Christmas and the holiday season is one of the best times, if not the best time, to show appreciation to your staff. Gifts need not be pricey but if you have the budget for it, why not? But when Christmas gifts to employees had to work within a budget, there’s nothing to worry about. There are quite a lot of frugal gift ideas that are memorable and your employees will appreciate.
Giving gifts to employees, however, tend to be impersonal. When the mad rush to shopping stores gives you retail nightmare, do you have the tendency to just grab the safest and most generic gift item you could find hoping your employees would like it? How about picking up Starbucks gift cards because coffee, frappucino, tea, rolls, and muffins must surely appeal to everyone, right? Or, maybe those company merchandises would suffice?
While Starbucks gift cards and company shirts and pens aren’t too bad really, but they may show that you don’t really know your staff. It may be challenging when you handle a large team, but it wouldn’t be that daunting to choose the best, thoughtful gifts if you have come to know and observe them closely. Have you (and your co-workers) once received a gift from your boss that felt “meh”? Keep that in mind because I’m sure you wouldn’t want the same reaction from your own employees.
So, here are some frugal yet thoughtful holiday gifts that will make your employees feel grateful and appreciated:
Time Off. This is the ultimate zero-penny “gift” you can give to your employees. You can allow prolonged lunch breaks perhaps or let them log off earlier than usual? If it’s possible, you may even grant them an extra day off (but not all of them at the same time!). An extra time with their family and friends or even for themselves will be very much appreciated.
Movie Passes. While HBO and DVD marathons while snuggled on your couch is cozy, going out to watch movies is a different kind of fun. Going to movie theaters may be considered an unnecessary expense to some of your budget-conscious employees so give them a little treat.
Gift Cards. Okay, I know I mentioned the convenience of Starbucks gift cards but here me out: give out gift cards from establishments or companies you know they like or would love to go to. How about giving out iTunes gift cards for the music lovers, Amazon gift cards for the voracious readers, or gift cards from restaurants they like to frequent?
Books. Everyone may not be voracious readers but surely a good number are. It can be a challenge to find one book that everyone will like but you can solve this selecting something that can be helpful in their professional and personal lives. If you’re still unsure, you can ask them casually in conversations or group lunches. Don’t give out anything with religious leanings though to avoid touching some sensibilities on the subject.
Food Baskets. Everyone loves basketful of goodies! Throw in foods that have long shelf life so they don’t go to waste should your staff decides to save them for later. Christmas sales are on a roll so you can take advantage of them for your giveaways. Remember to add variety, too.
Boxed gift sets. Gift sets are convenient but still strike a chord to the receiver. They come in pretty packages and contain products that are the company’s or brand’s bestsellers therefore proven to be likeable and useful. They’re usually personal care products and beverages.
Cupcakes and Confectionery. Make a sweet gesture by giving out cupcakes and confectionery. Bakeshops and confectionery companies usually release special holiday editions of their products in the spirit of the holiday season. These sweets concoctions can easily be shared so you get more bang for your buck. A caution, though: they may not be a hit for the diet conscious of the serious kind.
Desk toys. Desk toys are inexpensive and great stress relievers. They’re great to have on your staff’s office desks not only as a colorful, non-boring display but can both serve as brain relaxers and stimulants.