Get Giving RIGHT This Year

Don’t Be a Grinch This Season

For all of us there is a list of SUPER important people associated with our businesses.  And your employees should be at the very TOP of that list.  

Employees are as important as your most important members or clients.  They are the oil in the engine that drives your business forward.  They sacrifice their time and put a lot of effort into doing their jobs so it’s critical that you acknowledge all that effort … not necessarily daily, but at least monthly and then during gift giving season.  

But what will you get them?

For all of you bosses out there, this post is for you.

The truth is, employees are really simple creatures to please with gifts.  They love cash, food, time off, or an experience that will pamper them.  

All of those are the kinds of gifts that make them feel like they’re special to you and like they’ve earned your gratitude.

I’ve given it some thought and looked back on the gifts I’ve received over the years from people who have hired me and gifts I’ve given to employees I’ve had.  

I’m a big fan of hand-written cards.  And if you have the time to shop for them, thoughtful books (ones that you have actually read and can recommend) would be a great way to give a highly personal gift, and of course you could save time by doing this on Amazon.

But beyond cards and books, which may not be enough or right for every relationship, here are 5 ideas that might be just the thing to send the special thank you message you want to convey to your employees …

A meal for the whole office:  I love this idea because we all need to eat!  

Anytime you can spoil an office full of employees with free food = a win.  

But this will be seen as a bigger gift if you take them to a really nice place … after hours.  

In fact, the best boss I’ve ever (Bill Glazer) had STILL does this every year for me and I left that job 10 years ago.  It’s just a gesture to show us how important we all are to him and to stay connected.  When you express the purpose along with the gesture, people really get it and appreciate all that much more.

Wine, food, or gift subscription:  There are so many of these to choose from.

It’s no longer just a fruit of the month club … you can get steaks, wine, health food (check out graze.com).  

And your options go well beyond food, surely you’ve heard of birchbox, man crates, and the dollar shave club.  There are dozens of these companies out there.  Check out clubsgalore.com for more ideas.

An experience-based gift:  cooking class, rock climbing day, pro baseball game tickets, etc.

Something like this is great to do as a group, especially if you know your employees have an affinity toward a particular activity.  If they’re all big Orioles fans (and they should be), then take them to an O’s game … and buy the beer.  They’ll love it..

Gift certificate for spa services:  This is especially appropriate if you have any office full of women..  

But even men get massages, so if you know your people appreciate self-care and high-end experiences at a spa, this is a great option.

A gift card to a local restaurant.  Preferably a special or high-end restaurant.

This is different than the “meal for the whole office” gift idea because it’s a step up from feeding a crowd.  A $100 or $200 gift card to a fancy steakhouse is a really nice gesture to an individual employee that lets them know they deserve the best for what they bring to you.

Now, with that list in mind, I’ll also add this short rant on “staying in your lane” … I’m usually a big fan of the concept of staying true to who you are focusing on what you are good at.  But gift giving is about being thoughtful toward the other person.  It’s less about you and more about them.

So don’t worry about giving a gift that is representative of the type of person you are.  Give a gift that the other person will know you put thought into just for them.

People want to feel appreciated and special.

That’s what this is about.

That’s how you can really make an impact and send a real message of gratitude that resonates and pays off with relationship equity.  You will be appreciated and remembered for your efforts so long as you put the focus on the recipient and take it off of you and your business.  

Happy gift giving season.  It’s so much fun!

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