Congratulations! As the celebrations ring out around the office, you know it’s time for a gift – but are you ready to make a choice that will have a high emotional impact and what if you are pressed for time? You appreciate your employees, and you want them to know it. Whether it’s for a retirement party, a new baby, or a significant transition within the company, you need to find the right gift for the occasion. What gifts hit the emotional mark, and which ones tend to fall a bit flat? 

Connect Through Emotion 

You spend money on training and team-building activities, but did you know that gift-giving can be a strong connector as well? According to the Knack Employee Gift Survey, 51 percent of employees who received a gift said that they felt more connected to their employers. When they stated that they’d received a very memorable gift, this percentage rose to 70 percent. 

However, gift-giving still has a long way to go to hit the appropriate emotional mark. Many employees received company-branded gifts, and most did not receive a personal note with the gift. Can your company do better? Getting personal and connecting through emotion is a way to help your employees feel appreciated. When you’re trying to increase dedication to your company, a well-placed gift can have the impact that you want, but only if you put some thought into it.

Truly Great Gifts 

One in four employees has received a gift that they’d actually like to give away or toss out, but they feel guilty doing so. Avoid the cringe: what gifts hit the mark and feel meaningful? 

  • Customized gift sets. If you’re making company gifts for many people, work with a gift curator who can find high quality gifts for your employees. You might still give some people the same item, but you’ll have several to choose from.
  • Gifts that support your brand values. If your company focuses on fair trade practices, adding some fair trade chocolate, pottery, or jewelry will echo those values, which are likely also the values of your employees.

Should You Avoid Certain Employee Gifts? 

Are there any gifts that are an absolute no for your employees? Well yes, there certainly are. These gifts include: 

  • Corporate swag. While your employees might want a new hat, they probably don’t want one with the corporate logo on it. Swag is advertising, and giving company swag as a gift is like giving your employees some advertising flyers.
  • The same gift for everyone in the company. This is particularly important if the gift is something like wine. You don’t want to give your non-drinking colleague a gift that shows they were just one of the masses and the gift was not personalized to them.
  • A gift that is cheap and poorly-made. It’s better to have a smaller, high-quality gift than a large gift that feels like a burden that they need to dispose of discreetly.

A handwritten note adds a lot to the value of your employee gift.

How Much Should You Spend on an Employee Gift? 

The Knack Gift Survey suggests that $75 is the sweet spot for an employee gift, however, it depends on the occasion as well. Employees thought that business milestone gifts should be about double the cost of the average holiday gift. Your budget depends on what your company can afford, but you can use this as a helpful benchmark to start the conversation around your gift budget.

Here’s the key, though: money is not what makes a gift memorable. A memorable gift is one that speaks to the receiver. It feels personal – either it focuses on a personal interest or it shares something of the giver’s life with the recipient. No matter what you spend, your gift should clearly: 

  • Be chosen for that person
  • Contain a personal message 
  • Feel unique
  • Be thoughtfully packaged

Even if you get the same gift for a few people in your company, adding a level of personalization through a note will make it more meaningful. Always explain why you’re giving the gift and what that person means to your company.

Are you looking for gift ideas that support the development of your employee-employer relationship? If so, join Knack. We are experts in the field of gift creation, and we can help create the perfect gift for your employees.