Yes, it’s that time of year again. And the same old question pops up for HR professionals and other key executives: “How do we appreciate our employees this year with a special gift?” Tired of the “hams” and “turkeys” most employees have grown to expect, or are you ready to venture into some new territory and give something a bit different this year?

Our company did a really creative, fun exercise during our annual company meeting we had prior to our Christmas party this past weekend. One of the employees “roasted” all of his coworkers, giving gag gifts that were personalized to fit specific situations that made all of us laugh. For example, I love rustic décor. So I have a “rustic heart theme” going on in my office. So my coworker roasted my “creativity” and auctioned off a very old, rustic picture with a photo of one of my hearts placed smack in the middle of the picture. Of course, the auction was just for fun, so nobody had to pay a penny for my new, wonderful piece of art! That picture will remain in my office forever!

Another employee who gets teased because she has a hard time with her vision was given a magnifier viser to wear during her workday! Of course, we all knew this was done in great fun so no one was offended. We all had a great time! And that’s what the Holiday Season should be all about – interacting with your employees to have a great time!

For our party, we went out to dinner and then spent a great evening at The Funny Bone. Fun was had by all and memories made that will make us an even tighter team. I would give up my free ham or turkey anytime to be “roasted” and attend the Funny Bone!!

I realize we’re a smaller company, so if you’re larger and a “roast” and The Funny Bone might not be the best option for you, check out these other suggestions at

And, Happy Holidays to all! Make it a truly special season of the year and make sure your employees know how much you appreciate them!

1. Cookie Gift Basket – Fill a gift basket with a variety of cookies. Who doesn’t like a little sugar in their workday?
2. “Sack of Spirits” – Fill paper gift bags with wine or spirits that have custom labels. You can design and buy custom labels displaying your company’s logo and slogan, and then place them on bottles of wine or spirits that you can buy in bulk. Provide a non-alcoholic option such as sparkling apple cider or juice with more exotic flavor for employees who do not drink alcohol.
3. “Off day with pay” – Mementos, accessories (bags, T-shirts, etc.) and other items is the regular stuff that everyone expects for a gift. However, one can also try out ideas like giving the employees an extra off day just before the beginning of the holidays. Such kind surprises would make the employees feel very important and appreciated.
4. Corporate holiday gift ideas: There is a new trend to present employees with gifts that are imprinted with the company logo. Such things include mugs, bags and even golf balls.
5. Chocolate – Who doesn’t appreciate a little chocolate now and then? Chocolate gifts are considered as popular items presented to employees by company management.
6. Stress Busters – What more could your employees ask for, especially in high, stressful jobs, than a couple of stress busters as Christmas corporate gifts? A CD full of relaxing music, a stress ball, some aromatherapy candles, a journal, or Christmas gift baskets full of all these products together are great choices.
7. Gift cards/vouchers/certificates – These are the best option among the numerous office Christmas gift ideas. When confused about what to give your employees, gift cards can be your safest bet. A gift card worth a small but sufficient amount can help them buy books, video games, movies, food or any other item of their choice. Knowing their preferences in advance will help you decide on the right type of gift card for them.
8. Thee good old Office or Corporate Dinner – whether it’s a complete dinner provided by the company or a potluck where everyone brings a dish to pass, these are great times to sit, relax and make sure you talk about anything but business. These are intended for fun only, as well as getting to know co-workers better. Make sure managers and executives sit with employees they manage so they can mingle and participate to create stronger relationships.
9. Cash bonus – Of course, we can’t forget about cash bonuses. This is an often preferred gift by many employees. Monetary gifts allow employees to spend the money however they please. This benefits employers who don’t know their employees well enough to give them a more personal present. Employers should accompany cash bonuses with hand-written note cards in order to personalize each gift. Even adding a “smiley face” sends a great message.
10. Photo Albums – You can give your employees a small photo album with special pictures you’ve taken throughout the year that are sure to lift their spirits – and remind them that work isn’t always about work – sometimes it’s about fun at work!

One Response to “What to do for my staff during the holidays?”

Leave a Reply

  • (will not be published)