Employee Recognition Gifts at the Holidays or Year’s End

Employee Recognition Ideas

When you own or manage a company, whether large or small, it’s absolutely crucial to recognize employees for their hard work.

Studies have proven that showing employee appreciation boosts morale and increases productivity, and it certainly doesn’t take an expert to confirm that when people work hard, they appreciate a pat on the back.

It doesn’t even have to be a grand gesture like a huge bonus, raise or promotion. A simple verbal “thank you,” a handwritten “‘Nice Work” or a small gift are often appreciated just as much as a monetary award.

Some Ideas for Employee Recognition Gifts:

  • Personalized Mugs
  • Tote Bags
  • Mouse pads
  • Water Bottles
  • Post it Notes
  • Personalized Stationary
  • SWAG
  • Gas Cards
  • Recognition Award
  • Bottle of Wine

Expensive or Inexpensive? That is the Question

Employees may appreciate the big gifts like a vacation, corporate car, gift cards to fancy restaurants or high end stores, but even less expensive gifts will reach out and touch an employee as effectively as something more expensive. Being able to give fairly inexpensive employee gifts to numerous deserving employees will do more to boost morale and make happier employees than giving once-in-a-career luxurious gifts and large monetary rewards to a select few top performers/earners.

At the holiday’s and at the end of the year, you can show your appreciation and let your staff know you value their contributions by giving employee recognition gifts to those who have truly earned them. Here are some suggestions regarding gift giving in the workplace around Christmastime.

Workplace etiquette certainly doesn’t “require” that gifts be given to employees at year’s end or during the holidays, but in many businesses, it’s just something that is done each year and it’s something employees really look forward to. If you’re new to your job and don’t know what the office custom is regarding gift-giving, ask a colleague or someone in Human Resources to let you know what’s been done in the past.

Gifting Etiquette

Decide what the company can spend and stay within budget.

In many companies, giving the boss a Christmas gift is not standard practice as it can be deemed a way to win favor or get preferential treatment. It’s also awkward to buy a gift for someone who makes a good deal more money than you. However, in many workplaces, employees will chip in at Christmas and give the boss a group gift–something related to his/her hobbies such as tickets to a sporting event, a gift card to a favorite restaurant or something collectible. Many bosses prefer the “gift” of year-round hard work and dedication to the company rather than a gift card to Outback for a free steak.

If you decide to do a group gift to the boss, contribute what you can afford, and if you’re the organizer of the group gift effort, give the employees a dollar amount range and emphasize that they need only to contribute what they can afford. You don’t want to embarrass anyone by asking for a large contribution the employee simply cannot afford.

A handwritten holiday greeting card with a kind message is a simple, inexpensive way to show employees you recognize their value to the company. If you’re not sure of your employee’s religion, choose a neutral Seasons Greetings type of sentiment and keep your note short. Wishing them best happiness, health and prosperity in the new year in a PaperDirect holiday card is an employee recognition gift that goes a long way.

When giving gifts to people you work with, avoid perceptions of discrimination and favoritism by offering similar gifts of equal value to all. Although you may not expect it, the reality is that some of your employees will compare their gifts to that of their colleagues.

If you’re the boss or manager, you may want to consider a group gift to your staff such as a basket of goodies, providing breakfast in-house or even allowing an “early dismissal” around the holidays so time can be spent with families.

If you have a small company, the amount of money lost by allowing your staff to leave a couple of hours early will not even come close to the amount of gratitude they will feel for this very kind gesture.

It’s time to start thinking about employee recognition gifts for the holidays or end of the year. If you’d like to buy each of your workers an award of some sort, check out PaperDirect’s trophiesplaques or motivational gifts like coffee mugs and water bottles.