You don’t have to spend a lot on employee gifts, but to get full value for what you do spend, add a personal touch.
Wouldn’t it be great if all employers had the wherewithal to buy each employee a cashmere sweater, as The Huffington Post reports that president and editor in chief Arianna Huffington does every year?
The article, “Arianna Huffington Gifts AOL/HuffPost Employees Annual Holiday Sweaters,” notes that this year she had quite a few to give, as she now has several thousand employees across multiple offices and cities.
“But sure enough, members of the New York office arrived on Wednesday morning to find their cozy holiday gear wrapped up in beribboned boxes on their desks. For the women it was soft, shawl-neck styles; for the men, fine gauge V-necks, all in a variety of jewel tones.”
Some people traded colors; some men and women even exchanged. As the article says, “the ladies in the men’s V-necks achieved that perfectly slouchy ‘boyfriend’ look.’”
Then everyone donned their sweaters and got together for a giant group photo.
What’s the point?
It’s not just that Arianna Huffington can afford to give cashmere sweaters. It’s that she:
- Spent the same amount on each worker
- Didn’t spend so much that recipients felt uncomfortable (Medzilla.com suggests $100 or less)
- Gave the gifts all at the same time, so employees could enjoy them together
- Gave appropriate gifts that weren’t too personal.
Clothing can actually be a little tricky if you don’t know your workforce well—you might be better off with gift cards or gift certificates for something employees can buy at their convenience at the stores of their choice.
How could Huffington have improved the workplace gifting experience?
By making it more personal.
The gifts themselves are personal and doubtless appreciated. The employees clearly had fun trying the sweaters on, swapping, and gathering for photos.
Maybe Huffington included a personal note thanking each employee for his or her excellent work and the article didn’t say so. If so, the gifts were inestimably more valuable.
It’s the personal connection that makes all the difference.
If you can, give gifts personally, with a handshake, a smile and a thank you.
If that’s not practical, how about a thank you by video conference before employees open their gifts? Or at least a personal note.
As Catherine Adenle writes at Catherine’s Career Corner in “5 Gifts to Give Your Employees”:
“Employees don’t want to work for just a paycheck; they want to work with people and for people. To create positive employee motivation, as a leader, you have to treat your employees well to show them that they matter—they are your greatest shareholders.”
- A kind word anytime
- A short discussion about employees’ families (if they’re willing to share)
- A brief compliment
- Including employees in things
- Checking in to see if they need anything
- Asking them what they think
Organizations will engage and retain their employees if they can clearly make the link between people, their performance, and business results.
To learn more best practice tips to make your employee holiday gift-giving successful, you’ll want to download our free eBook below.
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About gThankYou, LLC
Turkey Gift Certificates and Turkey Or Ham Gift Certificates by gThankYou! are two of America’s favorite employee gifts and can be redeemed for any Brand (Turkey or Turkey Or Ham), at virtually any Grocery Store in the U.S.
gThankYou, LLC provides company leaders with a variety of easy, meaningful and affordable ways to recognize and reward employees, holiday time or anytime. gThankYou! Certificates of Gratitude and our free Enclosure Cards are personalizable including incorporating your company logo. And, nearly all orders ship same day.
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