Gifts For Employees

Sometimes I shake my head in disbelief as people share with me how thoughtless or simply dumb some employers are about giving a gift. People have worked harder this year than they have in years – and for most, there will be no Christmas bonus. So a well thought out gift will make the difference.
Recently we surveyed 3000 employees about the “best” and “worst” gifts they had ever received and why.
Here’s what NOT to do:
Effort versus reward imbalance and offensive to employees

  • “A sparkly nail file for working hard, my manager’s heart was in the right place but it was a strange ‘reward’ to receive for working my butt off”
  • “A Mars bar for the anniversary of working with the organisation. It made me feel unappreciated”
  • “Microwave popcorn and one bottle of sparkling to share amongst 10 people to celebrate major account resigning”
  • “For my five years of service – a choice of a wallet, a $5 bottle of wine, a plastic picture frame, playing cards and 2 other pieces of garbage – what an insult”


  • “A taco bell watch for 5 years of service and a letter misspelling my name”
  • “Being told at Christmas time that I should be giving my employer a Christmas present to demonstrate my gratitude for working for him”
  • “A pen that didn’t work”
  • “$5 Itunes Gift Card for Christmas”
  • “Herb sachets from a channel promotion”
  • “20c pay rise”

Not so much the reward, but the way it is delivered

  • Certificates with misspelt names
  • Sarcasm
  • Little thought
  • Obvious mistakes and generalise one size fits all approach

Standardised clutter

  • “Gold spoon – who needs that?”
  • “A magnetic trophy with paper clips – it can destroy a hard drive in seconds”
  • “A kettle – the qualification criteria was too strict just to win a kettle”
  • “A video history of the company – not personalised, again focusing on the company and not focused on you”
  • “Bath salts, don’t have a bath and they smell awful”
  • “A daggy cap, it was pretty ugly and not really my thing. I couldn’t even give it away”

No recognition/reward at all, or just completely wrong

  • “Christmas Ham – I am a known vegetarian”
  • “Box of chocolates – I am a diabetic”
  • “Tickets to footy – don’t use them”
  • “Dinner at boss’ house”

Please take a moment to think about what employees (and family and friends) really want. An authentic gift that shows true appreciation will make the new years employee engagement so much easier.
What is the worst gift you ever received from your boss (or best if you want to tell someone how great they are)?

Grow & Scale Your Business by Naomi Simson

Tell Naomi a little bit about your business by completing the questions below. (It will take less than 60 seconds)

Answering your #1 Biggest Business Challenge question tip: 

Go beyond just saying "Poor Cashflow" or "Unreliable Team". 

Instead, give Naomi details & specifics on how this is currently your #1 Biggest Business Challenge. 

I.e. "Every month I'm struggling to pay my bills on time because there just isn't consistent cash flow coming into the business. I've tried sticking to budgets in the past & pay myself less to keep some extra funds aside for emergencies, but still every month there seems to be another financial fire to be put out. I don't know what to do about it, so I'm just grinding it out."


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