The holiday season is often a time of both joy and stress for business owners and leaders. We’re excited to spend time with friends and family and to celebrate the season, of course, but pending year-end deadlines and annual strategic planning can add pressure to the end of the year. When it comes to employee gifting, the most well-intentioned ideas can become an afterthought. I encourage you to take the pressure off and redefine what giving a gift truly means to you. Is it meant to build rapport? Celebrate a job well done? Make the company seem like a great place to work?
Getting clear on your intention behind the gift will help you identify where to focus. I also recommend doing something that represents your company’s core values. Is one of your values serving others? Perhaps you make a charitable donation in your employee’s name. Do you emphasize fun at work? Buy an office ping-pong table and organize a holiday tournament over happy hour.
Remember, gifts don’t need to be expensive or extravagant. Putting in the effort to show your employees that you understand and appreciate them is what matters most.
Idea #1: Give the Gift of Time
Employees agree that extra time off, especially during the holidays, is a huge gift. A team member of a client shared that when her employer closed the office during the week between Christmas and New Year’s, “it felt like I got a million-dollar check. I’d never take that week off, but now I have it to spend time with my family.” Closing the office during high PTO weeks can also increase team morale as those left behind aren’t struggling to cover for their co-workers on vacation.
Giving employees time off to spend with family and friends also shows you value their lives outside of work; this goes an especially long way with younger employees. Giving the gift of time can also occur outside of the normal calendar holidays. Minnesota company Clockwork closed on Election Day to give all employees easier access to vote. Other companies choose to give employees the day off on their birthday or offer shorter “summer hours.” If you choose to do this, just remember to share your excitement about this initiative during the holiday gifting season.
Stay tuned for tomorrow’s blog where I’ll share another idea to celebrate your employees.