Christmas is fast approaching – along with the question of what to give employees as a gift. There may be some confusion, but there are also protocols, writes Naomi Simson
A gift can either enhance a relationship or detract from it, and it is
no different in business. The act of giving a personalised gift to
an employee when it is attached to praise about a positive behaviour or achievement is a powerful way to make a lasting impression
on that person – if you get it right.
RedBalloon’s latest survey asked 3000 employees about gifts, and
we came across some interesting findings on the attitudes and be
haviours around this aspect of business.
We found that 58 per cent of Australian employees are not ex
pecting a card or any kind of gift from their managers at the end of the
year. Employers now have the ultimate opportunity to reinforce their
relationship with their teams by saying thank you and by surprising
them with an unexpected gift that supports the basic need of feeling
“part of something”.
What motivates one person in a team may
not necessarily work for the next person – each
of us has different drivers. Yet only one third
(32 per cent) of employees across all gener
ations are convinced their managers know
what motivates them. So, we asked employ
ees “What is the best reward or gift you ever
received from your employer and why?” We
found employees appreciated the following:
1) When the intent and appreciation is clear
2) Personalised rewards their manager or
boss knows they like
3) Time with their partner and family
5) Regular tokens of thanks go a long way;
it’s the thought that counts
6) Choice: experiences they get to choose
7) Group rewards, outings and expeditions
8) Praise in front of superiors
9) Cash bonuses
10) The element of surprise; when it is un
Here are three steps to help you get it right:
1) The intention behind giving the gift: Is
it given from love, kindness and generosity
or is it given hoping for something in re
turn, to buy a favour, or to coerce some
one? A gift or a thank you needs to be
given purely out of generosity and to show
that the recipient is cared for, then it will
enhance the relationship.
2) Attach the gift to acknowledgement of
the individual’s contribution to the or
ganisation: Thank them specifically for
what they did for you, or the relationship
you have with them. Consider what im
pact that person has on you personally,
as well as the organisation – for exam
ple “Without your contribution, the proj
ect would not have shipped on time”.
3) Consider the balance between effort
or performance and the perceived
value/fit of the gift: Make it relevant for
the recipient, and, with your budget in
mind, something that is of worth to them.
Let them know why you selected that gift
for them – for example “I know that you
have always wanted to learn sushi mak
ing, you might like to choose that for your
self and your partner from this gift”.
Christmas is fast approaching – it is the
time to make people feel special, to honour
their contribution, to notice what they do. And
to celebrate what was achieved.
Naomi Simson is Chief Experience Officer, RedBalloon.