U.S-based companies have historically been global leaders in employee engagement—however, Gallup’s new reports show a mere 19% of employees are satisfied with their company as a place to work in the U.S. Employee engagement in the 2020’s has fallen short of expectations, and that’s why showing employees you care about what’s going on in their lives has never mattered more.
19% of employees are satisfied with their company as a place to work in the U.S.
Rewarding and recognizing employees lets them know they’re valued and appreciated by a company for their dedication, both in and out of the office. Not only does this boost employee satisfaction, but from an employer or people ops standpoint, it boosts retention and productivity. Employees are more likely to work hard when they feel valued as a person; meaningful gifts and experiences are among the best ways to show employees you care. In the context of boosting team morale, don't overlook the impact of thoughtful team gift ideas. These creative and meaningful presents can strengthen team bonds and show your appreciation for your colleagues. There’s no better time than the beginning of a new year for HR teams to introduce offline programs that celebrate how people contribute to your organization.
Milestones and corporate gifting occasions throughout the year
Throughout the year, there are plenty of common milestones that are personally significant and deserved to be celebrated. Important life events are a great opportunity to show support for employees with meaningful gifts that convey appreciation. For example, getting acquired, buying a new home, switching roles, and getting married are all professional and personal milestones that serve as opportunities for HR teams to build more authentic connections with team members.
Here are some of the most common life milestones (as well as employee gift ideas) you may want to keep in mind the next time you’re building an employee appreciation program or browsing an Offline Engagement Platform.
Birthdays are inevitably a happy and important day for everyone. When employers offer a birthday gift, it shows people that their special day is acknowledged. Because birthdays represent another year around the sun, birthday gifts can also be a way to say thank you to employees for their hard work over the past year.
Sweet treats are always well-received items around birthdays. The Birthday Cake Cookie from Wunderkeks is a colorful and tasty way to celebrate. If you’re looking to add more of a personal touch to your gift, check out the Birthday Chocolate Bars by Sweeter Cards. These chocolate bars are one-of-a-kind, combining a card and a chocolate bar all in one. A personalized birthday note and a treat is a gift offering that will resonate with all employees.
If you have an employee who doesn’t like sweets, you may consider a Birthday Charcuterie Board from Boarderie. These charcuterie boards commonly include cheese, crackers, meats, and more, along with cutlery and a serving board. This is one of the great luxury gifts for employees and is an alternative way to celebrate when someone isn’t interested in sweeter items.
Having a baby
Having a baby is a major life event and a time when families may need more support than usual from their employer. The best employee gift ideas for those who are expecting include items that can help them relax and prepare for a newborn. Nurtured 9 is a great brand to explore unique items for employee gifting. They offer boxes including various self-care and pregnancy items like robes, a pregnancy journal, and morning sickness sweets to help calm early side effects of pregnancy.
Teak and Twine also has a box designed for parents-to-be, centered more around edible items. The New Parent box includes gummies, cookies, and tea, along with a coconut bath soak and mug. Baby Boxy is another brand that offers gifts for expectant parents and has more affordable options as well. Most of Baby Boxy’s offerings include baby clothes, toys, or other items like teethers. They also offer adorable mommy and me matching clothes sets, which can be a cute gift for expecting mothers.
Arguably one of the most important professional milestones to recognize is when an employee gets a promotion. This is an important corporate gifting occasion to celebrate an employees' career progress and success within an organization. Promotions are also a great way to directly showcase an individual in front of the rest of the organization (during weekly meetings or company all-hands) that their contributions are appreciated.
A Sparkling Gold Etched Shimmer Sparkling Brut by OneHope is a gift guaranteed to set the tone for celebrating a promotion. This gold sparkling wine bottle comes with a personalized, etched message of congratulations along with some wine to celebrate. Minny and Paul’s New Beginnings Gift is another way for employers to congratulate people for a promotion. This box includes useful self-care and office supplies like a nice journal, a candle, sticky notes, and coffee.
