4 Tips for Purchasing Holiday Gifts for Employees

Demonstrate your appreciation for employees with the gift you select

Woman giving out holiday presents in office

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In the midst of the busy holiday season, human resource executives, managers and employers often put off choosing employee gifts until the very last minute. Yet holiday gifts are one of the simplest and most appropriate ways to demonstrate your appreciation for employees’ hard work.

If you are a supervisor, executive or anyone in between, and you manage employees on a daily basis, gifting during the holiday season demonstrates strong leadership and your desire to invest in the lives of your employees.

A well-chosen employee gift makes your employees feel appreciated and cared about. A gift demonstrates your respect for them and your commitment to their happiness, well-being, and retention. Your expressed appreciation is one of the characteristics of an employer of choice.

Whether you want to purchase individual employee gifts or buy in bulk, follow these four tips to provide the most effective recognition for employees.

Make the Gifts Personal

Personalizing employee gifts adds an element of genuineness that simply cannot be matched by a one-size-fits-all gift. Although any employee gift will be appreciated, one that is well thought through and custom-tailored for a specific employee shows that you care about that person individually.

In the small business setting, it might be feasible to purchase an individual gift based on each particular employee’s preferences. In larger organizations, purchasing the same gift for all employees might be in order. If this is the case, try to personalize each gift with a meaningful picture, logo or the employee’s name when possible. A customized, personalized gift goes farther in demonstrating your gratitude and appreciation for each employee and what he or she brings to your company.

Give the Gift of Practicality

Although it might be difficult, try your best to avoid gifts that will eventually end up on employees’ desks or in a closet of memories, collecting dust. Select a gift that your employees can use whether it’s a gift card to a local business, a couple of extra hours of vacation time, or a handbag in which to carry his or her laptop. Whatever gift you choose, ask yourself: “Is this something I see my employee actually using?” If the answer is yes, then you need to purchase that gift.

Give Your Employees the Gift of Giving

A great way to foster a sense of gratitude and giving during the busy holiday season is to give a gift that gives back to others. Whether you purchase a cow for a family in need on behalf of your employees or find a charity to donate to in their name, giving gifts that reach beyond your employees will prompt a continued spirit of giving within your organization.

Consider giving your employees a gift card through CharityChoice, which lets the recipient choose which charity they’d like their gift card funds to benefit. Options for organizations that can benefit from your employee gifts include the Alzheimer’s Association, the American Red Cross, and 250 other major charitable causes.

Don’t Forget to Express Your Gratitude to the Employee

While holiday gift-giving is a time to express creativity and the spirit of giving, don’t forget to simply tell your employees how grateful you are for their hard work this year. Without your employees, your business simply would not be where it stands today. The power of an employer-provided gift is magnified when you also tell the employee about your gratitude for all of their contributions.

Use the holidays as a time to celebrate your employees and their commitment to hard work—by voicing a simple thank you. Here are 40 ways to say thank you to employees at work.


Watch Now: How Gratitude Makes Happier Employees

Human resource executives, managers, and employers can rest assured that any gift to an employee is a good gift. You should not feel pressured to stick to a certain minimum budget or type of gift.

The holiday season nurtures the spirit of giving, gratitude, and happiness, in small businesses and large organizations alike. Purchasing holiday gifts for employees will quickly become a meaningful part of celebrating this year and kicking off another great year in the new year. Here's hoping that these tips help you select an outstanding gift for your employees.