We’re coming up on the holidays and it can be difficult to buy your staff gifts they’ll appreciate, but it’s not impossible! From useful branded promo items to corporate apparel, we’ve got some great tips on how to give your staff the gifts they want.
Make it Practical
One trick to giving great staff gifts is to find items that everyone can use and appreciate. For example, iPod docks, duffle bags and Bluetooth speakers all make great staff gifts, as they are items that people use on a daily basis, both at work and at home. Keep this in mind: choose items that your staff and their families can actually use, regardless of their tastes, hobbies, backgrounds and interests.
While it may be tempting to try and give personalized staff gifts, avoid doing so. Buying personalized gifts not only takes up a lot of time, but it runs the risk of offending or alienating staff members. As an employer, you want to avoid making assumptions about your staff members’ lives and interests, no matter how friendly a relationship you maintain with them. For example, giving electronics or electronic accessories is a great way to show your staff your appreciation and gratitude; making a personalized music playlist for each staff member, however, is not. While you want to choose thoughtful gifts for your staff members, don’t go overboard, as you want to maintain a friendly, but ultimately professional, relationship with your staff. Personalizing gifts risks crossing that invisible line.
Go gender neutral. In other words, avoid buying “feminine” gifts for female employees, such as perfume or jewelry, and “masculine” gifts for male employees, such as sports paraphernalia or tools. Instead, buy “lifestyle” gifts that members of both sexes can use, like duffel bags or company-branded windbreakers, light jackets, and water bottles. Giving items that promote a healthy lifestyle is a great way to show your staff appreciation, and is also an increasingly popular choice among employers. Do not, however, select gifts based on gender or sexual orientation, as this could potentially lead to misunderstandings and, in extreme cases, charges of sexism or sexual harassment. And, whatever you do, don’t try and pick “funny” gifts, no matter how friendly you are with an employee. Not everyone shares the same sense of humor, and you don’t want to risk giving a gift with a punchline that falls flat.
Promote the Company – Outside Work
It is 100% acceptable, as well as professional, to give staff gifts that display the company logo. In fact, giving staff company-promotional items and branded apparel is a great way to improve staff morale and promote company loyalty. That said, do not give tacky or “work-oriented” company-branded gifts, like inexpensive stationary or cheap ballpoint pens. When choosing gifts for your staff, choose gifts that staff will want, and be proud to use or wear.