• Culture

    Culture of gratitude: empowering managers to give staff appreciation gifts

    January 13, 2023
    3 min read

    Can’t get your managers to give staff appreciation gifts? Here are 5 reasons organisations struggle to embed gift-giving.

    Staff appreciation gifts should feature in any comprehensive employee engagement programme, but all too often companies face challenges in embedding a gift-giving culture. 

    We know from talking to companies like yours that it takes more than simply setting aside a budget for presents for staff. In fact, there are some common roadblocks that come up when trying to empower managers to reward their direct reports with gifts, and that’s what we’re going to address in this article…


    1. Companies lack the administrative technology for purchasing staff gifts‍

    Buying employee gifts can get quite messy from an administrative perspective. Maybe you ask managers to pay for presents themselves and then claim them back on expenses - something people are never too keen on since it means they can be out of pocket for weeks. 

    Or perhaps you opt to provide those authorised to buy staff gifts with a company credit card, and then they must reconcile those purchases and provide receipts (which could be from numerous different retailers). 

    2. Companies can’t track who is being rewarded with staff appreciation gifts and why‍

    All in all, it’s a time consuming process and it can be difficult to monitor and control spending. Huggg solves this problem by enabling super admins to create teams and allocate budget. And because Huggg offers a great variety of staff appreciation gifts, managers can get everything they need in one place (while admins have complete visibility and spending is centralised). 

    Another administrative difficulty that companies face with empowering managers to reward staff is keeping tabs on how effectively it’s incentivising people. When embedding a culture of gratitude in your workplace, what you want to see is continual recognition of the behaviours that drive your company forward. 

    Simply giving managers cash to buy a round for the team in the pub after work, for example, doesn’t tell you who went above and beyond that week. With Huggg, when a manager sends a gift to a member of staff, they log the reason why. When you compile this data over time, it provides you with a clear picture of what managers are rewarding, as well which individuals are being rewarded the most. 

    Having this data means you can work with managers to tweak strategy - maybe you want to encourage staff to use their own initiative, or help their colleagues, and you can focus on rewarding them for those reasons. On the other hand, you might see that managers are only gifting staff on special occasions, like birthdays, and you can encourage greater adoption for giving performance-related gifts.  


    screencapture-app-huggg-me-purchase-i-want-to-choose-2023-08-18-09_00_16 copy (1).jpg

    3. Managers find it too time consuming to buy presents for staff

    You’ve provided your managers with the budget to buy staff appreciation gifts and encouraged them to do so, but they’re still not doing it. It’s not uncommon for managers to suddenly notice that a big chunk of staff gifting budget remains unspent come year-end - and then rush out to spend it. 

    It’s not that they don’t want to recognise their direct reports, it’s just that they didn’t find the time to do it. Let’s be honest, traditional gifting can be a time consuming practice. You might have to trail around the shops or place multiple online orders (all requiring you to enter your payment and delivery details). 

    For employee gifting to become embedded in the company culture it needs to be quick and easy. That’s why we offer a curated range of employee gifts, with suggestions for different occasions (such as a promotion or work anniversary), that can be selected, purchased and delivered with just a few clicks. You can even plug in data from your HR system and automate gifting for things like staff birthdays and seasonal events. 

    4. Managers have difficulty selecting appropriate staff appreciation gifts 

    Sometimes, even when managers want to reward team members with gifts they can find it daunting to do so. It can be hard to know what’s appropriate or what members of their team might want to receive. They might also struggle to know where to buy from or what they should spend on gifts. ‍


    It’s a valid concern - many employees can call to mind bad office gifts they’ve received - and it’s this fear of getting it wrong that can deter some managers from fully adopting a culture of giving. Thankfully, we’ve made it super simple to select the perfect staff appreciation gifts. All of our gifts are hand-selected with the modern, diverse workforce in mind. We also personally try and test each gift to make sure it delivers the right experience and message. 


    Additionally, we provide our ‘gifts with choice’ solution, which can really take the pressure off managers. All they have to do is select a budget and then the recipient will be given a range of gorgeous gifts to choose from, meaning they’ll always receive something they love. 

    5. Companies are concerned about the cost of staff appreciation gifts

    ‍Last, but by no means least, are budgetary concerns. This can be a big reason why staff gifting fails to become embedded. Pulling back on staff rewards is a common knee-jerk reaction when the trading environment starts to look rocky. 

    But if you suddenly instruct managers to stop spending, it can create a long-term reticence to buy gifts for staff - even when things are on the up. For companies who really want to empower managers to recognise their direct reports with gifts (and enjoy all the employee satisfaction benefits this brings), we recommend providing continual access to low value rewards. 

    Huggg’s staff appreciation gifts start from just £1.10, so giving a small token of appreciation is always affordable. We know that giving small gifts can have a big impact, especially when given thoughtfully. For example, let’s say a customer services executive has had to deal with a disgruntled customer and handled it beautifully. Giving that person an instant reward of a coffee from their favourite coffee shop will help keep them motivated for the next caller, which is worth every penny.