With the holiday season fast approaching, now is the perfect time for businesses to purchase corporate gifts for employees, bosses and clients. However, gift giving at the office can be challenging due to important constraints regarding budget, different personal preferences and originality. ePromos has created a list of tips with help from both givers and receivers alike to ensure your gifts will be appreciated and remembered.
1. Make it Personal
The secret to any successful gift is sincerity and thoughtfulness, which is no less true in the workplace. When giving gifts to employees, Lisa Chu, the Owner of Black n Bianco takes personalization one step further.
“My employees play a major role to the success of my business and I always enjoy giving them a gift during the holidays to show appreciation for their hard work and contribution. Every holiday season I would give my employees a personalized gift. The gift would always include a handwritten letter acknowledging their accomplishments they achieved throughout the year, highlighting and expressing appreciation for their contribution to my business.”
She also adds that a higher price tag doesn’t necessarily make a better gift. “You can give the most expensive gift to your employees, but it will make little to no difference if they feel it’s not genuine.”
Personalized gifts are great for clients as well. Sean Allan, the Digital Marketing Manager for SiamMandalay, says that his clients love receiving personalized wine bottle carry cases (with a nice bottle of wine included, of course).
2. Give Something Useful
Prevent your gift from being forgotten in an office drawer by making sure it is something that will be used every day. David Riescher, CEO of LegalAdvice.com prefers giving functional gifts.
“Our organization has given promotional mugs, key chains and pens to our customers and employees. They all were well received by our employees, especially our sales team that utilizes the gifts to open new accounts. Our sales team appreciates the extra edge they have when trying to open a new account and can offer promotional items to potential new customers who appreciate a practical gift that can be used daily.”
For more handy product options that can be custom printed, check out the list of our Top 100 Best Selling promotional items.
3. Know What Not to Give
It’s bad enough receiving ugly sweaters from distant relatives for the holidays. Justin Lavelle, Chief Communications Director for PeopleLooker, thinks that there’s no need to complicate corporate gift giving further by taking a guess on personal preferences.
“Avoid giving clothes. Ties, hats, scarves, and gloves make for simple yet appropriate gifts for colleagues and bosses you have a stronger relationship with, but you should avoid buying them sized clothing like shirts, pants, and shoes. Not only are the chances high for buying something outside their typical styles, but also you may (more likely than not) buy something that does not fit. Plus, there’s the possibility you may offend someone by buying a size that is too small or too large. Talk about awkward.”
4. The Gift of Food
Giving gourmet snacks during the holidays are a classic option that is hard to get wrong. Nate Masterson, the CEO of Maple Holistics, remembers his favorite gift from being an employee.
“The best gift I ever received from my boss was an elaborate fruit basket. It was simple, sweet (literally), and beautiful. It was truly the perfect, respectable way for them to tell me I’m doing a good job and they appreciate my work.”
For a truly unique treat that clients and employees will love, try Tipsy Scoop, which brilliantly combines two of everyone’s favorites: ice cream and cocktails.
5. Check the Data
Instead of taking a wild guess on what to give and how much to spend this year, take a look at some helpful data from Captivate’s Office Pulse, compiled from a survey of 6,000 professionals. Some of our favorite points include:
- Most workers don’t plan to buy a gift for their co-workers, and even if they do, they won’t be spending much. Just 33% will get their co-workers a gift, with most purchases under $25 (46%).
- Only 30% of respondents plan to buy a gift for their boss, and most plan to spend between $25-50 (48%). Just 3% will spend more than $100.
6. Shop Local
Recently, supporting local business has become increasingly popular. Debra Carpenter, Marketing Manager at Nathan Oulman Realty, proves that people appreciate a gift that gives back to the community.
“We’ve given a ton of gifts to clients and colleagues – trust me on this, there is no better, more thoughtful gift than a locally sourced gift basket. There are small businesses all over your town that make products perfect for gift-giving, from the basket itself to edible treats, mugs, gift certificates, wines, local beers, and handmade items like pottery, utensils, textile goods and more. They always go over amazingly. People love receiving these baskets, and you can set your budget as low or high as is comfortable.”
7. The Versatile Gift Card
When you need to choose gifts that will please everyone in everyone in a large organization, gift cards become are a simple but obvious choice. Harris Brown, the Founder of HFB Advertising, adds a twist to giving gift cards with a thoughtful touch.
“I usually give mugs and gift cards that go in the mug itself. These are well received by everyone because they can use both gifts. Everyone likes a good cup of hot chocolate during this time of year.”
Gift cards are the ultimate adaptable gift and remove the potential for a dreaded post-holiday return and exchange experience. The Office Pulse survey also reveals that gift cards are still a popular pick, with 56% of professionals saying that it was their favorite holiday gift to receive.
8. The Gift of Convenience
Anything that eases the stress and pressure of the modern business world can be a great gift. Jessica Higgins, the Chief Marketing Office at Digits.io, says it’s important to consider the needs of women in the workplace.
“Any gift that helps me on the go. Mobile hairdryers, brushes, and any product that is travel sized. Working women appreciate any gift we can throw in our purse. Time is our most valuable resource!”
9. Give the Gift of Giving Back
Show clients and employees that your business cares by supporting important causes in your community or abroad. Packed with Purpose is a b2b gifting company whose mission is to transform the practice of business gifts by combining it with corporate social responsibility.
They offer curated gift boxes with products from organizations that help support employees with barriers to the traditional workforce, including granola made by victims of abuse or candles that help support young mothers.
10. Think Outside the Box (or Cup)
Don’t be afraid to try some of the latest and greatest technology as an interesting gift, especially when it’s specifically designed for the workplace. One of our favorites is the Coffee Cookie, a portable and rechargeable device that keeps to-go coffee nice and hot for double the normal length of time. It’s perfect for your typical Starbucks-loving employee, or busy clients that are always on the road.
Hopefully our corporate gift giving ideas help make the holiday season less of a trial-and-error experience. The most important part of picking gifts for clients, bosses or employees is that they feel truly appreciated during the holidays. The more personal and useful your gift is, the greater chance recipients will remember it (and your business) many years later.