What are some of the best corporate gifts to help employee engagement?
When you want to create a connection, investing in corporate gifts for your employees is a powerful way to do it. Just as with gifts for a client or other gift recipient, employee gift-giving is deeply connected to our social customs and value systems, and can often impact the recipient well beyond the giving occasion.
But delivering the best corporate gift ideas at scale can be a cumbersome process, especially in the new age of distributed teams and international business operations. How do you make a personal connection without a labor-intensive process? And how can you be sure the gift you send will give a lasting impression?
Companies are increasingly using technology to solve global gifting challenges and ensure your corporate gifts have the greatest positive impact. Using the right software, you can ensure that everyone gets a gift they love in a way that delights and surprises while reducing the busy work.
Why should you invest in corporate gifts for employees?
Everyone loves feeling appreciated and acknowledged. When a word of praise or a special acknowledgment doesn’t seem impactful enough for the occasion, we use a gift to bridge the gap and fully convey the sentiment.
Activates positive psychology: Receiving personalized gifts creates positive emotions and psychological connections for your employee. Those who receive a business gift from their employer report higher levels of satisfaction at work and, in turn, are often more productive.
Motivates desired behaviors: Using gift cards in performance programs is an excellent way to reinforce desired behaviors and achieve better outcomes for your organization. For instance, incentivizing referrals with a gift card upon a successful hire will increase the number of candidates introduced to the company. Using a corporate gift as a reward for the desired business outcome is a simple way to reward and thank employees for performing tasks and supporting programs that improve metrics.
Deepens brand connection: In addition to productivity, employees who feel valued and appreciated are generally more committed to the company and its mission. Every employee is a potential brand ambassador, sharing highlights of their experience and recommending opportunities within the company to friends and family.
Recognizes achievements: Part of the connection to a brand is the history employees share with the company. When a business recognizes major accomplishments such as years of service, advanced degree attainment, or professional milestones, with a great gift, it fosters even deeper employee engagement between employees and the organization.
Creates better team culture: Teams that enjoy corporate gifts together (such as team building days or corporate experiences) often feel more connected to each other. Cohesive teams that share a thoughtful gift such as these positive experiences work better together, communicate more effectively, and have better overall work experiences than those who don’t.
Increases career tenure: Happy employees tend to stay with companies longer. While competitive salary and benefits are important, sometimes it’s the extra perks and touch points that encourage long-time employees to continue the journey within an organization. When progress and promotions are celebrated with employee recognition and tangible rewards, it reinforces the desire to stay in this positive environment.
Improves brand reputation: Having employees sing your praises can have a positive impact on topline metrics as well as retention. In an era of hyper-connection through social media, many corporate gift ideas can translate to improved brand reputation. Consumers also gravitate toward companies that value and support employees. For example, many companies seek positions on “Best Company To Work For” lists for marketing as well as recruitment purposes.
What makes a good corporate gift
Every gift makes a statement about the giver and the employee. A meaningful corporate gift creates connection, which can be maximized by adhering to some best practices when administering your program.
When considering what employee gifts you should send in a unique corporate gifts program, be sure the options are:
Inclusive: A gift is most appreciated when it takes into account the personal preferences and attitudes of the recipient. Therefore, opt for gifts that offer the widest range of appeal for employees of all ages and stages of life. For instance, a mom of young children might not be in a position to take advantage of adventure travel, but a themed gift set, a world foods snack box, or a coffee subscription could be just the thing for everyone on your team.
Timely: The right gift at the right time makes the best impact on your employee. Your employee loyalty program should make connections during meaningful times in the employee journey to convey genuine sentiment and foster connection. This could mean the timely arrival of a gift celebrating a family milestone, a well-planned corporate experience, or a holiday gift that catches the spirit of the season.
Accessible: It can be disappointing to get a gift that creates work for the recipient. Therefore, sending an item or gift card that can be enjoyed right away will greatly improve the experience. This is why food and beverage gifts, sweet treats, themed corporate gift baskets, novelty items, and gift cards are popular options for gifting. They can be enjoyed and shared immediately.
Flexible: Unlike other types of corporate gifts, using a gift card allows you to offer employees flexibility in the rewards they choose. With a gift card platform, you can offer employees ultimate flexibility. They can even select multiple gift cards using a credit within the platform, meaning they get exactly the personalized gifts that they want - even if the rewards come from two different retailers.
Ready to boost your employee rewards program? Sign up for free demo of the Runa platform today.
A corporate gift idea for every employee experience
There are many opportunities to show your employees their value and promote employee appreciation with personalized corporate gift ideas. The Companies that have the most success using gifting as an incentive offer a diverse selection of gifts throughout the year. Some gifts may be tied to performance, others to the desired action such as referrals, and still others may simply be to recognize and celebrate their service in a more general way.
