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    36 Replies Latest reply on Nov 2, 2008 8:07 AM by IMPORTER390

    Best Holiday Gifts for Employees..?

    iventures Adventurer

      Picking holiday gifts for employees can be a frustrating task. From small business owners to the director at a large corporation, managers want to pick the best holiday gifts for employees (within a budget, of course).


      Of course, each employee has a different idea of what the best holiday gift is, so picking gifts that will make everyone happy may seem impossible.


      However, with a little thought and planning, finding the best holiday gifts for employees doesn't have to be so complicated. Visit our profile
        • Re: Best Holiday Gifts for Employees..?
          caffeinated Scout
          I always thought that cash was king. Is that insensitive of me? It not really the holiday spirit but I found that you're less likely to offend an employee by giving cash because they may not celebrate the same holidays as you, it can be viewed as a year end bonus if they don't practice a religion, and who's going to turn it down really?
            • Re: Best Holiday Gifts for Employees..?
              Iwrite Pioneer
              Cash is king except if it is a trip. My wife worked for a travel wholesaler in the 1990's, and they gave out a variety of vacations from 3 night to 7 nights stays. They worked it out with the resorts they represented. There's nothing like 7 days in St. Lucia, all paid. As you can imagine, turnover was low.

              I like money as a gift also. It gives a person the freedom to select something they would like. I like your thinking as far as recognizing that others may not celebrate holidays.
            • Re: Best Holiday Gifts for Employees..?
              iventures Adventurer
              Money Isn't Everything

              If money were the only factor that determined employee satisfaction, running a successful business would be a lot easier. The fact of the matter is, compensation is only one part of motivating a workforce. Personality tests, such as the Myers-Briggs and Keirsey tests, can help tell you which factors are most important to your employees, but the bottom line is that everyone reacts positively to recognition and appreciation, and corporate incentive gifts are a perfect way to make that appreciation tangible.


              The ideal Corporate Gift Solution Is:


              1. Cost effective requiring little or no space to manage
              2. Extremely easy to administer in terms of employee handling
              3. Vsually appealing (the wow factor)
              4. Precisely what your customer - employee wants
              5. Coordinated online, saving time and money

              Our Ribbon gift albums starts with a collection of 21 gift cards and albums filled with name brand products ranging in value from $25 - $750. Collections are organized by themes targeting a variety of age and interest groups, so there is always something for everyone.


                • Re: Best Holiday Gifts for Employees..?
                  Iwrite Pioneer
                  True but the results of those tests are talking about overall job satisfaction, not holiday gifts. The last time I checked, there wasn't a study that asked employees about holiday gifts in particular. If there was, I think it would find a shift away from the overall job satisfaction numbers.

                  A holiday gift is not a part of compensation. I have never seen it listed as such.

                  I agree an incentive program is important but this thread is titled: "Best Holiday Gifts for Employees..?" To me, holiday gifts are not incentive gifts. Now, giving a holiday gift may result in a more positive view of the company by the employees, but that is extra to me.

                  Now, something totally different. I have not gone to your website to check out your business because you are selling me too hard. You could have responded to my post without the pitch at the end and I would have more than likely gone to your site. But you are trying too hard for me. This forum is about sharing information, and there is something about having a sales message at the end of each post that pushes me away. It is like the car salesperson who won't stop trying to qualify you, I just want to look at the car but he is in my ear trying to close the sale. Talk to people more and sell less, and you may get a different response. But that is just me. This was a great opportunity for you to share your view on holiday gifts as incentive gifts but instead you're trying to drive home the sale. And look how I responded. Honest communication sells more than factual information.
                    • Re: Best Holiday Gifts for Employees..?
                      iventures Adventurer
                      Well firstly thanks for your generous opinion (surely helpful tip). Secondly I was'nt driving sale specifically to you. My customers are people who feel gifting cash loses the percieved value of the gift. The person/ employee most of times ends up evaluating his worth (based on the cash he/ she recieves). Think of a husband giving $10 to his wife (so that she can choose- cash being the King) v/s flowers worth same amount. What do you think will be more appreciated. Now I just used the flowers as example. That does not mean giving cash is a bad idea (it does give choice if you give a whole 100s or 1000s of dollars), it just means that if you give a little time to personalize the gift it will be much more appreciated. It tells the reciever that you have given it a little thought.

