That’s it! No more Starbucks gift cards. You want to do something nice for your employees, but don’t want to look like you just stuck your hand in the drawer and pulled out the first thing you found. How about a gift that’s a little more thoughtful? Take what you know about them and give them a reward they’ll really appreciate.
We can’t know your employees better than you do (unless you use oureasy feedback surveys), but you can use these basic employee types to get the wheels turning on gifts that aren’t cookie-cutter. Unless your employee likes to bake cookies, that is.
The Young, Single Guy or Gal
Your 20 to 30 something single employees are out on the town, Tindering it up – time to help with their game:
Two tickets to the game: Men and women love watching sports – it’s a lighthearted date (assuming they’re rooting for the same team) with plenty of distraction for lapses in conversation. It’s just up to them to knock it out of the park.
Neighborhood restaurant gift card: Show a little care with your gift cards – pick one that’s actually a local place they like to help them with that expensive dating scene. It’ll show you really know them.
A nice bottle of whiskey: This isn’t for dates, but young singles sometimes enjoy kicking back at home after a long day. Give them a gift they can savor for months to come.
The Busy Parent
The best thing you can do for busy career-driven parents is to help them take a load off:
Babysitting: Getting them a babysitting service will earn you eternal gratitude from exhausted mums and pops. Don’t be taken aback if they cry while thanking you.
Doggie daycare: If there are kids in the house, there are likely to be dogs as well. If you know your employee has a pet, why not get them a free belly rub? Your employee’s leg will be thumping when they get this gift!
Home Cleaning Service: Young parents go from having a delicate newborn to a needy one year old to a greedy two year old. Before they know it, the last spring cleaning was ages ago. Turn that around with a friendly maid service and make their home livable again.
The Empty Nester
The kids are grown and this employee needs to get out of the house more often. Try these gifts:
Spa day for two: This will provide the perfect excuse to get a grown child back into an empty nester’s life for a day-long relaxation and catch up time. The kids can’t get away if they’re stuck in a mud pit, after all.
Kindle: With a lot of free time and a lot of reading to catch up on, an e-reader and some store credit will give these older employees a convenient way to relax, and potentially introduce them no more paper cuts.
Hobby gift card: If you know more about your employees than the fact that they might read a book, then a gift card isn’t the worst thing – just make sure it’s something unique to their interests. Electronics for their high end audio system, auto parts for tinkering, arts and crafts shops – whatever your empty nester wants is theirs.
A workaholic thrives on their job and on pressure. We’re not going to be like everyone else and suggest you get them a yoga class to relax, because that won’t be the gift that they want. Give them utilitarian gifts that feed their need.
Fancy Pen & Holder: They’re proud of their job and their work. They’re probably proud of their desk too. Give them a nice pen and holder that they can display for compliments because let’s face it – they aren’t leaving that desk.
Portable Battery Extender: Workaholics are always on the go, and many work from remote locations off-hours and on commutes. A portable mini-USB charger will extend their cellphone and tablet lifespan so that they can avoid the downtime that drives them insane.
Blue Light Therapy Device: Nothing is worse for a workaholic than feeling too groggy to work. These soft Light Therapy Devices use short band blue light to keep you alert, and gives a healthy mothership kind of glow.
This is just a short list of employee gift ideas. What great gifts have you given to members of your team?