Everybody would like a Rolex watch. But that’s impractical, and even if you gave a Rolex to each staff member, they would want to exchange it for a different style. Since you are reading this, though, let’s talk over some tips on gift-giving at work.
Rule Out the Bad Choices First
Food, candy, imported cookies. It’s so easy to give those things, and that’s why you see them for sale everywhere. But many people have food allergies, and everybody seems to be on a special diet these days. Then there are religious beliefs; some people won’t eat certain things. Therefore, food, though easy to give, probably won’t be universally appreciated among your staff.
Scents, perfumes, colognes. Guaranteed to not go over well, and to cost you more than you want to spend.
A better choice is a gift card; even $25 will be appreciated. Even more so if it is for a store the recipient visits often. For coffee drinkers, a Starbucks™ gift card will get used immediately and completely.
For the handy person, a gift card to a hardware store is a nice touch. For the craft people, like knitters and such, a gift card for the local craft store says that you cared enough to notice their hobby.
Put the gift card inside a greeting card, and write a few words yourself on it. Make it personal.
Nobody throws away their name. Office supply stores can order brass or other attractive nameplates that go on a desk or on an office door. Or buy them online.
Another idea, if your hobby is wood crafting, is to make a simple nameplate out of wood for each person. Paint it up nice. I’ve given these away to many people, and years later still see them in their homes.
Hand-Made Clothing Accessories
People who do freelance knitting and crocheting abound everywhere, from college students working at it part time to homemakers earning a few extra dollars. You could order up a brightly colored scarf or knit hat, something simple, inexpensive and attractive for each of your staff. Learn their favorite color first, and see if they are allergic to wool, or even to certain synthetic yarns.
Photographs, Nicely Framed
With only a cell phone, you can take good pictures of your staff at work during the year. Capture those special moments of success or victory. Then at holiday season choose the best one for each person and have it printed and framed. Great gift.
A little more difficult to manage, but for people who collect stamps, coins, autographs, and the like, a special new addition to their collection is always welcome. Better ask for help if you go this route.
A Hand-Written Note of Appreciation
This will take some thought and effort, but will have a great positive effect on your staff. If you read the book “The One-Minute Manager,” you already know to be on the lookout for things your staff does exceptionally well, and to record notes on those instances as they happen throughout the year.
Then you could write a nice recount of the person’s effort, saying how much you and your company appreciate them putting in the extra effort. Use expensive stationary with your company’s letterhead, then have it framed (expensively framed, don’t go cheap) for their office or workstation wall.