The holiday season is fast approaching. For some businesses, this is the beginning of their busiest season. For others, this is a time of year for reflection and planning. For almost everyone, year end and the associated holidays are a time to reconnect and strengthen relationships, including with employees.
If the COVID-19 pandemic has taught businesses anything, it’s just how vital good employees are to the survival of any company. Showing gratitude to employees is always important but this season is an especially good time to acknowledge employees and thank them for their hard work.
If you’re an employer who wants to recognize and reward employees this holiday season, start planning now. Here are a few things to consider before we get into the thick of the holiday season.
What if I Can’t Afford Gifts for Everyone?
Can you afford to give a bonus? If so, have you determined your budget? If cash is not an option, are there affordable alternates that your employees will value?
Employees gifts don’t need to be flashy or expensive. In fact, a heart felt note accompanying even a small gift or gesture can improve morale. Giving employees a little extra time off is always appreciated but not always practical, especially if the holidays are your busy season. Maybe a company luncheon or a small outing is more affordable than providing gifts to every employee.
If you can afford personal gifts, take the time to determine what employees really want or need.
Should I Give Cash?
Holiday bonuses and cash gifts are a time-honored tradition for many companies. Everyone can use a little extra money during the holidays. Some companies base bonuses on annual performance. Some base bonuses on length of service. Still others give every employee the same amount.
If you choose to give cash gifts, be consistent. Employees often discuss and compare bonus amounts and discrepancies will be noted. What you intended to be a reward or sign of appreciation can turn into a point of contention if employees don’t feel their bonus measured up to that of their coworkers.
A cash (or check) bonus doesn’t just need to be a bump in your employees’ paychecks. Most company gifts, including cash, are taxable but giving employees a bonus separate from their usual paycheck makes a bigger impact.
You can find creative ways to distribute a gift of cash that will add to the seasonal merriment.
What Type of Gifts Are Appropriate?
If you opt for something other than cash, consider a gift card and gift certificate alternative. These make great gifts if they are for businesses that your employees will use. Some companies will offer you a discount if you purchase certificates or gift cards in bulk, which will help you stretch your budget even farther.
If you decide to purchase actual gifts, take time to think about your business culture and your individual employees. What types of gifts will your team appreciate and use? What gifts are appropriate for your entire staff. We’ve compiled a list of some ideas to consider.
A Holiday Care Package
A gift box filled with snacks, seasonal gifts or personal care items are fun ways to show appreciation. A holiday “care” package might be filled with warm gloves or a scarf along with sweet treats and even some company swag.
Gift boxes don’t need to be expensive but should show you gave some thought as to what went into them.
Branded pens or stationery sets may not seem like a holiday gift. Add apparel with your company logo, an upscale padfolio, or even a custom keychain and you’ve created a company kit that employees will actually use.
Company apparel is always a popular gift. But skip the usual t-shirts in favor of more popular wearables like trucker’s caps, rain jackets or fleece vests.
If your employees spend time in the field, on the road, or working from home, consider a branded travel mug or product specific to your industry. Almost anything can be branded with your company logo or message. But shop early! Supply chain disruptions may cause delays in the delivery of certain types of products.
Did your business reach a milestone during 2021? Commemorate any achievement with a specialty gift like a collectable medallion, trophy, or lapel pin.
Service awards are also great holiday gifts and acknowledge individual accomplishments. Special packaging can create a great presentation and keepsake.
Tickets to Local Sports, Events or Entertainment
If you’re not working with a tight budget, giving employees tickets to local events could be, pardon the pun, just the ticket. Be sure tickets are to events your employees will attend and enjoy. You can often get a discount if you buy tickets in bulk, especially if you purchase them for the same event on the same date.
Bear in mind that childcare needs and other situations at home may make it difficult for some employees to attend an after hours or weekend event. What you think of as a fun outing, may be a logistical nightmare for some employees.
Start Planning Now
Whatever you decide to do for your employees this season, start planning now. Supply chain disruptions may cause shortages or delivery delays this year. If your holiday plans include custom-printed cards or any import products, the time to place those orders is before the end of October. Don’t miss an opportunity to show your employees a little love and appreciation this season because you waited too late to get started.
AlphaGraphics Franklin can help with your holiday card and corporate gift needs. We have a team of talented designers who can create the perfect season card. Our sales and marketing team can help you match the right gift products for your team and your budget. We can even handle the mailing, kit assembly, shipping or distribution.