Top five employee gift ideas

in Managing by Nick Petrovic
(6 Ratings)

With the holidays just around the corner, many business owners are looking for practical yet meaningful employee gift ideas to say thank you to their team. While monetary gifts can be a great option, for some business owners there needs to be a tangible gift.

Here are some tips to help you along the way:


Edible treats

An oldie but a goodie, there aren't many of us who can resist a tasty treat during the festive season. Presenting each employee with a selection of their favourite sweets, bottle of wine or even a fruit basket can be a simple but welcome gift. Make sure to check for any allergies or dietary restrictions first.


An experience

If it's a memorable gift you're after, consider giving your employees an experience. Tickets to a movie, play or sporting event can be a great way to show your appreciation, and if it's a double pass then the experience can be shared with a loved one.


Lunch or dinner on you

If you've kept in touch with them throughout the year, you probably know your employees quite well. Why not treat them and a friend to dinner or lunch at their favourite restaurant?


A customisable gift

A quick browse online and you can find a number of companies offering customisable gifts. From mugs and phone covers to photo books and picture canvases. You can either design a customised gift for each employee or present them with a voucher that allows them to design their own personal creation.


App of the choice

If you're surrounded by a tech-savvy group of workers, you might want to consider gifting each of them an app of their choice. We all seem to spend so much time on our phones, so why not make the experience more enjoyable?

Gift giving can be such a rewarding experience that we often forget how it can sometimes bring with it complications, particularly when professional relationships are involved.

Here are a couple of things to consider while brainstorming your employee gift ideas:

  • Keep it fair:

    If you decide to give a variety of gifts to your employees, ensure that you do so in a fair and consistent manner. The last thing you want is for employees to compare gifts and suspect favouritism.

  • Keep it professional:

    It's only natural that we get to know our employees, often on a very personal level. It's important however to always remain professional and consider the message a gift may convey. Try to be meaningful without being overly personal.

Finally, keep in mind the impact that your gifts will have on future expectations and also consider the expectations that exist based on past gifts. Try to avoid doing the same thing every year, as it can become expected. When a gift is expected it can hold less meaning, as it could be seen as a form of compensation rather than an appreciation. Above all, ask yourself what your staff member would enjoy, and remember that nothing beats the feeling of being valued all year round.

This article represents the views of the author only and not those of American Express.

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Nick Petrovic

Nick Petrovic is a registered psychologist and head of clinic at the Mind Profile Psychology Clinic and has more than 10 years' experience in the allied health and business. Nick has contributed to regular columns in more than a dozen business magazines and newspapers, advising on issues such as mental health, work related stress, strategic planning, business analysis and human resources.

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