At Monte & Coe, we’ve had the pleasure of working with great companies like Salesforce, Rogers Communications, Audi among many others, on their corporate gifting initiatives.
What makes these companies so great? Their strong work culture and capability to show appreciation to their foundation - their employees and clients.
Showing recognition and appreciation is important, and benefits both the recipient and the company as a whole. Today, we're going to be talking about employee appreciation and corporate gifting best practices.
What is employee Appreciation
The term itself is self-explanatory... it's the literal act of showing your employees appreciation.
Appreciation can be shown in many ways. It can be as simple as saying thank you, it can be rewarding employees with new opportunities, constructive criticism, leadership, support, guidance, or it can be a tangible gift.
The ability to show appreciation is a characteristic of effective leadership. Leadership styles and techniques differ, and as a result, the definition of leadership varies. Overall, however, it can be determined that leadership is the process of influencing others to maximize their efforts in achieving a common goal.
With national employee appreciation day coming up on March 5th, there’s even more reason to show your employees you care.
Benefits of Showing Appreciation
Showing appreciation to employees isn’t just a nice thing to do, it's an investment on the growth and prosperity of your company. The return on investment? Think increased productivity and motivation among employees, talent retention and acquisition, and improved work culture.
It’s the secret weapon to reducing employee turnover and creating a work environment that helps employees reach their highest potential.
Boosts motivation, productivity, and performance
Recognition makes your people feel good and it lets people know that they're on the right track and that their time and efforts are valued.
Hard work shouldn’t go unnoticed, and acknowledging top performance increases employees' motivation to continue working hard.
According to Ragan’s Workplace Wellness study, 40% of employees who reported being under-recognized would not go above their formal responsibilities.
Showing appreciation for hard workers will also inspire others in the company to put in their best effort so that they could also receive the same admiration and opportunities, creating an internal culture where work ethic and performance are the focus.
Recognizing employees will motivate and increase quality productivity while also encouraging the growth of the company as a whole.
Increase employee engagement
Rewarding employees excelling in performance lets them know that they are on the right track. Recognition and rewards feel good, and due to this, employees will strive to repeat those feelings - it's simply human nature.
Showing appreciation to employees while rewarding those who are performing well, will increase engagement and loyalty to the company.
Conversely, lack of employee satisfaction can be correlated to the lack of appreciation and acknowledgement of employees.
Employers need to go outside monetary and financial motivators to create a culture and environment that garners engagement and one way to increase it, is by creating a positive work environment, which in turn makes jobs enjoyable.
In everyday life, and especially in the workplace, we all put more effort into things that we’re invested in and genuinely enjoy.
Talent retention and acquisition
The positive workplace and work culture built from acknowledging and appreciating employees will help keep talent within the company while attracting high-quality future talent.
A study by CareerBuilder shows that 50% of past employees would have continued working had they been recognized and appreciated.
Loyalty can be built from meaningful connections. While keeping current employees loyal, a positive work culture will also attract the best new employees.
Employee appreciation is important to maintain your company’s long-term success, by employing the right people and keeping talent out of competitors' hands.
Creative ways to show employee appreciation
As mentioned previously, showing appreciation can take many forms. No matter how simple or grand, it's always the thought that counts.
Sincerity and personalization are the best steps to ensure that your appreciation is properly received.
Here are some simple yet meaningful ways to show employee appreciation:
Verbal and/or written forms of sharing appreciation
Thank you or good job - mundane sayings that we too often take for granted and don't say enough. In its simplest form, a verbal or written sign of appreciation packs a lot more impact than one would imagine.
Mentorship and opportunities
Taking the time to further guide your employees will show that you recognize their time and effort, and want to help them reach their fullest potential.
Rewarding employees with new opportunities to grow within the company will show them that they are on the right track and their hard work isn’t going unnoticed.
Celebrating birthdays, holidays, and big events
Not only is it fun, taking the time to have a bit of a celebration helps build meaningful relationships and a healthy company culture.
Considering timeliness is also important. Recognition shouldn’t come out of the blue nor should it come right before their annual performance review.
While including special occasions, employee recognition should also be given on a regular basis to boost motivation and performance.
A quality corporate gift to show employee appreciation builds emotional and memorable connections.
Small or big, gifts can be any size. A thoughtful gift can say more than a thousand words.
Combine it with a note/card and a special occasion, and it will surely make the greatest impression.
Common Corporate Gifting Mistakes
What makes a bad corporate gift versus a good one?
We all remember the bad ones, the box of chocolates or fruit cake that goes stale on your kitchen counter; the logo centric items; and so on.
The not so memorable items fall somewhere in between good and bad. They're likely gifts that you didn't quite need, love, or hate. The not so bad items might be sitting on the top your shelf collecting dust.
The good ones? Those are the gifts that when you take out, you feel a wave of positive memories wash over you. The gifts that leave one talking about the thoughtfulness of team leader and company at large, to their friends and family.
Is there a secret code to good corporate gifting? Not really, but here are a few essential tips to keep in mind:
Corporate gifts should be practical but never boring
The gift should be something that the recipient will actually use. It could be something as simple as elevated stationary that they would use on a daily basis, or something more personalized to their tastes and interests.
If your client or employee is interested in food or drink, treat them to a meal at a nice restaurant. If they're frequent flyers, gift something that they can use to make their trips easier like a passport holder.
Practicality and personalization walk hand in hand
If you aim the gift towards the recipients personal interests outside of the workspace, it's likely that they’ll get more use and enjoyment out of it.
If you're not as acquainted with them and are unsure of their hobbies and interests, personalization can be as simple as adding their initials to an elevated gift.
A personalized and handwritten letter or note attached to the gift makes it all the more impactful. Sometimes the simplest things have the largest effect.
Don’t overdo the marketing or branding
As our Co-Founder Andrew Coelho puts it, we wouldn’t give our friends and family a gift that was covered in our own initials, and we should approach corporate gifts with the same thinking.
The gift shouldn’t be about marketing your own company, but it should be approached solely with the recipient in mind.
If you want to include the company logo as a part of the gift, use gift wrapping or the card as an opportunity, or make it subtle, so that person who receives the gift is still very proud to use that item.
Corporate Gift Guide: Gifts to make a lasting impression
Still unsure about what to get for your employees or clients to show your appreciation? We’ve rounded up some foolproof gift ideas that will surely make a positive and memorable impression.
Gifts for The It Person in I.T.
Everyone’s go to when there's technical difficulties. The true team player in the office, what would we do without them? Think gifts that will make their daily lives, in and out of the office, that much easier.
Something for the Jet Setting Stellar Seller
Gifts to help the office charmer be ready for any situation, from networking with international clients, daily office commutes, to weekly boardroom pitches. An engravable watch keeps things practical and personal. Not sure how the fun socks come into play? They’re the perfect final touch to any outfit and a great conversation starter. Does “Hey. Cool socks!” ring any bells?
Impress the Discerning Exec
Make a memorable connection with luxury gifts they’ll use everyday. And when they're drinking their daily brew, they’ll be thinking of you!