Gift Giving at Work: A Little Thoughtfulness Can Go a Long Way

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Dec 17, 2014
This article is part of a series called Classic TLNT.

Editor’s Note: The holiday season is here, and TLNT is again getting into the spirit with some classic past holiday posts. Look for them until Christmas Eve.

We’re all familiar with the old adage that tells us it’s the thought that counts during the gift-giving season, and that certainly holds true for reward and recognition programs.

However, we can get sidetracked during the holiday season thinking about the rewards that are coming to us, which is presumably how that old adage got started in the first place.

No matter how you intend to reward your employees over the holiday season, putting a little thought into it can go a long way.

Gift-giving dos and don’ts

In other words, don’t bulk-print your standard holiday card and distribute them to your team like leaflets. Take the time to write a personal message to each employee that singles out some accomplishments in the previous year.

The mere fact that you thought of doing that will make a plain old holiday card from your boss something special.

The same is true with gifts. Make sure they each relate to the individual employee in a meaningful way.

Don’t buy everyone the same gift and call it good. Everyone has different backgrounds and there may also be generational differences, so keep those in mind and get them something that speaks to them.

The act of being thoughtful dramatically improves manager-to-employee relations and employee engagement, it’s easy, and it’s cheap — cheap as in it costs nothing extra — so the real question is, why not?

The thoughtfulness factor

Thoughtfulness doesn’t have to be limited to gifts and cards, either.

The holiday season is when workers are strained the most, whether by the crazy sales season or the year-end push to close out business. Managers should be personal with every employee interaction, taking the time to make sure they understand how appreciated they are for everything they do, and that new employees are properly welcomed to their work family.

At the end of the day the gift itself is nice and all, but people want to know that they’ve been worried over, and they want that dose of personal interaction that fulfills them in a way material possessions never could.

Genuine personal connections make people feel human, accepted, and loved, and at no other time is that sentiment truer than during the holidays.

This was originally published on the Michael C. Fina blog.

This article is part of a series called Classic TLNT.