The best things in life are free. Remember that this holiday season as you consider what gifts to get your employees.
The holidays are fast approaching and no doubt you’re already drawing up your shopping list. Probably, it’s not just that hard-to-buy-for aunt that’s causing you some heachaches. Let’s face it, the magnitude of your appreciation for your employees and the size of your budget may not always line up.
So if money is tight but your team are a bunch of rock stars, how can you show them how much you value their hard work without splashing out on gifts or perks you can’t really afford?
Lucky for you some of the best gifts for employees not only don’t cost a dime, they are also highly likely to boost morale and productivity year round.
Permission to Be Themselves
Bringing only part of yourself to work, or covering up whole segments of your personality for the sake of “professionalism” is exhausting and leads to disengagement. A recent report from Deloitte found half of employees reported that the need to cover up who they truly are had “somewhat” to “extremely” affected their sense of commitment to the organization. So why not give your team the simple but powerful gift of loosening up and signaling that there’s no conflict between working hard and having a bit of fun?
Meaningless work is demotivating work, while the flip is also true. Knowing the impact of what you do every day makes it so much easier to push through the low periods and summon that extra bit of inspiration. So why not give your team the gift of knowing how much their work matters?
As if your personal experience wasn’t enough to convince you, HBR recently reported on the “mountain of evidence about the incidence and costs of sleeplessness.” Plenty of companies, including Google, Procter & Gamble and The Huffington Post, are taking heed of scientists and allowing employees to follow their natural rhythms and take a short snooze when their energy flags during the day. Give your team the gift of adequate sleep and bring in a pillow and sleeping bag from home and leave them on the office couch along with a sign pinned above that says ‘Go ahead.’
JESSICA STILLMAN is a freelance writer based in London with interests in unconventional career paths, generational differences, and the future of work. She has blogged for CBS MoneyWatch, GigaOM, and Brazen Careerist. @EntryLevelRebel