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?