                      Again not trying to drive a sell here, but just my views about gifting.
                        • Re: Best Holiday Gifts for Employees..?
                          Iwrite Pioneer
                          I see this as an opportunity to discuss this, nothing more. I have seen people who make 6-figures get so excited and thankful for a $100 gift. I think it is all about expectations. I can't count the number of times, I've heard employees complaining because the gift they recieved was not something they liked. I have never heard anyone complain about cash or a gift card. I also noticed that the gifts are never as much as the cash.

                          The smallest cash gift I have recieved has been $50. The cheapest gift I recieved was a container of snack food and a book(that I really didn't like). The dinner at the Holiday party cost more than that gift, and the employees noticed and talked about it. So much so, that the CEO apologized and gave each employee $50.

                          Your flower example isn't the same - family members are a different dynamic. No one would ask their wife to fill out an expense report when she comes home from shopping, and expect peace to continue to exist at home.

                          As much as I believe in rewarding employees, there is a difference between gifts, incentives and bonuses. You are talking about incentives, not gifts. I believe you can give a gift or cash in two of these instances, but never for a bonus.

                          The question is how do you and your employees view holiday gifts? I have never continued to work for anyone because of a holiday gift or quit over one. It doesn't play into my overall job satisfaction.

                          I give gifts during the holiday to share with others, not to encourage them to continue to be my friends or employees. The funny part of this discussion is I am more the type of customer you want. I give thanks as often as possible in the form of gifts, money or meals to both employees and customers. I feel it is the way business should be.

                          Placing "holiday" into the equation changed how I feel about this. I don't know why, but it did.
                          1 of 1 people found this helpful
                            • Re: Best Holiday Gifts for Employees..?
                              iventures Adventurer
                              Thanks!! You have listed some really great points. I really admire the clarity of your thinking. I noticed how you have seperated incentives from gifts. Obviously we don't recommend snack boxes but our gift collections include popular brand names like adidas®, Sony®, Ghirardelli®, Cuisinart®, and more. Impressive selections of home décor, gourmet foods, electronics, toys, jewelry, recreational gear, etc. We want to target right customer. Any recommendations on how I can do this?
                                • Re: Best Holiday Gifts for Employees..?
                                  Iwrite Pioneer
                                  It is the message. I got hung up on the words "holiday gift." If you had phrased this "Best gift to show your appreciation and encourage employees," I would have been right there with you.

                                  Cater your message to speak to the emotional part of the business owner, not the rational. Look at Intechspecial's post, it is about gratitude and recognizing employee contribution. I think he gives you a wonderful insight into the message. You already know who you need to be speaking to - owners, HR, office managers.

                                  You understand the power of giving a gift, why not use your product as your promotional piece? Send one shoe and let folks know they will get the second one or the right sized pair when you meet with them. Send the remote control and a picture of the car or the attachment to the electrical device - create interest while proving your point that everyone loves getting a gift.

                                  Who is your ideal customer? Is it a male of a female? What are their concerns about the upcoming holiday season? What motivates them to make a decision? What are the barriers to them placing an order? What do they want from a gift? How important are the employees' feeling in this process?

                                  Answer some of these and see if targeting doesn't get a little easier.
                            • Re: Best Holiday Gifts for Employees..?
                              HumanArrow Adventurer
                              Hello Iwrite,

                              This is Steve Rangel with Human Arrow. Can you contact me via e-mail

                              Directing Traffic To Your Business!
                            • Re: Best Holiday Gifts for Employees..?
                              IMPORTER390 Newbie
                              If you are looking for truly unique corporate gifts check us out. We manufacture a line of corporate gifts made from cork skin. Cork skin is made from the bark of the cork oak tree.

                              Products made form cork are entirely "green". The cork bark is an entirely renewable resourse. The entire line can be silk screened or embossed with logos etc.

                     Thanks, Linda Denmark , Pelcor USA
                            • Re: Best Holiday Gifts for Employees..?
                              intechspecial Ranger

                              Money talks, with of course a trifle gift that says something like: "I work here and I am proud".

