So the holidays are approaching, your amazing staff has been working extra hours and you want to say thank you… but how? Here are eleven ideas for unique gifts your staff will be bragging about for years!
- Tickets to a seasonal activity: One of the best things about December is the memories made with family and friends. The great thing about this idea is you can fit the gift to each of your staff members’ personality. Have an assistant with kids? Have a limo pick up the family and take them on a tour of Christmas lights with hot cocoa. Your office manager a fan of holiday music? Give her tickets to an upcoming concert.
- Gift wrapping elf: OK, so this is one I’m dreaming about myself – apparently I’ve spent way too many years wrapping gifts late at night! Have your staff bring in the gifts they need wrapped, and put a sticky note on each one with the name of the recipient and the giver. Hire a local teenager, or college student on holiday, to come in and wrap all the gifts during the day in your break room. This is a simple way to help your staff focus their free time on what’s important.
- Mani-Pedi: Consider shutting the office down early and gifting your dental practice staff with a few hours of pampering. Take them out to a local salon for manicures and pedicures a few days before the holiday. If you want to make it extra special, have them greeted with champagne and chocolates.
- Custom cookies: The key to this one is making it custom. Be a bit sneaky and take a survey of your staff’s favorite holiday cookies. Then, arrange to have their favorite cookie recipes made and arranged into take-home platters. You’ll save your staff the time they’d spend on baking and give them a very thoughtful sweet treat.
- Holiday decorations: Arrange to have holiday lights put up – and taken down – for your staff, or have holiday decorations like Christmas trees delivered.
- 12 days of Christmas gift cards: This is a twist on the ubiquitous Starbucks card. Pick 12 local stores such as favorite lunch places, salons, boutiques, and yes, even Starbucks. Giving your staff a card each day leading up to the holidays keeps them motivated and feeling appreciated over a longer period of time.
- Family kit for kids: One of the regrets moms have after the holidays is not spending enough time on the simple family activities that build memories. So, make it easy on the moms in your office and put together items to help the family bond. Include a gingerbread house kit, a holiday game like Spot-It or trivia, and hot chocolate mix with marshmallows.
- Secret Santa stealth: So this isn’t about unique gifts, it’s about being sneaky to find out what your staff really wants! No generic coffee mugs or gift cards this year. Start a Secret Santa game in the office, where everyone buys a gift for a different person in the office. Have each staff member fill out a ‘secret Santa’ wish list with what they want for the holidays as a thought starter for the Secret Santa, then use that list to gift them what they really want!
- Get out of jail free card. If your team actually needs this, then you may have a problem. Jokes aside, give each team member a bonus vacation day in January. It’s not always possible to do this in December with end of year production, but it is a great way to gift your team some time. It’s OK to require notice before redemption and coordination among the team to ensure you’re not short staffed if multiple people want the same day off.
- Super Shopper: The last thing most people want to do after a long day at work is hit the stores in a mess of stressed-out crowds in a last minute frenzy. Help your staff out by hiring someone to fight the crowds or navigate online for them. Most retailers will let you buy online and pick up in the store, so your super shopper can find the items, your staff can purchase online, and your shopper can pick them up and bring them back. Better yet, gift your team with Amazon Prime memberships. (See the gift wrapping elf above for a total package.)
- The gift of time! Book out all appointments with made up patients so the calendar looks full, then surprise your staff with the afternoon off to catch up on their holiday errands. To sweeten the deal, give each person a bit of cash for their shopping.
Employing a few of these tips can go a long way to not only showing your appreciation, but maintaining a productive staff during a time when it’s most needed.