October 12, 2020
Identify who you’re giving gifts to. Be thoughtful about your list, being cognizant of relationships between potential recipients so that one client doesn’t receive something when another client is overlooked entirely. We’ve seen this happen many times, and it’s important to be intentional about putting together your list so that no one feels slighted. No need to go overboard here, but this is an important part of the process, and one that is often overlooked.
What someone does or doesn’t receive can send a powerful message, so make sure you are sending the right message. Make sure that clients of same size receive equivalent gifts, and that employees feel equally valued by their gift based on factors such as time with the company, specific contributions this year, etc. Many people get in the mindset of “people should be happy they receive anything, and it’s the thought that counts.” While this may be true, if that is your mentality to holiday gifting, you’re not going to maximize your ROI, and may be better off not gifting at all. We’ve heard too many stories of people feeling slighted by a $5 coffee gift card, cheap water bottle, or inedible arrangement, so just know that what you are giving is really important to people and is considered a reflection of how much you value them.
The delivery of your gift can be an important part of the decision making process. Are you planning to mail your gifts? If so, what is the packaging like? The presentation can be as impactful as the gift itself, so make sure that you have considered and budgeted for packaging to maximize the impact of your gift. If you’re planning to hand deliver gifts, that’s a great way to get some important facetime with the recipient and really ups the personalization and perceived value of the gift. Another great option is to create a holiday gifting online portal where you can provide recipients with a specific amount of “points” they can spend in the online store. Points can be awarded based on number of years (as a client or employee), annual spend, or any other number of factors you can determine to give each recipient a value that ladders up to your desired budget. The online store is a great way to provide customization and ensure everyone receives something they love, because they got to pick it!
It’s important to stay somewhere between the October-January timeline if it’s truly being given as a “holiday” or “year end” gift. If you get much past January it starts to feel like an afterthought and not very well organized. If you feel your timeline slipping for one reason or another, it’s a good idea to send out a nice note to let the recipient know that a special gift is headed their way in the coming months. Even the nicest gift can turn into an afterthought if it’s received months after the occasion, so try your best to get your gifts out by end of January, and if you can, get in front of the crowd and stand out by landing your gift between Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Giving a gift is great, but including a personalized note to the recipient is critical to maximizing the impact. Let them know how valuable they have been to you, and how much you appreciate their contributions as an employee, vendor, client, or cheerleader for your organization. Try to include specific examples to make it feel personal, and don’t be shy about tying the message to the gift itself. It’s always great to tie the gift to a fun theme or message so the recipient knows you picked that gift for a particular reason. Again, the thought you put into the gift can be as important as the gift itself, and your recipient will appreciate these personal touches.