'Tis the season... to start thinking about what to get your employees for the holidays.
Companies from small-scale startups to Fortune 500 giants know the winter season is the time to show employees how much you appreciate the hard work they put in all year long. But just what sort of gifts should you give to show your appreciation?
It's important not to skimp on the holidays. You might think getting something for your employees isn't necessary, but even a small token from management will show you care about all the long hours and hard work. This is probably why more than half of employers give some form of gift to their employees during the holiday season.
You might not have the funds to buy every employee a warm, cozy sweater like Arianna Huffington does for workers at The Huffington Post. But there is surely something you can do to raise morale around the holidays for your workers. After all, the winter season is when people make resolutions for the year to come. You don't want your workers resolving to update their resume, record a video resume, or find a new position in 2013.
Here are some gift ideas to show your employees how grateful you are for their work this holiday season.
Give the Gift of: Company Pride
Every employee is different, which can make buying gifts for a whole workforce incredibly difficult. Instead of trying to find the perfect gift for each one of your workers, get them something simple emblazoned with the company logo. It could be a warm sweatshirt, a pair of gloves, or even just a notebook. Your gift will allow employees to show off their company pride.
Along these lines, a great idea could be to get everyone coffee cups with the company logo. Online custom store Cafe Press offers custom mugs from $16 or you can even get employees a company logo tea tumbler for $34. Not only will employees be able to show off their company spirit while drinking their morning coffee, they'll also be saving the environment by cutting down on disposable cups. It's a holiday win/win!
Give the Gift of: Time
The holidays are a great time to extend company perks to your deserving workforce. A surprising 65 percent of American workers failed to use up their vacation time in 2010. This might sound good for your company's bottom line, but it's bad for your workers' productivity and engagement. Everyone needs a little time to recharge their batteries in order to face problems with a clearer perspective. With the holidays coming up, giving the gift of time might be one of the best gifts you can give your employees, and your company.
Since more than a third of employees said unlimited paid time off would encourage them to accept a job, maybe it's time to look at expanding your vacation policy. You might not be able to offer workers all the time off they want, but the holidays can be a great time to stuff some extra vacation days in their corporate stockings. You'll be rewarded with refreshed and happy workers.
Give the Gift of: Fun
Holiday parties are such a staple of work life that 73 percent of companies plan to throw a party this year. Instead of getting employees a fruit basket or iTunes gift card, why not give them the gift of a really fun holiday party instead? This can be a tricky proposition, so you have to do your homework first. Find out what your workers really want to do and maybe even take a vote. Tap into your workers' holiday wishes, whether its an amazing holiday fete or giving to those less fortunate.
Once you know what your workers would really love to do this holiday season, make their dreams a reality. A spectacular holiday party can really boost morale, so it's time to pull out all the stops. Pick a unique and interesting venue or invest in great door prizes. Instead of getting a lot of little presents for everybody, get big ticket door prizes like iPads for a few lucky winners.
If your employees are into giving back for the holiday season, work extra hard to make your volunteer efforts great. Get everyone involved in a toy drive or have the team chip in efforts at the local soup kitchen. Focus on helping others and really use this volunteer opportunity to foster a good team spirit among your workforce. Giving the gift of fun might not be tangible, but the memories of good times shared with coworkers will help bond your team for the year to come.
This holiday season, don't let gift giving anxiety cause you to drop the ball. Instead, focus on using the holiday season to foster a spirit of togetherness among your staff. You'll be thanked with hard work, increased motivation, and a happier workforce in 2013!
What are some of your employee gift ideas this holiday season? Share in the comments!
Josh Tolan is the CEO of Spark Hire, a video powered hiring network that connects job seekers and employers through video resumes and online interviews. Connect with him and Spark Hire on Facebook and Twitter.