HR Management & Compliance

Holiday Gifts and Employee Retention

Gift-giving around the holiday season is a time-honored tradition, albeit one that typically centers on gifts exchanged between family and friends. But gifts are also exchanged as part of more professional relationships; many companies give holiday gifts to employees as a token of appreciation.

Of course, these gifts, purchased in bulk and often necessarily low cost, may not make employees’ faces light up like little children on Christmas morning. So, it’s fair to ask: “Is it worth giving out employee gifts at all?”

Data suggests the answer is yes.

Companies Can Reap Rewards from Gift-Giving

According to one survey, 81% of employee respondents said they felt appreciated when they received gifts from employers. But, not all gifts are created equal.

That same survey found that only 26% of employees prefer company-branded gifts, while 88% prefer gift cards. Fifty-one percent of respondents said that gifts that were “very memorable” made them feel more connected to their employers.

Selecting Gifts That Will Be Memorable

Of course, it’s not easy to pick gifts that are memorable or feel personalized for an entire workforce. It can be helpful to include managers in the gift-selection process, as well as to encourage the HR department to have an ear to the ground for popular trends among staff or items of local interest, such as a gift certificate to a popular new restaurant or local attraction.

Employers might think that giving relatively impersonal, low-cost gifts to an entire workforce is a wasted gesture. Indeed, some employees might roll their eyes at getting swag plastered with the company logo.

In general, however, the simple act of giving something can make a huge difference in employee morale, which translates to engagement and retention. Of course, as with any other relationship, there’s always ample opportunity to raise the bar with employee gift-giving and go the extra mile to find gifts that are memorable and relevant to staff members.