ CEO letter
Any gift should include a short Thank You note or “Thanks” in person, but take it a step further with a longer letter from the CEO or other top brass. Now is a great time to go over what worked well for your business in the previous year and and inspire even better results in the upcoming year.
Don’t know where to start? Download our free ebook on how to write a holiday Thank You letter. You’ll find specific how-to’s and inspiration from real-life examples of CEO holiday letters. (The ebook is geared toward Thanksgiving, but we think the advice is great for writing a New Year’s letter, too!)
2. Flowers or potted plants for the office
Bring fresh oxygen into your workplace with bouquets or a few pretty, easy-to-maintain potted plants. During these short winter days, a little greenery and color goes a long way to brighten everyone’s day.
3. ‘Culture book’
Take a cue from Zappo’s and create a “culture book” with input from employees. Think of it as a high school yearbook, but for your staff — highlight personal and team achievements from the past year with photos and quotes. Focus on appreciation and on how employees define your company’s unique cultural identity.
A culture book is a great add-on gift and helps keep your company model alive, relevant and fresh. As Gaping Void points out, culture is fluid: “Culture isn’t a set of laws. It can’t be imposed — culture is shared.”
4. End-of-year potluck celebration
On a budget? Decorate the break room with New Year’s streamers and balloons and host an end-of-year potluck. Provide the plates, napkins, table clothes, utensils, etc., and invite employees to bring their favorite holiday dish. If budget allows, share a $5 gift certificate for candy or ice cream with each employee. Have management talk about the year’s successes and challenges and what to look forward to in the year ahead.
5. Treats for staying healthy in the new year
Share a gift that encourages healthy habits. It will jumpstart your wellness initiative and help employees keep their get-healthy New Year’s resolutions. Be sure the tone of your gift is positive, not critical. It should promote healthy eating and staying active, not specifically weight-loss, which could be a downer for someone already struggling to lose weight.
A gThankYou! Fruits and Vegetables Gift Certificate is a great way to thank employees and help them keep resolutions to eat better this new year, for example. Even better: when you share the Gift Certificates, bring in a local chef to teach a class on how to incorporate more fruits and veggies into meals.
Have You Started Your Employee Recognition Planning?
“In life, one has a choice to take one of two paths: to wait for some special day — or to celebrate each special day.” – Rasheed Ogunlaru, coach and author
We have a New Year’s gift for you! Download the gThankYou Day-to-Day Employee Celebration Calendar. It gives you the tools and inspiration to build a culture of appreciation every day of the year. Download yours today, absolutely free, and get your planning started for the New Year!
Make a commitment today to better workplace engagement. Download our “how-to” planning guide to building an everyday culture of appreciation.
Learn More About gThankYou!