Small Workplace Gifts Can Have Big Heart
With Small Workplace Gifts, a Personal Touch Matters
Gifts don’t need to be large or expensive to be meaningful. Small workplace gifts can express your gratitude and make employees feel appreciated. But you need to give them in the right way. As a Balance Careers post on gift-giving etiquette explains:
Adding a personal touch can give a small gift a much bigger impact. For example, if you hand-deliver your gift … instead of sending it in the mail, your gesture will give that present much more meaning. A card with a personal message and handwritten signature is more meaningful than a pre-printed card …
With small workplace gifts, this personal touch is key. Of course you want your employee to value the gift itself, but often it’s going to be something they could afford on their own. What they should remember is that they felt recognized and cared for. And the best way to communicate that feeling is to put in a bit of extra effort.
For starters, think about the intended recipients of your gifts. If your employee picks up coffee every morning at the cafe down the street, even a $5 gift card is going to be a treat for her. On the other hand, no matter how good your home-baked cookies are, they’re not a good fit for an employee with a gluten allergy. As we’ve noted before, the best workplace gifts of any size will bring meaning into the recipient’s life. A small gift they can use or share — or that they just treasure for its uniqueness — is a gift they’ll love.
Simple Gifts That Go a Long Way
Here are a few ideas for small workplace gifts that convey your appreciation to employees:
Thank-you notes. Do not overlook the simple note of gratitude. It doesn’t have to be long, but a thank-you note that recognizes an employee’s specific contribution will hit them where it counts. “We often overlook the strength of written praise,” employee recognition expert Cindy Ventrice told Entrepreneur, mentioning an employee who kept handwritten thank-yous for years. “When you take a little bit of extra effort to put it in writing, it pays you back many times over. People read that over and over again.”
Food. If you know your way around a kitchen, home-cooked treats make great small workplace gifts. Again, you need to be conscious of individual preferences and sensitivities. But if you’re sure the recipient will enjoy it, a gift of homemade food is a clear sign that you expended time and energy to show you care. For something less time-consuming, candy works for a lot of people, too. Or there’s always an Ice Cream or Pie Gift Certificate.
Coffee. Even if there’s free food in the office, a lot of employees will appreciate a surprise beverage from the coffee shop. A small gift card works just fine and gives them an excuse to step out and get some fresh air. But you’ll get serious bonus points if you drop off their trademark “venti half-caf Americano with soy” at their desk — that kind of gesture really makes a person feel known and appreciated. Feel free to include a card that says, “Thanks a latte!”
Flowers. In many ways, flowers are perfect small workplace gifts: They’re inexpensive. They’re meant for display, so that the recipient and everyone else can see and enjoy them. And they’re perishable, so they’re not “more stuff” for an employee to hang on to.
You can find more gift ideas here. With 4th of July next week, a small desk flag or red, white and blue decoration (or treat) can be a simple and fun way to share something thoughtful and timely. Stay away from politics and focus on the birthday celebration of our great country.
To reiterate, what really matters when giving small workplace gifts is that you give them with heart. Take the time to make sure your employees know why you’re giving them a gift. That simple feeling of recognition matters more than the item itself.
Want to be Amazing at Employee Recognition?
It doesn’t take a big budget, just a sincere desire to value employees and a willingness to hire and train managers who will live the mission. When it comes to inspiration and best thinking regarding employee recognition planning and tactics, download gThankYou’s free eBook, “The Ultimate Guide to Employee Gift-Giving”.
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