Another gift box worth highlighting is The Cheers by Teak and Twine. This box has a great black and gold celebration aesthetic. It includes items like ‘Pop the Champagne’ popcorn, champagne bears, sparkling white tea, and even a sparkler for the celebration. While promotions are a great opportunity to gift someone, retirement is also another opportunity. If you are looking for retirement gifts for coworkers discover our blog post on the topic to get inspired.
Planning for seasonal events
Another popular corporate gifting occasion is offering seasonal business gifts. It’s helpful for companies to have a yearly corporate gifting plan that aligns with key dates to anticipate and arrange employee appreciation campaigns.
The specific items you’ll offer will vary year-round, yet there are a few seasonal occasions when you may want to give items to employees as a ‘Thank You’ for their dedication. The holidays are the obvious season of giving, and New Year’s is another popular time of year to distribute employee appreciation gifts. Discover more year end gifts for employees in our blog article.
Common holidays for employers to offer corporate gifts to employees include:
Employee Appreciation Day
Administrative Professionals' Day
Chinese New Year
Independence Day (in some countries)
It's worth noting that these holidays may vary by country and culture, and that some employers may choose to give gifts on other occasions, such as during company milestones or to mark the end of a successful project.
Employee engagement during holidays is important for several reasons:
Recognition and appreciation: Holidays provide an opportunity for employers to acknowledge and appreciate the hard work and contributions of their employees. This can help boost employee morale and motivation.
Building camaraderie: Holidays are also a time for employees to come together and bond as a team. This can help build stronger relationships and a more cohesive work culture. Explore our virtual events designed to bring remote teams together.
Boosting employee retention: When employees feel valued and appreciated, they are more likely to be satisfied with their job and stay with the company longer.
Improving company image: Giving gifts and acknowledging holidays can also help improve the company's reputation, both among employees and in the broader community.
Demonstrating cultural sensitivity: Giving gifts during holidays that are important to certain cultures can help show that the employer values and respects diversity among employees.
Showing that your company cares about the well being of employees creates a positive and festive work environment. It's worth noting that gifts don't always have to be materialistic, it could simply be a day off, or a team building activity. Ultimately, corporate holiday gifts can help create a positive workplace and are a proven way to improve employee engagement.
Delivering thoughtful moments during times of sickness
In addition to holidays and life milestones, there are a few other times when it may be appropriate to send custom corporate gifts. One such instance is when employees get sick or are dealing with significant health problems. In these cases, a get-well-soon gift can make a huge impact. Spoonful of Comfort offers a variety of Get Well Soon packages, many including self-care or comfort items, like blankets, fuzzy socks, soup, and bread rolls. Spoonful of Comfort is also a good brand to look to for sympathy or ‘thinking of you’ gifts.
The Tea Break by Tasty Ribbon is another gift set that can be soothing to someone who is sick. This set includes herbal tea and organic honey, good for the body and mind. Employee care packages like these send a clear message to employees that their work family is there to support them during difficult times. Gifts like these also show employees that your company cares about them, beyond their capabilities and work performance.
Healthy mind = healthy work life: employee self-care gift ideas
Another way to show employees you care is to send self-care packages. The Positivity Box by Loved and Found is a unique package that encourage self-care and includes a glass water bottle, wellness journal, soaking salts, and more.
If you’re looking for a more personalized item, you may consider the SLO CAL Mini Box by BePresent. This box includes a handwritten note in each box, along with a candle, lip balm, and clay plant hanger. You may also choose to gift employee swag to give employees useful items to improve productivity and as a way to represent the brand.
When it comes to appreciating your employees, don't forget to consider welcome back gifts. These thoughtful tokens of appreciation can make your team members feel valued and motivated. Gifts like these are an important part of taking care of your employees on a personal level so they are at their best and feel valued.
Employee gifting is an important part of showing team members they’re appreciated and building a strong team culture. Postal can help you plan and execute your employee gifting campaigns throughout the year. Learn more about our platform and request a demo to get started today.
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Rich is a B2B marketing enthusiast with a passion for storytelling through relatable content and memorable experiences. Rich was one of the first founding team members of Postal when he started as an intern in 2019 and now holds the Content Marketing Manager role.