                              The holidays are a time of stress for many with the economy the way it currently is.

                              If your business is currently successful this is the direct result to everyone within the organization.

                              Best to make this a good holiday gift giving season if possible, as this will insure another positve year, with grateful employees.


                              With all of the businesses currently going under, the competition for the best of the best will rise, as well as pay for the best of the best.


                              If you have the best of the best, you had better keep them.
                              • Re: Best Holiday Gifts for Employees..?
                                Howard Adventurer
                                What about the good old fashion Holiday party? Is anybody having a company Holiday party this year?
                                • Re: Best Holiday Gifts for Employees..?
                                  KPIfix Newbie
                                  I've got one word... chocolate (please)
                                  • Re: Best Holiday Gifts for Employees..?
                                    iventures Adventurer
                                    Also visit my thread: Holiday Gift Giving: How Your Budget can Survive the Season in Accounting and Budgeting
                                    • Re: Best Holiday Gifts for Employees..?
                                      soapin Newbie

                                      While money is a great thing I think that people appreciate acknowledgement of a hard days work.
                                        • Re: Best Holiday Gifts for Employees..?
                                          Iwrite Pioneer
                                          A holiday party with a chocolate fountain and gifts and money!

                                          Okay, seriously it comes down to knowing your employees and being true to them and you. I do not see holiday gifts as a thank-you for your hard work as much as a gift. Everyone gets a holiday gift whether they worked hard or not. I have never seen a company only give a gift to the productive folks.

                                          Bonuses and incentive gifts are different - people understand that they are performance related. Everyone gets the same gift at the holiday party.

                                          I think this is a great discussion because it shows how we view this differently, and it helps to illustrate the complexity of the issue. Whatever you do, you need to put some thought behind it and how it will be received and perceived. Put some real effort into it.
                                            • Re: Best Holiday Gifts for Employees..?
                                              soapin Newbie
                                              Every year my hubby's employer takes each employee and spouse out to a special place picked by everyone for dinner. General social atmosphere, appetizers and then a full dinner. It's always a place a normal family with several children is unable to enjoy. Then every employee brings a $20 or less gift. They do this swapping game. Everyone picks a number and you go in order and pick a gift from the table. First person opens the gift then decides if he/she is going to keep it or pass it. Then the next person up can either steal the gift or grab an unwrapped one from the table. This goes on and on.

                                              Every year there is always one goofball in the crowd that has a totally outrageous gift and that's the gift that gets passed and stolen. It's always fun with much laughter and social engagement not only with each other but families and the boss.

                                              None of us expect a gift or cash bonus.
                                              • Re: Best Holiday Gifts for Employees..?
                                                iventures Adventurer
                                                "There's a big difference between people who come to work, which is what they're obligated to do if they're paid, and people who do their best work, which is what you want them to do."

                                                Bob Nelson, 1001 Ways to Reward Employees

                                                A gift or present is the transfer of something, without the need for compensation that is involved in trade. A gift is a voluntary act which does not require anything in return. Even though it involves possibly a social expectation of reciprocity, or a return in the form of prestige or power, a gift is meant to be free.

                                                An incentive is any factor (financial or non-financial) that provides a motive for a particular course of action, or counts as a reason for preferring one choice to the alternatives. Since human beings are purposeful creatures, the study of incentive structures is central to the study of all economic activity (both in terms of individual decision-making and in terms of cooperation and competetion within a larger institutional structure).
                                                • Re: Best Holiday Gifts for Employees..?
                                                  Tangirl Wayfarer

                                                  Take a look at Two Sisters Gourmet and Tupperware to make Great Gift Baskets for the holiday and the products can also be used for everyday use. So give the gift of a Basket.
                                                  Orders can be placed right on the sites.



                                                  Send this to Five other People!

                                                    • Re: Best Holiday Gifts for Employees..?
                                                      Iwrite Pioneer

                                                      Less sell and more participation and I might become a customer. I am not a big fan of the hard sell. Most of us are talking about attitude, not buying actual gifts, not right not.

                                                      Now, if your response had been: "the best gifts are those that show you know the person you are giving the gift to. Gift baskets work because they let you give more than one thing with a greater possibility of the person recieving the gift finding something they like." An insight like that would have more than likely driven me to look at your site but to just come out and try to sell me something, nope.

