The holidays are coming fast! And as the corporate holiday gifting season rapidly approaches, it’s time to consider the best gifts for your eclectic group of colleagues and employees. But first, a few questions to ask before we dive right into the main dish.
What is corporate holiday gifting?
What it isn’t, is a simple tradition to be taken lightly. It’s actually so much more than merely wrapping up some feel-good “stuff” to be handed out like candy canes by a mall Santa. We’d say it’s a trifecta but there are so many more than just 3 benefits to doing it right. The holiday gifting season is a prime opportunity to strengthen professional relationships, boost employee morale, and improve employee engagement.
And let’s not ignore the fact that billions of dollars are wasted each year on meaningless corporate gifts that end up in landfills across the country. That wasn’t a typo – BILLIONS. Not only can we help you find the right gifts for all your employees, but we can also help to reduce your carbon footprint so that your holiday gifting season is as merry for the environment as it is for your workforce.
To ensure that your holiday gifts are well-received and make a positive impact, we’ll unwrap 12 of the best practices for corporate holiday gifting that will help you nail the prep work and make a lasting impression on your employees this year.
Now… what are “best practices” for corporate gifting? Great question! Let’s get into it.
1. Plan Early and Set a Budget
Holiday gifting should never be a last-minute decision. We’ve probably all learned this lesson in our personal lives at one point or another. Start planning well in advance and create a clear holiday budget. To truly ensure you have enough time to choose meaningful gifts without overspending, check out Caroo’s membership options and never lose sight of a holiday shipping deadline (or pay for shipping on your holiday gifts) again.
2. Know Your Audience
Understanding the unique interests and personal preferences of your employees is a key ingredient in a successful holiday gifting season. By identifying your employees’ RecognitionDNA, you can take all the guesswork out of gifting and ensure you understand what makes them feel valued and appreciated. Tailoring your gifts to their individual tastes and needs shows that you put a lot of thought and personalized care into the process.
3. Keep It Professional
While it’s certainly a time for celebration, remember that corporate gifting is still a professional process. Avoid overly personal or controversial items that may cause anyone to be uncomfortable – you don’t want to gain an off-color or cheeky reputation in the professional world – but not so general that everyone unwraps the same exact generic branded garbage gift. This is where Caroo’s Recipient Choice gift card comes in super handy. Give your employees the gift of choice and let them decide what their best gift is.
4. Brand Your Gifts on the Lowski
This is muy importante! If you’re going to give company-branded items as corporate holiday gifts, be sure to incorporate your company’s branding subtly. This can be done through custom packaging or by choosing items with a simple company logo in lieu of a neon banner (slight dramatization). Remember that you can reinforce your brand without assuming your employees want to be your human advertising campaigns.
5. Quality Over Quantity – Always!
Quality will always trump quantity. One high-quality, thoughtful gift is more valuable and memorable than a whole box stuffed full of “meh” items. And “high quality” can apply to so many products! From chocolates and cheeses to self-care products and libation accessories, quality is King. Caroo’s 2023 Holiday Guide is a great place to find even more high-quality corporate gift items.
6. Stay In Alignment
Before choosing your employees’ holiday gifts, ensure you’re in alignment with your company’s mission and core values. Being aware of any potential conflicts of interest or ethical concerns before the gifts are shipped can save you from a lot of friction and contention on the back end. It also demonstrates that your company’s core values aren’t just words on a mission statement – they’re legitimately integral to your company culture. Aligning your gifts with your core values helps to build trust because your employees can see that your gifts reflect shared values and beliefs.
7. Dive Into Diversity
If you have a diverse workforce, consider the possibility of religious differences and cultural sensitivities. Be mindful of the various holidays and traditions that might affect your employees’ attendance, and be sure to give them the time and space needed to honor their beliefs. As for your gift choices, make culturally appropriate selections that show you value and respect their individual customs. A great way to celebrate your culturally diverse employees is to give them a Recipient Choice gift so they can get exactly what they want.
8. Choose Useful and Unique Gifts
Practicality goes a long way in corporate holiday gifting. Consider gifts that your employees can use or enjoy in their daily lives, such as tech gadgets, gourmet treats, or something that supports their personal hobbies and interests. Unique gifts can leave a lasting impression and Caroo’s 2023 Holiday Guide has a ton of great options to choose from that check all these boxes (and then some).
9. Support Local and/or Diverse-Owned Businesses
Supporting local businesses in your gift selection not only adds a personal touch but also contributes to the local economy. This can be a bit challenging with a larger workforce, however. For example, many small businesses may struggle to fill an order for 500 items in a matter of a few weeks. Fortunately, Caroo offers a bank of diverse-owned brands to meet your value-based holiday gifting needs.
10. Include a Handwritten Note
Add the gift of true personalization to your corporate holiday gifts with a handwritten note or individual message inside a holiday card. Believe it or not, your words in your handwriting can make whatever corporate holiday gift you choose even more meaningful to your employees. You don’t have to write a novel when just a few meaningful words of gratitude can hit the mark.
11. Be Mindful of Timing
Don’t underestimate how crucial timing is to your corporate holiday gifting. In connection with numbers 1 and 7 above, you may not just be shopping for corporate Christmas gifts so you’ll need to be mindful of the various other holidays your employees celebrate. Whatever their beliefs, aim to send your gifts early enough to arrive before the holiday rush(es). This ensures that your employees have the chance to enjoy them during their individual festive seasons.
Pro Tip: A Caroo membership can actually keep track of all these important and unique details and lock in all the variables to make sure you never miss a gifting occasion or holiday.
12. Follow Up With Gratitude
It’s super important to follow up with your employees to (1) ensure they received the gift and (2) express your gratitude for their continued loyalty and acknowledge another year of growth together. This subtle move strengthens the employee/employer connection and demonstrates your commitment to the relationship, well beyond the holidays.
Corporate holiday gifting is a tradition that – when done right – can be a powerful tool for enhancing your company’s employee experience and beefing up your bottom line. By following these 12 best practices, you can unwrap a season of success, leaving a positive and lasting impression on your colleagues, employees, and partners. Even in the corporate world, always remember that the true spirit of gifting is not in the price tag but in the genuine thought and effort you put into the gesture, all year around.
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