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Christmas Gift Ideas For Employees

Tips and tricks for shopping for staff this Christmas

When we asked business owners what they typically get their staff each year for Christmas the answer was a chorus of 'champagne, wine, chocolates'. Now we like booze and confectionary as much as the next person but we can't help thinking that there is a better way to recognise a year of hard work than a token that would be added to the stash, was completely predictable and once consumed would be forgotten.

I’ve worked for companies where the CEO has walked around handing out branded fleeces as Christmas gifts. While these might be practical and help get your company branding out there if they wear them, and that is a big IF, it certainly didn’t feel like much of a gift to me.

Another company I worked for gave us an unexpected bonus, which was great and fully appreciated, however the expectation was set then for the following year and when they didn’t repeat their generosity many were left wondering if they had done something wrong and felt disappointed. It was also a very expensive way to show appreciation as there is a difference between actual cost of a gift and the perceived value. A gift you’ve spent £50 on, which is thoughtful will have a higher perceived value. In monetary terms, you would probably need to give at least £100 to achieve a similar perceived value.

So what can we learn from these examples?

  1. Your gift should be for them and not you - When you give a gift whether it's for a friend, family member or colleague its got to be about and for them, not you. What will they enjoy and appreciate? And no, don't try and sneak any branding in. 
  2. Food and drink isn’t for everyone - When buying food and drink there are so many potential pitfalls including, dietary requirements and addictions to name a few. These aren’t things your employees may feel happy disclosing, so why put them in an awkward situation. 
  3. Consistency is key - Giving a gift one year and not the next can be damaging to employee moral. Try and stick to a similar budget each year.
  4. Use gifts to support your company values - If you recruit based on values, then this is a great chance to embed and demonstrate your values further. For example if being healthy is important to your business, perhaps a gift that could help improve your employees wellbeing could be good. This could be a gift set including a great read, candle and cozy socks to help them snuggle up, relax and unwind. 
  5. Finishing touches matter - Write a personal message, wrap and present the gifts at their best. Create a wow moment. If possible hand out the gift personally saying thank you as this really does make a difference.
  6. Consider what’s on trend and in fashion right now - The importance of this will vary dependant on your industry and employee demographic, if you work in an industry like advertising which is quite image conscious then it’s really important to keep this in mind. For example metallics such as brass and copper are still really on trend right now as is marble and rose quartz, so why not incorporate these materials into your gifts.

If you found this useful, for other great employee gift ideas try reading one of these other articles;



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