There’s a time and a place for a branded company t-shirt, and it’s not in your gifting strategy or employee recognition program. Same with the funky, colourful branded socks, and the leftover branded water bottles from last year’s company conference. This stuff has all had it’s time, and yes – some employees will need branded shirts from time to time – but swag has no place getting delivered to your employees under the guise of a gift.
Employees don’t want it. Full stop. It actually does more harm when you send things that your team doesn’t want. It makes people feel like they’re a number, it feels disingenuous, it screams environmental nightmare, and leaves people wishing that you’d have just written them a cheque for the equivalent amount.
Here are some steps to design a gifting strategy that works:
- Assign internal champions
- Define 2-5 employee profile types
- Establish a budget per person
- Define your ‘why’ with the gift
- Develop a timeline
- Establish partners and seek wholesale vendors
- Don’t hesitate to outsource
Above all, remember that a gift is meant to express gratitude, to celebrate, or to commemorate, so putting time into the thought, the timing, and the ‘surprise and delight’ factors will all go a long way.
It feels good to give thanks.