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Christmas Gift Ideas For Employees

Tips and tricks for shopping for staff this Christmas

The festive period is a fantastic time to show your appreciation to your employees. A beautiful custom gift hamper to create a special moment will give them that warm fuzzy feeling. The gifts you choose can be as unique as the recipients.

Giving gifts to employees at Christmas can be a little challenging, you need to give careful consideration to what you give. For example, I once worked for a company where the CEO 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 the 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.

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 (as you can see from some of the images above) but just simply sending a bottle of bubbles isn't going to necessarily make the recipient feel special as it's quite a predictable gift. However, when sent as part of a set with thoughtful pieces to keep and create a special moment, your gift recipient will truly be wowed. 

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, it's got to be about and for them, not you. What will they enjoy and appreciate? Try to avoid sneaking any branded items in and if you really must, keep it to a minimum. 

You may also want to consider letting your employees choose the gift hamper they want to receive. Ensuring they receive something that they will really enjoy. We provide a service where for every 75 employees, we can offer a tailored gift choice. They simply head to a dedicated URL on our website, fill in their details and select the gift hamper they'd like to receive. We don't tell them everything they'll receive, so that there is still an element of surprise. All data is captured in a GDPR compliant manner and as we have up-to-date delivery instructions, hampers are sent exactly where they are needed and not to an old address in a HR system.  

2. Food and drink based gifts need careful consideration

When buying food and drink, there are many potential pitfalls including dietary requirements and addictions to name a few. We passionately believe very careful consideration needs to be given when gifting them. For a start, we always send food and drink as part of a wider hamper promoting a feeling, with key pieces to keep once the food and drink is consumed. And we always offer our clients an option to tailor their gift for non-drinkers and other dietary requirements.

3. Consistency is key

Giving a gift one year and not the next can be damaging to employee morale. Try and stick to a similar budget each year.

the comfort book by Matt Haig with speaker, candle and hot chocolate

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 would be good. This could be a gift set including a great read, candle and cosy 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 you look them in the eye - this really does make a difference.

6. Consider what's on-trend and in fashion right now

The importance of this will vary dependent 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, animal prints, brass and spotty patterns are on-trend right now. And we're not just talking about prints and materials here, also consider social trends. For example, sustainability and general greater awareness of climate change is top of mind for many people, so show you are a responsible employer by selecting gifts which are sustainably sourced (avoid plastic) and will be valued rather than thrown away. You can read more on this in our guide to corporate gifting.

Employee Christmas Gift Reads

If you found this useful, for more employee gift ideas and inspiration, try reading one of these other articles:

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