Buying gifts for employees is, for lack of a better phrase, really really hard.
There’s that work/life balance that makes you start to question whether or not a gift is inappropriate. Before you know it, your head is filled with questions or what’s appropriate and what’s not.
Do you know too much about an employee? Do you know too little? What’s his children’s name? Should I include their names on the tag? Wait, does he even have any children or was that Darren? What’s her name – I don’t even recognize her, when did she start here? Is Marie allergic to nuts, or was it animal fur? What if they get me something worth more?
Okay, relax. The holiday season is what we’d call a stressful season, but it doesn’t have to be, not with a little bit of know-how to get figuring out what the best gifts are for your employees and how you can make a great impression this year and get a morale boost from your workforce.
- Branded custom apparel
Branded. Custom. Apparel.
It’s simple, it’s effective and it’s sure to bring a smile and boost morale in the workforce.
There’s plenty of reasons to get involved with branded apparel, but nothing quite compares to just how much employees seem to live branded workwear. In a recent study, it was found that more than 88% of employees thought that they looked great in company branded shirts and 62% said that they are proud to wear their company logo wherever they go.
In addition, according to Codrin Arsene, CEO at Digital Authority Partners, a Chicago design agency, wearing branded company t-shirts is a new trend adopted at scale by Millennial employees who take pride in their work and feel energized and excited to wear branded apparel.
Spice things up a little by customizing apparel with personalized touches to really make a splash in the workplace. If you’ve got nicknames for employees or they have unique habits that make them who they are – don’t be afraid to include them and customize a gift.
If Karen loves coffee, don’t be afraid to inscribe ‘Koffee Karen’ on the back of a shirt. It might be silly, but this personalization is key to maintaining a workforce that cares and the morale boost that comes is definitely worth taking the extra time over.
The prices of custom t-shirts, hoodies, bags and other accessories have decreased significantly over time. For example, ScreenPrintThis offers branded custom apparel starting at only $2.99 plus taxes per t-shirt, with no minimum orders.
- Stainless Steel Water Bottles
- Vouchers to favorite shops/restaurants
Vouchers are another great holiday gift idea to boost employee morale at work with a huge range to choose from.
Vouchers often seem like an easy way out when it comes to buying gifts and to be perfectly honest, that usually is the case. The key, like with every gift is the customization and personalization of the gift that really gives you the best bang for your buck.
If you’re in an environment where employees chat and talk about their favorite shops or restaurants, it might be the perfect gift to get a voucher to somewhere that they actually love rather than the usual basic voucher. Showing that you actually listen and value their opinions and interests is huge for morale.
Food and experiences are great for morale too, combining the pair is like a super-gift. The only downside is that this can be an expensive gift and if you end up “cheaping” out with say a $15 gift card, chances are that this gesture will backfire and give you a bad rep.
- Comedy/humorous books
Is there anything better than a comedy book? I don’t think so.
From the ‘Ladybird book of dating’ to ‘what men know about women’, the comedy book is hitting strong for 2018 with a lighthearted gift that’s inexpensive and perfect for a laugh among colleagues and employees.
Know your audience and who you’re buying for and these can really light up a room. If you want to make things a little more heartfelt or a little more personal, feel free to handwrite a note in the front cover thanking employees for their hard work.
This little gesture of an inscription is often more valuable than the gift itself, be wary of the power that the written word has, you might be surprised when you’ve reduced half of your staff to tears.
- Plants and small trees
Everybody loves a cute plant or little tree and they work as a great gift to bring nature into the office during the holiday period.
Whether you’re looking at bonsai or cacti, a little tree can bring genuine happiness to employees in a way that only a living green thing can.
Not only are plants relatively inexpensive, they also give additional responsibility to employees and increase their morale as they care for their new plant at work. You’ll be shocked at just how much people love a plant when they’re giving the opportunity so why not capitalize and invest in a collection of small trees for the office.
Once more, adding a little note with each plant to employees is a fantastic gesture and something that they’ll think about each time they see the plant. A perfect way to boost morale and increase the performance and happiness of the team.
There’s plenty of options when it comes to purchasing gifts for the holidays, but the bottom line is simple. Personalization is key.
Showing employees that you value and listen to them is vital to boosting morale in the workplace and making a happier work environment. The gift itself is often secondary, it’s the thought that counts and if that thought is personal and heartfelt, you’ll be able to see the mood in the office lift right in front of your eyes.