Employee Engagement, Rewards & Recognition | Article

The Art and Science of Employee Holiday Gifting

The best way to spread holiday cheer, is by giving your employees a gift they actually want to receive – one that makes them feel appreciated long after the holidays!

The holiday season is not only a time for festivities but also an opportunity for companies to express appreciation to employees. The impact of a well-thought-out holiday gift can resonate for months, boosting morale and job satisfaction. However, a misstep in gift selection can lead to dissatisfaction and even feelings of insult. According to a recent survey of 1,500 U.S.-based workers across diverse industries, the stakes of holiday gifting are high.

Money Matters

The survey revealed that a majority of employees (65%) prefer monetary gifts. The problem is that companies often miss the mark, leaving over 30% feeling unappreciated. The findings provide insights into the common pitfalls of gifting, the disparity between what employees receive and what they desire, and the substantial return on investment (ROI) of thoughtful gifting.

What Misses the Mark

Poorly chosen gifts can have a negative impact on your people. About 31% of respondents reported having received gifts that made them feel unappreciated. Company swag, gift cards with small denominations, and utilitarian gifts top the list of disliked presents. These gifts not only fail to uplift employee satisfaction, but can exacerbate existing workplace issues.

The survey highlights a significant misalignment between the gifts employees receive and their preferences. While 65% prefer monetary gifts, many end up with gift cards to specific retailers, team dinners, or company swag. Understanding employee preferences is crucial for effective gifting. A one-size-fits-all approach does not resonate well with the workforce.

The ROI of Hitting the Mark

Choosing the right gift matters. Not only because it makes your employees happy in the moment, but because it also yields remarkable returns in the long-term. Forty-six percent of respondents reported increased job satisfaction for a year or more after receiving an ideal holiday gift. Another notable statistic: 92% of respondents experience a positive attitude shift lasting a month or more. That’s a heck of a lot of increased positivity!

So what do you need to know before you get started with a holiday gift plan? The main goal is to understand your employees’ preference. Do you they want money? If they receive a gift, what would be most meaningful for them? Having them fill out “All About You” surveys can be a useful tool.

Creating a Holiday Gifting Plan

It’s time to address the practical aspect of holiday gifting: Budgeting. Create a comprehensive approach for your holiday gifting budget. We recommend gifting to all employees as a gesture of appreciation, rather than using targeted tools like raises and bonuses.

Once you’ve budgeted, it’s time to consider what type of gift to give your employees. Personalized gifts are always amazing but can take time to craft for each individual. Since one size doesn’t fit all, consider a gift that gives your employees autonomy. A great option is giving them a gift card or reward link that allows them to choose how they can redeem the monetary value. The possibilities are endless, and it leaves everyone feeling satisfied. If you’re interested in either type of gifting solution, we’re here to help!

Ultimately, you should be thoughtful in your approach to employee holiday gifting. Ponder your employees’ preferences and play into them. It doesn’t have to be complex – Simple is great! Once you get it right, you’ll leave a lasting positive impact on employee satisfaction and engagement.