When small tokens go a long way

by Adelle Chua10 Nov 2017
In the lead-up to Christmas, employers may feel hard pressed to think of presents for their staff members to show their appreciation.

This is crucial since surveys say employees are more productive when they feel valued at work and receive praise and recognition from their superiors.

It makes economic sense, too. Hiring and training a new employee can cost anywhere between six and nine months of that worker’s salary, whereas setting aside a budget for a modest but thoughtful token to show appreciation does not cost as much.

Certainly it is also no longer about grand gestures or big events.

Jonathan Rowley, managing director of online office caterer Order-In, says they found Australian officers are prioritising meaningful gifts over expensive or elaborate activities of functions – these can be seen as impersonal or redundant.

It appeared hefty buffets gave way to “normal” corporate catering with just a Christmas spin, and cheap and cheerful options like finger food platters, cold meats, cheese and antipasto.

For gifts, expensive packaged food and alcohol hampers are also on the out, Rowley said.

“These days, gifts that are around $50, that are still unique, practical and loved by many, are definitely in high demand.”

How an employers set out to do this? Rowley shares the most popular gestures he and his team have observed among workplaces across the country:
  1. Be family friendly. Show appreciation by treating not just the employee, but the employee’s family. Get to know the people who mean most to your co-workers. Hosting a corporate BBQ and inviting their families is a perfect gathering.
  2. Invest in the long term. Get an expensive coffee machine for the team to use. Provide quality office catering with a well-stocked office kitchen filled with milk, fruit and other snacks and treats. These are simple ways to fuel your team and increase team morale all year round. This also leads to team members being in the office working more.
  3. Get seasonal. Fruit baskets are a great fresh option that will be loved by both healthy and sweet-loving staff alike.
  4. You can never go wrong with pizza. Pizza is one of the most loved foods, and it’s perfect for group situations as it’s simple to share and cost-effective.
  5. Bring in a masseuse. It might be difficult to take the entire team out for the day to get pampered. But you can hire a mobile masseuse to set up a room for the team for a day.
  6. Be spontaneous. Set aside a budget to be spontaneous in the lead up to Christmas. For example, if it’s a hot weather day, buy the team ice-cream, or if it’s a beautiful day let them all take the afternoon off.
Your staff will likely feel good and rave about these little gestures as the holidays approach. Merry Christmas!

Related stories:
Is there any point throwing a Christmas party?
Inside CHEP Australia’s award-winning R&R program


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