Year-end gifts: Celebrate a year of teamwork and achievement with an end-of-year appreciation gift. Year-end recognition is highly motivating to the recipient and the entire organization. They show genuine appreciation for the efforts that go into ensuring company success.
Work Anniversary: Honor another year of dedication to the company and its goals with a gift box or gift card that reflects the importance of your recipient’s contributions around their work anniversary. Service-focused gifts can be tied to significant anniversaries such as five-year ten-year and twenty-year milestone anniversaries. By using a gift card platform, you can easily offer a reward amount commensurate with the milestone, so your employee feels sufficiently recognized and appreciated.
Life milestones: Not just a birthday gift, but first homes, marriages, advanced academic degrees, and new family members are all big personal moments meant to be celebrated. Share the excitement with a perfect gift selection. Personal milestone gifts and rewards are especially useful for creating a personal connection through employee appreciation - even more so than performance-based perks or general end-of-year awards.
Show of support: Employees going through difficult times appreciate the support and encouragement of their colleagues. Show them you care with a thoughtful gift in a time of need. These types of employee gifts can have the most profound effect on the employee relationship. It’s wonderful to recognize a job well done, but recognizing individual employees through a personalized gift during a time of need fully demonstrates the organization's commitment to its members.
Outstanding work: Did your employee knock it out of the park with a new account? Celebrate their victory with a personalized corporate gift box to mark the occasion.
Performance perks: Sales and marketing teams often have compensation tied to their individual or team performance. Show extra support with a gift outside expected monetary employee incentives.
Executive gifts: Executive teams work tirelessly to maximize opportunity and drive growth. Acknowledge those efforts with great corporate gift giving that shows your appreciation.
Why gift cards make a great gift for employees
There are many advantages to administering your corporate gifting programs using a gift card platform. Gift cards have the potential for wide appeal that overcomes the challenges of serving distributed teams. It also allows for a wide variety of personalization, allowing you to forge a deeper connection with each employee. Some things every gift card offers:
Easy to administer: Choosing gift cards for your corporate gifts makes it easy to develop and launch new programs. Gift cards are stored electronically, so there’s no need to order inventory, store items, or deal with package design when constructing your gifts. Gift cards are straightforward in terms of budgeting, curation, creative latitude, and program design.
Easy to deliver: Never send another bulky swag bag again. Using a gift card platform for your corporate gifting, you can instantly deliver thousands of desirable gifts right to the inboxes (or even Slack channels) of your recipients. It makes it easy to recognize any event or milestone through gifting or creating spontaneous experiences for coworker groups without the heavy-duty logistics associated with sending physical gifts.
Great ROI: Gift card programs have comparatively low overhead to traditional gifting. With a digital gift card, there’s no need to consider shipping information, packaging, postage costs, sizes, leftover swag, or other typical friction points in the gifting process. Rather than mailing individual packages as with a gift set, you can buy cards in bulk at a discount, or curate a catalog of selections based on your recipients’ locations, interests, or demographic data retaining the impact of providing a thoughtful gift. Sending a gift card keeps more money in the budget to increase the influence of your corporate gifting programs.
Highly personalized: Sending a gift card gives your recipient the joy of getting exactly what they want. You can send a generous gift card good for anything (for instance, an American Express gift card or Visa Debit Card) or curate the experience by offering brands and options you know they’ll love.
Easy for Distributed Teams: In the changing world of work, your staff is more likely to be spread out across the globe. Gift cards make a great gift no matter where your teams and individual staff members live. A good gift card platform will offer options that benefit employees from across the globe, allowing them to find a gift that suits them perfectly on any continent.
Data-driven programs: The hidden treasure trove in any gift-giving campaign is the data that you can derive from the campaign. Sending gift cards for any purpose gives you access to a wealth of data that can be used to improve your future giving campaigns. Through a gift card platform, you can see open rates, identify gift card preferences and trends, and understand how and when your recipients are using their cards.
Balance recapture: Unlike sending physical gift cards as part of a gifting campaign, sending cards through a gifting platform allows you to tailor the use of card balances (for instance, using a time-expiring offer in a sales campaign). It also allows you to recapture any unused balance left on the card. Often, users will leave a small sum on a card unused. Spread out across thousands of cards this represents hundreds of dollars of unused budget. You can integrate those unused small sums back into your budget with balance recapture to have the maximum impact.
If you’re ready to start using corporate gifts for employees who shine bright, reach out for a free demo of the Runa platform today.