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Rewarding staff at Christmas - a guide to festive gifting

The season of goodwill is the perfect time to thank colleagues for their work this year. We’ve teamed up with our friends at employee gifting platform Huggg to share some handy tips if you’re planning to send staff festive gifts this Christmas.

Much more than a gesture: why is employee gifting so important?

As Christmas is traditionally a time for the giving and receiving of gifts, it’s an easy and obvious chance to show your staff you appreciate what they do. So if you don’t already have an established employee reward or gifting programme, now is a great time to start.

Currently, record levels of employees are dissatisfied with their work and looking for new opportunities where their efforts will be appreciated and rewarded. Others are ‘quiet quitting’, content to do the bare minimum because they don’t feel valued.

In our recent Appreciation Matters report on employee recognition, we found that more than two in five staff have previously left a job because of a lack of appreciation.

Huggg’s own research suggests that a robust gifting strategy can play a vital role in delivering a great employee experience and closing the ‘Recognition Gap’. A survey conducted for Huggg by YouGov found that, amongst gift-sending workplace cultures, people are:

  • Three times more likely to report that they feel motivated in their role
  • Twice as likely to report a strong connection with colleagues
  • Twice as willing to go above and beyond in their role

Organisations can improve their staff turnover by 40% and increase productivity by 21% by improving their employee experience, causing leaders in employee experience to have 25% more profits and 25% more scale than their counterparts.

antenna-ZDN-G1xBWHY-unsplashHuggg’s top Christmas gifting tips

Here are some important things to bear in mind when sending gifts this festive season:

Thinking of sending gift cards? Consider sending a Gift with a Choice instead

They’re a more thoughtful and memorable way to say ‘thanks’, and are more likely to be used as they’re instantly redeemable, whereas many gift cards get forgotten about - wasting billions!

For example, rather than "here's £10 to spend at Amazon", you could give that foodie colleague a gastronomy Gift with a Choice that shows thought while also letting them pick the option they like best.

Try to avoid company-branded items

These have their place, but can be seen more as a marketing ploy if used during the festive season.

Don’t risk offending people that can’t drink or eat certain foods

If you don’t know everyone’s preferences, opt to send things that can be enjoyed by all to ensure everyone gets something they like.

Sona's bonus tip: personalise

Words of appreciation are just as important to employees as tangible rewards. 90% of care staff say more recognition would make them feel happier at work.

So add a card to the gift with a personalised note of thanks if you can - it really does make a difference.

the-retro-store-c2ULvZriVNY-unsplashOur favourite gift ideas for under £20

The cliché is true - it really is the thought that counts. Scientific studies have shown that receiving a compliment causes similar regions of the brain to light up as would happen if receiving a present.

Christmas gifts don't have to break the bank to be meaningful and well-received. Here are some gift options for smaller budgets:

Self-care gifts

It's often easy to forget to look after ourselves while we try to meet our personal and professional responsibilities to others. The onset of winter only adds to the challenge.

Give staff that extra incentive to take some 'me time' with a self-care gift like a cleansing face mask, a destress candle, or even a nice journal. Holland and Barrett has some good low-cost options

Shareable treats

If it's not possible or practical to buy individual gifts, then sweet treats are a guaranteed crowd-pleaser. We love Krispy Kreme's Christmassy doughnuts. 

An easy home-cooked meal

Home meal kits are a great alternative to restaurant vouchers and often offer better value. Plus, when the weather's bad what can be better than a delicious dinner at home with a classic Christmas film?

One great option is home-delivered artisan pasta courtesy of Pasta Evangelists, starting at just £7 per portion.

Secret Santa

Finally, if you're taking part in a Secret Santa this year we highly recommend you check out Huggg's handy guide here.

Looking for more inspiration for spreading appreciation in your workplace? Download Appreciation Matters - our new report on employee recognition.

The festive season is a great time to get started with employee gifting, so Huggg are giving Sona customers and subscribers a free upgrade to their Pro Plan until the end of February (with no pesky auto renewal). Click here to learn more.