Giving thoughtful gifts for staff is important year-round, but it’s especially important at Christmas. Why’s that, we hear you ask? We all know Christmas is a time for giving, but more than that, it’s the timing of the holiday that makes it so important.
Christmas isn’t just a Christian celebration; for employees of all denominations it symbolises the end of one year and the start of another. It’s when the workplace starts to wind down and we get to enjoy some well-earned time off to reflect on the last 12 months - and look forward to the year ahead. It’s a pivotal time for motivation.
Our exclusive report into employee motivation conducted in partnership with YouGov found that staff who had recently received a gift were 3x more likely to say they felt motivated in their role. Making sure you give thoughtful gifts for staff at Christmas is one way to help them start the new year feeling motivated.
There’s another reason that thoughtful employee Christmas gifts are important, and that’s because it helps you to hang on to your people. It’s a fact that companies tend to hire most in January and February. This is mainly because of new hiring budgets that go into effect at the beginning of a new year.
It means that job adverts are all over your employees’ LinkedIn feeds right after Christmas and they might easily be tempted by a new opportunity (new year, new job and all that). If you don’t think a nice Christmas gift would make much difference to employee-company satisfaction, you’d be wrong: we found that 46% of employees who received a gift from their manager agreed that they would recommend their current employer to others.
For comparison, only 12% of staff would recommend their company if they hadn’t been given a gift. An added bonus of giving thoughtful gifts for staff at Christmas is that they might not only help you to retain staff, but also to attract new talent. If you’re among the many companies competing for new hires in January, peer to peer recommendations will certainly put you at an advantage.
We’ve established that it's important to give thoughtful gifts for staff at Christmas, but what do we mean by ‘thoughtful gifts’? Crucially, a thoughtful gift is going to be one that stands out from the crowd and sticks in your employees’ minds.
We get given lots of gifts at Christmas and in some respects it’s almost expected. We might expect to be given a token of appreciation from our boss and - while it’s nice to receive anything at all - we might not be blown away by a company branded mug, for example. If, on the other hand, our manager has taken the time to choose something just for us, based on their knowledge of us as an individual, we are far more likely to be impressed.
That’s not to say it has to be an expensive gift. Giving thoughtful gifts for staff at Christmas is less about the price tag and more about the message and sentiment behind them. It’s all about showing you care. Our research found that giving gifts really does help employees to feel cared about. A significant 43% of people who had received a gift from a manager within the last month agreed with the statement that their manager cares about them as a person.
The cost of living crisis is having an impact on all of us, and companies are not immune from the rising costs that make running a business ever more challenging. If your budget for staff Christmas gifts is down this year (and you don’t have time to knit everyone a jumper) you might be wondering how you can give something thoughtful to all your staff.
But smaller budgets don’t mean you have to completely write off Christmas gifting, here at Huggg we have a great selection of affordable gifts. And by choosing the right gift for the right person - and giving it at the right time - you can massively amplify its value. Here are some examples:
Giving thoughtful gifts to staff at Christmas also means being mindful that everyone is included. If you have remote employees be sure to send them something special through the post or, alternatively, let them choose something for themselves that can be sent directly.
Likewise, don’t forget about those members of staff who are unable to make it to the Christmas party. Christmas festivities form an important part of employee recognition and reward so if people are missing out on them, try to ensure they still feel involved. You can do this by sending them a couple of bottles of bubbly to share with their friends and family on party night and asking them to send a photo to the team on Slack.
Small gifts, like wine and food, needn't cost a lot, but when they’re given in the right context they can have a notable impact on morale. That’s why you should always aim to put some extra thought behind why you’re giving the gift rather than giving every employee the same generic box of chocolates. After all, it is the thought that counts!