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Thank Employees During the Holidays with These Unconventional Ideas

Posted, by Deborah Merkin
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As we start the 4th quarter of 2018 and look ahead to 2019, it's time to start buying gifts, incentives, and rewards for the holiday season. But what do you get your employees that will make a lasting impact?

Cash isn't king in the world of incentives and rewards. While bonuses can be expected this time of year, research shows that non-cash rewards excel when it comes to employee satisfaction and memorability in the long run. 

So what non-cash options are there? Take a look at these three holiday gift ideas for employees that go beyond status quo.

1. Stress Relief

Let's face it, the holidays are stressful. With family gatherings, shopping at department stores, and getting everything in order before taking time off, we all feel a little more on edge even with all the fancy lights and songs on the radio. 

According to a recent Deloitte study, 91% of American workers already have an unmanageable amount of stress at work, and the holiday season might not help. Job frustration impairs work, work piles up, and we might be worrying about what doesn't get done while we're on vacation.

The solution? Bring in a 15-minute masseuse during the lunch hours (or the whole day) to help employees relax. If it's something your employees enjoy, consider having it periodically throughout the year when you know a high-stress time is coming up.

2. Time-Off or Flexible Work Hours

Beyond providing PTO and personal/sick time, providing flexibility, especially around the holidays, can be crucial to showing appreciation to employees. Allowing working from home, early starts for early afternoons, etc. can make a huge difference for employees to work when they can and take time for their families when they need to.

This alleviates the pressures of work/life balance employees often face. As long as an employee can be functional in their role from anywhere and they are getting their work done, why not give them the flexibility they need? It may be the difference between a high retention rate and a high turnover in 2019.

3. Gift Cards

Maybe you want to leave the choice up to your employee about how and when to use their gift. Cash is seen as the ultimate choice, but it's easy to forget where that money came from and why you got it.

There are all kinds of gift cards out there, but if you're going with creating a memorable experience, you can choose gift cards from just about any brand these days and tailor it to what you think your employees will like.

When you go the extra mile with your gifts, you're setting yourself up to make a lasting impression with your employees. Have a gift idea we didn't mention? Share it with us in the comments below!

Topics: Employee Recognition, Employee Appreciation, Employee Engagement, Corporate Gifts, Employee Incentives & Rewards

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