Gifts Your Employees Really Want This Holiday Season

Rewards

November 8, 2023

Taryn Hart

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X min

5 min

Which employee holiday gifts are on the naughty list this year?

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The holiday season is upon us, and as company decision-makers and HR leaders, you might be asking yourself the yuletide question: what do our employees really want for the holidays?  

While the old classics like company swag, free lunch and holiday cards may be tempting – your employees might not be as excited about traditional company gifts as you are. Let's be honest, nobody wants a partridge in a pear tree this year.  

Let’s dive into the holiday gifts your employees really want, and how they can make the most impact to end the year on a high note.  

The ho-ho-horrible gifts your employees don’t want.

Firstly, let’s talk about the gifts your employees don’t want. When it comes to holiday gifts for employees, it's essential to strike the right balance between thoughtful and practical. While the gesture is always appreciated, there are some gifts that are dated, thoughtless and don’t deliver the right message to your hard-working employees.  

  • One-size-fits-all presents: such as desk calendars, company swag, or pre-selected gift cards. These items, while well-intentioned, can come across as uninspired and lacking personalization.  
  • Regifted items: such as leftover gifts from vendors or promotional giveaways. This can feel like an afterthought and lacks sentiment. Employee gifts should not come from your team’s stock room.  
  • Free lunch or snacks: while offering a company-wide lunch is always appreciated, it doesn’t consider remote employees, and it shouldn’t be your only gift.  

To truly make employees feel valued and appreciated, it's essential to consider their individual tastes and preferences, ensuring that the chosen gifts resonate with the spirit of the season and the unique contributions each team member brings to the table.

Time off: the gift that keeps on giving.

There's no better gift than the gift of time. Your employees work hard year-round, and what they crave most might just be a little extra time to relax, recharge, and revel in the holiday spirit. Consider offering extra paid time off during the holiday season.  

While this time of year brings joy to many people, it can also be overwhelming and stressful for some. Offering time off can bring relief to those struggling with their overall mental health and well-being. Make sure to check in with your employees, offer support and encourage the right resources.  

It’s also important to remember there are many different cultural and religious celebrations happening this time of year. Offer your employees the opportunity to take time off when they want to and not just around the most popular holidays in your region.  

Rockin’ around the rewards catalogue.

A recent survey revealed that 86% of employees feel gifts or rewards would make them feel appreciated during the holiday season. Why not give your employees the freedom to spend as they please on something they truly want or need?  

Employee reward programs are initiatives that recognize and reward employees for their hard work and dedication. Organizations need to offer curated and customizable reward options to meet the demands of what all your employees truly value.  

Kudos Rewards provides a rewards catalogue that can be customizable and personalized and offers a world-class suite of options with merchandise, events, travel, charities, gift cards and more.  

If you’re unsure of handing out money or bonuses, you can always top up your employees’ rewards with extra points so they can select a gift of their choosing that’s meaningful to them.  

Sing carols and recognition, too.  

While you’re planning out your holiday gifts, don’t forget about the power of a simple “thank you.” Employee recognition during the year-end and holiday season is of paramount importance as it serves as a powerful means to convey gratitude and celebrate the collective achievements of the past year.  

Acknowledging your employees for their hard work and dedication reinforces their value to the organization and sets a harmonious tone for the year ahead. Encourage your leaders and managers to set an example and give well-deserved recognition to their teams.  

If you need help crafting the perfect holiday message, here’s holiday message examples, to help spread holiday cheer to your employees.

Make a list and check it twice.

Don’t wait until the last minute to plan your holiday gifts this year. Make sure you have budget set aside, you have all the necessary approvals, and no one is left out – everyone should be on the nice list!  

If you’re still unsure about what to give your employees, don’t hesitate to ask them. There’s nothing wrong with sending around a survey to gather deeper insights into what your employees would prefer as a token of appreciation.  

So, as you gear up for the holiday season, remember that the best gifts are the ones that show you truly understand your employees' desires.  

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We can help you build a stronger culture

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About Kudos

Kudos is an employee engagement, culture, and analytics platform, that harnesses the power of peer-to-peer recognition, values reinforcement, and open communication to help organizations boost employee engagement, reduce turnover, improve culture, and drive productivity and performance. Kudos uses unique proprietary methodologies to deliver essential people analytics on culture, performance, equity, and inclusion, providing organizations with deep insights and a clear understanding of their workforce.

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