Treating your staff at Christmas doesn't have to cost the earth
Christmas is the perfect time to show your employees some extra gratitude. The year is coming to a close, people are winding down for the holidays and, on a slightly less cheerful note, money is a little bit tighter, making a little something extra all the more appreciated.
Ending the year on a positive note is essential for making sure everyone comes back to work in the New Year refreshed and ready to go – so why not treat your staff with a Christmas gift?
We’ve picked out five things that always go down well around the office at Christmas – but they’re fairly broad suggestions. It’s important to put your own spin festive motivation, rewards and incentives to make things a little more personal – no one likes to feel like they’ve received a box-ticking exercise, after all.
1. The classic: wine
It’s a classic staff Christmas gift, and not just because it can work out surprisingly cheap when you buy by the case. The holidays are traditionally a time for overindulging a little, and most people will appreciate a bottle or two to share with friends and family over the holidays.
It doesn’t necessarily have to be wine, either – there are plenty of options for craft beer gifts for any hop-loving employees. Pick something you wouldn’t normally see on a supermarket shelf and you’ll be onto a winner.
Of course, it’s important to be sensitive – not everyone will drink alcohol, whether for personal or religious reasons. If you don’t know everyone in your team well enough, the simplest way around this is just to ask people whether they’d prefer an alternative! While it may ruin the surprise a bit, it does mean that no one gets left out, and no one is offended.
2. The delicious: food hampers
Following the overindulgence trend, Christmas truly is a time for food. The food hamper is another classic Christmas gift, with so many options. Go for chocolates, festive cakes and biscuits, cooking supplies, Christmas meats, fruit baskets, cheese, preserves – again, it ruins the surprise a little bit, but a sign-up sheet that lets people choose their preferred options (as well as letting you know any allergies or dietary requirements) could be the way to go.
For a more personal twist, pick a branded hamper with your company logos – it shows a bit of extra effort, and means employees will be thinking positively about their return to work in the New Year as they crack open the peanuts in front of the TV this Christmas.
3. The winter warmer: tea and coffee
Is there a single person in the UK who doesn’t need the occasional hot beverage during the course of the working day? Whether your office is full of coffee snobs or loose-leaf enthusiasts, give them a gift that they’ll be able to dip into for the next couple of months with some specialist tea or coffee that’s a step or two above the multipacks you provide in the break room.
Whether you go for a tea caddy full of a festive blend, choose from an almost endless range of coffee options, or pick hot chocolate for those who avoid caffeine, you’ll be able to provide some much-needed warmth for your employees through the winter months. If you’ve got a smaller team and can spend a little more per person, then you could consider personal AeroPress coffee makers that will keep your employees alert and in good, coffee-fuelled spirits all year round.
The tea and coffee sets make excellent gifts because they’re practical – a slightly more special version of something people would buy or use anyway.
4. The modern: tech
We’re not suggesting outfitting your entire office with Fitbits for Christmas, of course – but a handy piece of tech always makes a great gift. It could be something as simple as a desk phone dock, or selfie sticks just in time for the office party. Or it could be something a little bit more fun – if you can find a good deal, drone helicopters are a great gift if you’re willing to sacrifice an afternoon of productivity!
Again, if you’ve got a slightly larger budget, then why not give your employees a useful gadget for the home – perhaps a Google Chromecast to improve their entertainment options over the holidays.
5. The gift of choice: vouchers and gift cards
Vouchers and gift cards may seem like an impersonal gift, but if you choose something that gives your employees some choice as to where they spend them then you’ll be onto a winner. Whether it’s for groceries to help with Christmas dinner, a trip to the Cinema to take the kids out for a holiday film, or an Amazon gift card that can buy almost anything in the world (more or less), you can be sure that your staff are getting something they really want for Christmas.
When giving vouchers, the key is in presentation – compensate for what may seem to some like a slightly less thoughtful gift by giving them out in personalised greeting cards, or by handing them over in person with a word of thanks for their efforts throughout the year.
Remember the rules
One important thing to keep in mind – when you give gifts to employees, there are tax, National Insurance and reporting obligations that you have to follow. The rules are slightly different depending on what the gift actually is – fortunately, there’s a list of what you have to do for various gifts, expenses and benefits on the gov.uk website.
Looking for something different?
Depending on the size of your team, gifts for every employee might not be practical – but that doesn’t mean you can’t do something to make the festive period a little more… festive.
If you're wanting to make Christmas even more exciting in the office, there's plenty of other options to consider. Everything from office decorations and festive treats to sales incentives and flexible working, can all make a difference to employee motivation around the holiday season. If you're stuck for ideas, then get in touch with our experts who can help you spread some festive cheer!