                                                      Everyone with a product or service to sell - talk more to the potential customer, make a connection, give them a reason to want to buy from you and sell less.
                                                          • Re: Best Holiday Gifts for Employees..?
                                                            Iwrite Pioneer
                                                            I hope I didn't come across wrong. I only want to help. I think we underestimate the power of good selling.

                                                            My father was once buying a car and the salesperson was just pushing the hard sell when my father turned to him and said, "Look, I work hard for my money. Do you really believe I am going to give a huge chunk of it to someone I don't like?" and walk away. he turned to me and my brother and said, "Never spend money with folks who see you as nothing but a dollar sign."

                                                            Now that I am trying to build my business, I realize how wise my father is. Customers aren't always going to come out and tell you that but their actions will, and so will employees when it comes to gifts.

                                                            FYI: When I was an employee I hated gifts with the company logo!! Not during the holidays! It is like a company is trying to get free advertising out of me. If you are going to do it, make the logo small and tasteful.
                                                              • Re: Best Holiday Gifts for Employees..?
                                                                iventures Adventurer
                                                                gifts with the company logo!!-----haa haa-------The only people who should love logos are Michael Jordon, Tiger Woods........bla blaa (They have millions of reason to love them and each has a picture of Benjamin Franklin)
                                                                • Re: Best Holiday Gifts for Employees..?
                                                                  iventures Adventurer
                                                                  The gift-giving season is nearly upon us. While the holidays are filled with energy and excitement, they´re also coupled with stress, decision-making and a frantic pace - in both our personal and organizational lives. This time of year, many companies are entrenched in the business planning, strategy and budgeting processes. On top of this, Human Resource professionals are tasked with considerations surrounding the organization´s gift-giving approach.


                                                                  If the company had a good year, a holiday gift is welcomed, if not expected. If the company struggled or experienced cost cutting measures, a holiday gift may send the wrong message. Gift giving requires thought. The effect a gift has is based largely on perception. With generational diversity on the rise in the workplace, varying perceptions are the rule vs. the exception.


                                                                  Companies can benefit from an HR perspective when they give their employees holiday gifts. Gift giving shows appreciation and respect. Unlike many corporate programs that require employees to achieve specific business results-making them exclusive to employee segments-holiday gift programs pertain to all employees. The inclusive nature of such programs helps build a sense of belonging, recognized as one of the highest and most primary human needs.
                                                                    • Re: Best Holiday Gifts for Employees..?
                                                                      Iwrite Pioneer
                                                                      This is great! Now can you boil this down to three or four sentences and that is the message you drive to the HR department and owners/presidents. I think another audience you look at is salespeople - as you pointed out, "Gift giving shows appreciation and respect."

                                                                      I really think there are some cool things that can position your company as the source for not only great gifts but insightful information about the power of good gift giving. Think about including a column on your website or writing an article for the local business section of the paper or even hosting a radio segment on a business related station.

                                                                      Just a thought.
                                                          • Re: Best Holiday Gifts for Employees..?
                                                            Tangirl Wayfarer
                                                            A Gift Basket filled with TWO SISTERS GOURMET PRODUCTS AND TUPPERWARE PRODUCTS, ORDERS CAN BE PLACED RIGHT ON THE SITE.

                                                            TAKE A LOOK:

                                                            share this information with others!
                                                            • Re: Best Holiday Gifts for Employees..?
                                                              macklamm Wayfarer
                                                              easter = belgian easter egg or high quality chocolate easter eggs with a gift voucher to an upmarket store
                                                              xmas = gift voucher to an upmarket store and something small handmade by local crafter with company logo stamped on it
                                                              other holiday gifts - handmade gift with company logo stamped on it and/or gift voucher for an upmarket store

                                                              gifts which do not depend on how well or not someone has worked and the same gift for all staff no matter who they are
                                                            • Re: Best Holiday Gifts for Employees..?
                                                              intechspecial Ranger
                                                              This has turned out to be quite an informative and interesting thread.

