HR Managers' Secret (Santa) Weapon

young woman in yellow sweater looking sadly into an open holiday gift box
By Hani Goldstein

2 minutes

Survey reveals what employees really want from their employers this holiday season.

Holiday workplace gifting can be stressful! Hopefully, you have already purchased thoughtful gifts to show your credit union staff how important they are. But if you are a last minute shopper, a recent corporate gifting survey by Snappy is here to help, at least by listing items NOT to buy. 

The survey found that employers aren’t always rising to the holiday challenge: 40 percent of employees surveyed admitted they have either re-gifted or thrown out a corporate gift. This highlights a problem greater than wasted money and effort—your gifts aren’t representing your organization’s appreciation for its employees. 

Retaining top talent requires recognition and personalization. In fact, 81 percent of employees believe that a personalized note or gift from a supervisor strengthens their commitment to the company, and 44 percent of those surveyed feel that their value at the organization is reflected in the gifts received.

Gifts with little to no personal significance to the employee are interpreted negatively, regardless of positive intentions. Respondents to the survey provided examples of the worst gifts employers ever gave them. Here are some highlights:

  • “Cabela’s gift card when I've never indicated an interest and there's no Cabela’s within 50 miles.” 
  • “A wine cork—I’m in recovery.”
  • “A wooden plaque with my name misspelled for outstanding customer service.”

If you’re eager for more cringe-worthy gift ideas, Snappy has compiled a list of the worst holiday gifts people have actually gotten from their employers. Here are the top 10:

  1. Shell necklace
  2. Potato
  3. Stale candy in a used mug
  4. Mason jar lid
  5. Plastic wall phone (after cell phones were a thing)
  6. Gas station wine
  7. Foot lotion
  8. Rubber duck
  9. Lottery tickets 
  10. Squatty Potty

At the other end of the spectrum are the top 10 most extravagant gifts some employees will be getting this year (all available on the Snappy platform): 

  1. 3-D printer
  2. 4 person sauna 
  3. Kegerator 
  4. Gucci/Tumi backpacks
  5. Underwater scooter
  6. Caribbean cruise for two
  7. Helicopter skiing 
  8. Race a Ferrari
  9. Inflatable hot tub  
  10. Club Med Sandpiper Bay getaway

Almost unanimously, 96 percent of respondents to the Snappy survey agree that recognition in the workplace leads to a stronger workplace culture. So, next time you’re getting ready to celebrate your credit union’s staff, skip the convenience store and gag gifts—try an online gift service like Snappy. cues icon

Hani Goldstein is CEO and co-founder of Snappy, New York City-based company revolutionizing corporate gifting. Snappy provides a fun and engaging platform that lets your team choose how they want to be recognized. Make your employees feel appreciated with a gift they actually want.

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