Show Your Thanks: How to Pick Great Christmas Gifts for Employees

Christmas is coming, and it’s the perfect chance for employers to show how much they appreciate their employees.

Over 30% of Americans say they consider the Christmas period a frantic one. And many more feel the squeeze of money and time as try to balance their work and income with their family and friends. That’s why a small gift from a manager can make such a huge difference.

But it’s important to get it right if you don’t want to be yet another knick-knack in the pile of unwanted gifts.

Below, we’re taking a look at how you can pick great Christmas gifts for employees.

Set Your Budget

Before you send your employee address book off to Santa, take a closer look at the budget you have available. Figuring out how much you have to spend can help you make the most efficient use of what you have – and ensure you don’t miss anyone out.

Taking a closer look at your budget may also reveal some surprises. If you’ve performed better than expected, why not pay it back to the people who made it possible? You don’t need to bankrupt the company to show your employees you care, but anything extra you spend will show your employees that you value their efforts.

Understand Your People

The gifts worth giving come from care and attention. So why should it be any different with an employee Christmas gift?

Before you shop for gifts, take a moment to think about the kind of people you employ. Every company attracts a different mix of personal beliefs, personalities, and even financial situations. That means the gifts you give should be unique to the people who join your company.

If you’re in an industry with long hours or time away from home, then giving the gift of time off might mean more than even the most well-thought-out present. If your employees focus on individual success, personalized thank yous can make them feel validated.

These are only a few examples, as every company is unique. Take a close look at yours to find which gift will mean the most to your employees.

Consider Bonuses

Before you leap to buying yearly planners or baskets full of goodies, consider whether your employees might make more use of a plain old Christmas bonus.

The fact is that money is often more useful than yet another mug and coaster set, particularly in the Christmas period when things might be lean. And after Christmas, many of us end up stuck with white elephant gifts we’ll only need to throw away.

Save your employees (and the environment) the trouble by offering a bonus instead. They can choose to spend this however they want – on things they need, on utilities, or even on paying it forward to friends and family.

Christmas Consumables

If you don’t like the impersonal approach of giving bonuses, consider giving something that won’t sit around unopened and unused.

Food is often a good choice. Many of your employees will entertain friends or family over Christmas – or indulge in the spirit of the season! Food doesn’t outstay its welcome and will rarely go to waste.

If you go for food, choose something safe over something exciting. Chocolates, alcohol, and even ingredients for the Christmas meal are all popular options.

Deck the Halls

Many smaller businesses can’t afford to go all Twelve Days of Christmas on their employees. But if you can’t afford individual gifts, why not make the workplace a brighter place to be this Christmas?

Dressing up an office or store with Christmas decor can lift sagging spirits and inspire some festive cheer. Even a tree and a few splashes of tinsel can turn the humbug into the magical.

Money or Time?

We’ve already said that a bonus may mean more than a gift. But as Scrooge learned the slow way, often some extra time off is the greatest gift of all.

More free time over Christmas allows your employees to finish up their Christmas shopping during a time other than the weekend tinsel tornado. It will also enable them to spend more time with friends and family.

Giving time off as a holiday gift for employees is a fantastic goodwill gesture. Your employees will likely be truly grateful for the chance to balance work and home life.

Give Something Memorable

If you want your employees to know you’re thinking about them over Christmas, a small, personalized gift could be what you’re looking for. Personalizing a gift can elevate it above a disposable, off-the-shelf item.

In keeping with the Christmas period, personalized but unobtrusive ornaments can blend with your employees’ home decorations. Here’s a useful link that can get you started with a few ideas.

Party Time?

Christmas is a time for coming together, so throwing a party offers a great chance for your employees to blow off some steam, bond as friends, and get themselves in the Christmas spirit.

If you do throw a Christmas party, make sure it’s worth the effort. You won’t impress anybody if they have to pay most of their own costs! Give generously with an expensive meal or an open bar.

Go Crazy!

If your company has had a good few years, why not go the whole hog and by your employees something incredible?

An expensive treat like a tablet device will knock your employees’ socks off and show them that you’re not hoarding the wealth during this time of giving.

The best thing about this one is that it’s hard to go wrong. Even if your employees already have the item or something similar, they can sell it on for free money – and we’ve already talked about how much that can help.

The Perfect Christmas Gifts for Employees

Choosing the perfect Christmas gifts for employees will always be a matter of knowing and understanding the people who make your company a success. Don’t be afraid to speak to them to get a feel for what will mean most to them in the often stressful Christmas period. A small gesture could make all the difference.

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