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The Guide to Employee Christmas Gifts for Every Business

To Gift or Not to Gift? The answer is always to gift! So let's look at some ideas on where to start.
Published 23 Oct 2021
6 min read
The Guide to Employee Christmas Gifts for Every Business

The Christmas trees are up in shopping centres, lights strung up in train stations and advent calendars are now on sale – whether we like it or not, it’s starting to look a lot like Christmas!

And though it may be a little earlier than necessary, it’s actually a great reminder of what needs to be done before we wrap 2021 up – and that includes getting Christmas gifts for employees.

To Gift or Not to Gift?

The answer is always to gift! Giving your employees a non-denominational and inclusive gift is a great way to express your appreciation for them and the work they do for your business.

One study found that 94% of employees said a holiday gift from their employer would make them feel appreciated, valued and happier at work.

Christmas gifts are an excellent way to recognise your staff members too.

This study shows that 65% of employees feel that recognition improves employee engagement, with 50% saying that employee recognition improves relationships with managers and builds trust with their employers.

So the real question is, how much do you want to spend on gifts for employees?

How much should you spend on a holiday gift?

A meaningful gift for employees doesn’t have to cost the earth, especially after the year we’ve had.

In some cases, even a hand-written card thanking them for their efforts and wishing them a safe and happy break will do the trick.

Appreciation letter template

Here’s a quick thank you template in case you’re in need of some inspiration:

Dear [THEIR NAME],

Thank you so much for all you’ve done for [COMPANY] over the past year. You’re a huge part of the team and I can’t wait to see what 2022 has in store for us.I hope you have a wonderful break and wish you all the best for the new year.

See you in 2022,

[YOUR NAME]

When it comes to how much you should spend on holiday gifts for employees, that’s really up to you. But there are a few questions you should ask yourself to make that call:

1. How’s the vibe?

If things are busier than usual for the business, the likelihood is that your employees are stressed. If they’ve been going above and beyond, a more substantial Christmas gift for employees would be more appropriate (Guide: $50).

2. Will there also be bonuses?

If so, you might not think a Christmas gift is necessary. However, if only some employees are getting bonuses and others aren’t, not giving gifts to employees as a whole might breed resentment.

Keep bonuses confidential, and consider reducing them slightly to cover the budget for company-wide corporate gifts.

3. Are you busy during the festive season?

If you’re in retail or hospitality, Christmas and New Year can be one of the busiest times of the year. If you do choose to buy holiday gifts for employees, hold off until after things have calmed down.

Though a card and candy cane would be a nice touch before or on Christmas, save the real gift for later.

Finding the perfect gift for your employees

It can be a bit daunting to find the right holiday gift for your boss. But if it’s within your / your team’s budget, a small gift can be a great way to say thank you.

Have a think about what their interests are — do they like reading? If the answer is yes, a Dymocks voucher or a bookend could be an appropriate gift idea.

Or do you know they enjoy a good wine and grazing platter? If that’s the case you could always opt for a cheese board.

Regardless of what you choose, Christmas gifting doesn’t need to be overly expensive. Remember, it’s the thought that counts.

Employee Christmas Gift Ideas

With that in mind, it’s time for the next part – coming up with Christmas gift ideas for employees.

First things first, no wine or food if you can help it — it’s consumed and forgotten!

The best gifts are the ones that will last after the holiday season has passed and continue to remind employees of the gratitude their employer has for them – or better yet, sparks conversations with their friends and family about what a cool boss they have.I'm not a regular boss, I'm a cool boss - mean girls meme - employee christmas gifts

1. Gift cards

They might be the obvious Christmas gift idea, but they’re a great gift for a reason. They’re easy to buy in bulk, and everyone loves them.

Unless you’re taking the time to give everyone personalised presents, gift cards give your employees the freedom to spend them on what they want.

2. Hero Dollars

If your business uses Employment Hero, Hero Dollars are an even better company holiday gift idea for employees. They can be bought in bulk and distributed through Employment Hero into your employees’ individual Discounts accounts.

On top of being exempt from tax for business purposes, Hero Dollars are more versatile than gift cards; they can be spent on thousands of everyday items from hundreds of retailers, including Myer, David Jones, Kmart, Rebel Sports, Toy Universe and more.

The holidays can be a tight time of year for some families, especially with a pandemic added to the equation Hero Dollars will make things easier.

3. Experiences

We love the thought of giving experiences as a holiday gift. Whether it’s skydiving, car racing or a weekend away, it’s experiences like these that will be remembered long after the festive period has ended.

You could choose a couple of experiences and share them amongst different teams, giving them the option to do the experience together or solo.

This is an especially great gift for companies with employees working remotely. As remote employees usually communicate through Zoom meetings, they will appreciate having a chance to meet their team in person.

4. Books

Most people love a good book, and the holiday season is the perfect time for people to unwind and set time aside to get stuck in.

Whether it’s a biography, novel or personal growth, books are a great way to show your appreciation.

5. Gift box

If none of the ideas are tickling your fancy, Christmas gift baskets are a safe and well-rounded choice. A care package containing a bottle of wine, some snacks and a card from the CEO can show your team how much they’re appreciated.

They’ll also be able to enjoy the treats during the holiday season.

6. Personalised company merch

Let’s face it. Everyone loves company merch. Whether it’s a tee, coffee mug, pen or jacket, it makes your entire team feel included.

Level up your Christmas gifts by printing your company logo into office supplies that can be used by employees when they are working.

7. Plants

A plant is a classic Christmas gift idea and one that never disappoints. The best part? The plant can live anywhere.

On your desk, in the office, in your home office, on the verandah, kitchen or even in your bedroom. They really are the most versatile gift to give!

Have no set budget? Why not include a nice pot as well?

8. A bottle of wine

While we recommend against food and drinks, if your budget is limited, a bottle of wine with a card can help you show appreciation to your team. Couple that with some tasty chocolates, and you will have the winning gift box for your employees.

If you’re looking for that extra bit of personalisation, why not reach out to a local winery and ask them to create custom labels for your gifts?

It’s the small touches like these that can make all of the difference in making your team feel appreciated for their work.

9. An extra day of leave

The past few years have been extremely stressful years for employees and businesses alike.

While providing an extra day of leave takes some workforce planning, it is a nice gesture that will be met with gratitude.

Providing your team with an extra day of leave to say thank you is a good way to help them rest and de-stress.

All Things Being Equal…

Most importantly, keep it fair. Whether it’s low cost or high cost, personal or impersonal, keeping things fair across the board is essential.

Otherwise, you run the risk of breeding resentment and starting the new year with fewer employers than before.

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Engaging Employees: A Competitive Differentiator

Isabelle Comber
People Specialist - Employment Hero
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