Whether you are a solo entrepreneur, a budding start-up or a giant company, one of the things you automatically are obliged to do during the holidays is to give gifts to your employees, business contacts and clients. It is a well-known marketing secret and a great business “rule” to abide by.
Now there are a lot of corporate gift ideas – you can easily click here to view list of Christmas catalogues that have them. The last thing you would want is to give something that wouldn’t be appreciated or worse, put your business in a bad light. So before ordering your items, make sure that the company you are ordering from has quality items and that what you are ordering is appropriate according to the relationship you have with the intended recipient. You also do not want to be viewed as the cheap boss. So to get a general feel of what your employees want for Christmas, do subtle interviews of what they need or what they are hoping to get during meetings or coffee breaks (or delegate somebody to do the asking especially if you think they might be uncomfortable talking about it with you around).
Here are some ideas that have been proven time and again, to work:
- Company office supplies that bear your company logo. It is common practice to have default corporate giveaways during the holidays – calendars, pens, mugs, umbrellas and even shirts. These are little things that are usually thrown in whenever have parties and are commonly called promotional items.
- Gift baskets. The default standard is to give away a food basket that allows one to prepare a whole meal from the ingredients in the basket. Most give baskets that have basic ingredients for a Christmas Eve dinner – Christmas cured ham and fruit salad are staples. While these are surely appreciated (food is ALWAYS appreciated), go a step further and make themed gift baskets – for chocolate lovers, wine and cheese lovers, movie addicts, etc.
- This can range from magazine subscriptions to movie rental subscriptions. Before giving out year long subscriptions, make sure that what you will be signing up for will be utilized by the recipient. Sometimes, it’s also a form of encouragement from you as their boss. There was a company executive that gave year long gym memberships for his employees at the fitness center of their building to encourage them to make their health a priority — this might be a good idea go explore. Other examples might be subscriptions to a learning class or a side hobby.
- Gift certificates. Contrary to what people usually think when you give gift certificates (that you were lazy to even think of a proper gift), as a company boss, it is extremely thoughtful to give gift certificates because you are giving them the freedom to choose what they want for themselves. Short of giving actual cash to them, these are the next best thing. Whether it is a GC for the mall, a coffee place, the spa or a hotel stay voucher — these are hands-down one of the most popular (and requested by employees too!) corporate gift ideas.