Picking the Perfect Corporate Gift
by Jessica Copenhaver
The holiday season. We all look forward to the friends, family and a little bit of time off (see Lauren’s article on keeping your employees productive during the holiday season). What many managers DON’T look forward to is finding a corporate gift that everyone will like. After all, it really is hard to express just how valuable employees are to a company without seeming cheap or cheesy. Look no further than holiday classic Christmas Vacation for an invaluable lesson on how the “Jelly of the Month Club” can go over when your employees are expecting something more.
Popular gift items include gift cards and donations to charity. These can be a good idea if you do them right. Don’t both with gift cards unless you give out enough to actually get something. $20 gift card is generous, but not if it’s for
, where gifts start at a grand and go up from there. Instead buy Visa or grocery store gift cards, so your gift will have more weight. If you do end up with grocery store gift cards you may even be able to save a few bucks in the process. Places like Kroger waive the standard processing fees when you buy one of these gift cards at your nearest grocery store.
Another potentially painful gift is the charitable donation. The intention is always good, but you need to be careful with the execution. Giving a donation to a charity of your choice in your employees name is nice, unless that employee doesn't agree with the cause. Better yet, let your employee choose. Donors Choose
is a great site that allows you to buy the gift card but let’s your employee choose the charity he or she wants to donate to. There are thousands of choices, including individual school districts and programs that can pinpoint the money right in your community.
Another good gift idea is paid time off. After all, the holiday season is about spending time with family and friends. So why not give your employees the chance to do just that? We live in a world where people are always on the move and don’t necessarily live close to family, so an extra day of paid vacation can go a long way to boost morale.
Whatever you give this holiday season make sure that it’s from the heart. Here’s the bottom line; your employees will know when you are being sincere and thoughtful, regardless of how much you spend. And that good will is what counts. Take the time this holiday season to leave an impression on your staff that will help bring your company closer together.