The Art of Corporate Gift Giving Has Replaced the Old Holiday Party

What is your company doing for the holidays? Corporate gift giving? Are they hosting a big party? Not likely in the pandemic era. Those functions were on a downward trend anyway. Too expensive, logistically challenging, time-consuming, and potentially risky. Not only for the presence of alcohol but for putting families on the road on a Saturday night.

Improving Company Culture

Spending the extra effort to create an event that the team wants to attend can turn mandated fun into a can’t miss event. A great event can make long strides in improving workplace culture. It’s not just for the holidays anymore. Since employees and their families are busy this time of year anyway, many companies schedule team-building events pre or post-holidays.

Party Virtually

Here is a twist on business-related gift giving.

Less Accounting, a bookkeeping software company, observes a unique virtual holiday gathering. Since its employees exist across several time zones, they host a Skype conversation and encourage them to bring the adult beverage of their choice. 

Once settled in, they take turns ordering a present online for each individual based on what they know about them. The recipient is forced to mute their microphone, then watch helplessly as the others team up for a selection. It also forces them to learn more about their co-workers’ interests, inspiring a closer culture.

Give to Charity

Delta Airlines takes a charitable approach tied to Covenant House by joining Sleep Out America to raise awareness for homeless children. These dedicated employees use cardboard boxes and sleeping bags to camp out in the street for one night together. The photos make their way onto Delta promotional literature, and the company has donated more than one million dollars to the cause.

Not Just a Gift Basket Anymore

A study by Coresight Research shows spending for holiday gift-giving at $242 billion in 2021. Approximately 60 percent is gifts for clients and partners, and 40 percent for employees. 

Companies have learned over the years that choosing the right gift is important. Gone are the days of giving out a turkey, bottle of liquor, or box of candy. The same goes for a gift basket filled with items they don’t or can’t eat. 

A digital gift-giving service, GiftNow, handles corporate gift-giving for companies or their clients. It chooses items for individuals based on personal profiles and places the order, monitoring pricing and availability. It’s appropriate for businesses not so connected with their employees and more often used by large companies with large budgets.

The Personal Touch

Perhaps you’d like to give gifts to your extra special customers, not just clients?

Anything with their name on it works. Coffee mugs, drink cozies, golf tees, mousepads, you name it. Don’t spend too much, though, as the personal touch will always outweigh the costly one. Gift items from local growers go over well. You look good supporting local and for sending wholesome gifts such as cookies, jams, or little works of art.

Are you thinking more hands-on for your employees? A massage or spa treatment is always a winner. How about a personal shopper at a high-end clothing store? A fine gift for the most dedicated of employees.

On a lower, more creative level is Fancy Hands, a business that handles bothersome personal chores like making phone calls to return an item to a store with poor customer service. They will schedule a car rental for a reasonable fee, contact your HOA, or arrange for a home repair. Busy at the office? No problem. They handle data entry projects, research, phone calls, and other small tasks. You might want to check with your manager before scheduling that one.

Tell Them What You Think

Holiday cash bonuses are not the tradition they once were. Many companies have gone the way of quarterly bonuses and other perks to get away from the annual sting and pressure of the December bonus.

Whatever it is that business owners decide to give their teams or their customers for the holidays, it’s the thought that counts. Even if it’s not a high-priced item, one that involves insight and creativity can mean a lot to someone. The fact that you care, and let them know, is more likely to bring a smile to their face.

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