Wondering what your employees want for Christmas? We asked them.

It’s pretty obvious that most of your employees would love some extra money over the holidays. Too often though, we focus holiday gifts as bonuses, dependent on their time with your company or their performance over the year. These gifts, they are not actually gifts. They’re part of a compensation package. While we’re not suggesting that you shouldn’t give a bonus, if that’s part of your business, we are suggesting that you should give something more.

Researchers at University of Pennsylvania found that spending 10 percent of a company's revenue on capital improvements increased productivity about 4%. When companies invest that same amount in developing the employee, capital more than doubles that amount, to 8.5%. It is clear then, pushing employee happiness and loyalty will develop trust and increase capital more than just about anything you can invest in.

What, then, do you give employees to develop your relationship and build trust? We conducted an informal survey asking what people want from their employers from Christmas.


“My favorite gift was when each employee was given a unique experience. I was given tickets to the symphony. Other coworkers were sent on wine tastings, tickets to professional plays, or movie passes. Each experience also had a related gift that we could take home as well.” – Dana B.

“We were sent on a weekend retreat with our families. There wasn’t a schedule of events. It was driven by what we wanted to do ourselves. In our rooms we had gift baskets with all sorts of things from food, to wine, to personalized aprons and cutting boards.” – Jack Z.

Self Care 

“One year, my boss gave the entire office 30 minute massages in the middle of our work day. Later that day we had gift boxes with self care items like soaps, artisan beers and bottle openers with our names on them.” – Sara D. 

“Most years, our boss would give us a Christmas ham with our bonuses. Last year, he expanded it to include the fixings for an entire Christmas dinner. He also included large mahogany cutting boards that had our name on it.” – Brandon M.

An Impulsive Or Unexpected Gift 

“My favorite gift was really unexpected. We already got our bonuses and a holiday party a couple weeks before. Our managers came to us one day and let us know the next day we’d have a catered lunch for the holidays and that we’d be given the afternoon off. When we got there our CEO gave a speech and told us how much he appreciated all of our work. When we got back to our desks, we all had personalized holiday cutting boards. It was really sweet.” – Jill S.

Plan Ahead 

The key to all of these gifts, even the unexpected ones, is to remember to plan ahead. Ordering packages like this takes time and you wouldn’t want your holiday plans to be ruined with a delay in shipping or a mistake in manufacturing. If done right, your holiday gifts to your employees will be the highlight of their year and let them know you really care about their well-being.

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