                                                              • The Gift Card Scam on the News
                                                                iventures Adventurer

                                                                Gift cards have a unique number in a magnetic strip that is used to track usage and outstanding balances. This usually works well, and has the benefit that you often won't lose your remaining balance if you lose the gift card, since you can simply call to report the card as stolen or lost.


                                                                Now imagine that a scammer comes into a store that displays gift cards on public racks (such as Wal-Mart) with a small and inexpensive mag-strip scanner in his pocket. This scanner can easily read and store the unique gift card serial numbers.


                                                                So, the scammer simply grabs some of these gift cards from the rack, finds a quiet place and quickly scans each card to get its unique serial number. They then put the cards back (or leave them somewhere in the store) since they are done with them.


                                                                (Incidentally, this high tech approach isn't even needed. The crook can simply copy the unique numbers by hand on a pad of paper. However, this is much more time consuming.)


                                                                Depending on the gift card packaging, this can be very easy to accomplish or the crook might need to pry the gift card from its base and then carefully reposition it back after stealing the number. In either case, it's not very difficult for the scammer to do this.


                                                                Next, real customers come in to buy some of these gift cards and "charge" them with real money.


                                                                How does the scammer know which gift cards have been charged? Every few days, he simply calls the gift card phone number and enters the unique numbers to find out which cards have been charged -- and what the remaining balances are.


                                                                Most of these systems don't require a password, so it is very easy for the scammer to do this. Other times the scammer is able to steal the PIN at the same time as the gift card number.


                                                                And since most of these gift cards aren't given to the recipients until Christmas, most of the cards will be *fully charged*!


                                                                The scammer can then go on a shopping spree and drain the gift card balances.


                                                                If scammers are somewhat more technically sophisticated, they can even purchase a similar real gift card, charge it with $5, and then reprogram the card with a stolen unique ID number -- and use the card to physically shop in the store instead of being "limited" to shopping only online.


                                                                According to KOMO TV, a Wal-Mart spokesman says the company "is working with law enforcement at the highest levels possible to rectify the problem and catch the people responsible."


                                                                The National Retail Foundation (NRF) confirmed this scam was occurring last week in a press release, and said: "Reports about a new gift card scam detailing how consumers could lose money from gift cards if criminals steal the card numbers from the back of the card are accurate but somewhat misleading."


                                                                ScamBusters Recommendation: Even though this type of gift card scam is now only occurring on a very small scale, we still advise that you don't buy gift cards displayed on public racks since this scam is so simple for scammers to execute. Why take the chance?
                                                                • Do's and don'ts of employee gift giving
                                                                  iventures Adventurer

                                                                  DON'T play favorites
                                                                  When giving gifts to all of your employees, there should be no distinction between them -- consider them all equals. Accordingly, the value of their gifts should all be within a couple of dollars of one another.


                                                                  DO be consistent
                                                                  By the same token, all employee gifts should be similar in nature. A personal gift for one employee means personalization for all.


                                                                  DON'T discriminate on the basis of sex
                                                                  Buying obviously different types of gifts for men and women is considered inappropriate.


                                                                  DO remember everyone
                                                                  This includes the cleaning staff and other regular contractors or part-timers.


                                                                  DON'T restrict gifts to work-related ones
                                                                  Giving gifts that can be used at home can be a plus for everyone. That way, employees don't feel compelled to have their gift sitting on their desk or in their office.


                                                                  DON'T throw a party and call it a gift
                                                                  If it's a party, say it is. Calling it a gift is just plain tacky.


                                                                  DO make returns easy
                                                                  Of course, no one wants to have their gifts returned -- but those who make it easy to do so are always appreciated.


                                                                  DON'T be careless when giving food gifts
                                                                  If you're giving food and your office is small enough, keep in mind those whose diet is restricted by religion, personal ethics, or health. If you don't, it may appear that you don't care enough about the person to find out.


                                                                  DO be discreet if you're not giving to everyone
                                                                  If you are personally giving gifts to only some employees, use discretion. You may want to do it out of the office if there's a chance it will come across as favoritism.
                                                                  • Re: Best Holiday Gifts for Employees..?
                                                                    busycouple Newbie
                                                                    As a past employee of quite a few businesses, I would like to offer maybe giving them paid time off such as an extra day or two. People really like to be offered an extra day off paid just as much as money compensation.