Studies show that in 2016, 44% of companies rewarded their employees with gifts or cash during the holidays. Whether or not all your employees celebrate the holidays, it's traditional to reward your loyal employees for a job well done at the end of the year. However, cold hard cash isn't the only option, and while this may be most preferred by employees, cash and a little something extra has the ability to benefits employees as well as your brand if done right.

Below are five holiday gifts that will benefit your employees and your brand:


People will work harder if they know they're getting more than a paycheck out of their hard work. In fact, a past study found that over 50% of employees said recognition would improve employee engagement. So why not improve your brand by recognizing employees and providing them with a holiday gift? 

Motivate your employees by offering an incentive. For example, if employees reach a sales milestone, offer a financial incentive or betterment bonus at the end of the year as an extra to their holiday gift. Make the milestones achievable so everyone can join in on the fun. 

A few other incentives (gifts) you can provide to your employees this holiday season include:

  • Preloaded gift cards 
  • Travel vouchers 
  • An added bonus to their paycheck

These types of gifts will boost morale and leave a good taste in their mouth for the upcoming year. 

2. Flexible Working Hours and Locations 

Who wouldn't love a little extra time off during the holiday season? Stress levels are high during this time of year, and taking a little stress off your employees' mind will help them more than you realize. Instead of a gift that they won't remember next year, why not offer them flexible work time? Here are some ways you can implement this tactic without burdening your brand:

  • Offer employees the option to start work early in order to leave early prior to the holidays.
  • Allow employees to work from home during a holiday week.
  • Provide longer lunch periods so employees can get some holiday shopping done.
  • This type of gift allows your employees to not only feel appreciated but give them the time they need to unwind and become more productive at work. 

3. Brand Gifts They'll Actually Use 

Is promoting your brand in the form of a gift tacky? Not necessarily. Chances are, your employees might be expecting a branded gift; however they're probably not expecting a gift with your brand logo on it that they'll actually love. 

Here are some ways you can incorporate your brand logo in a gift your employees will actually find useful:

  • Customized laptop sleeves or bags. Adorn them with your brand's logo as well as your employee's name.
  • Brand fleece or long sleeve t-shirts. Keep your employees warm and add to their wardrobe.
  • Customized Bluetooth speaker. Who doesn't love music? This gift not only allows you to customize the speaker with your logo, it's also a one-size fit all gift that all employees will love! 

4. Give the Gift of Festivities 

Tons of companies offer holiday parties for their employees. Have you noticed yours has become rather stale lately? Switch things up and host a holiday party your employees won't forget. Here are some ways you can update the stagnant holiday party this year:

  • Host a beer brewing class at a local brewery, or host a wine tasting party at a local winery. You'll show your employees your appreciation while simultaneously making connections with other local companies. 
  • Have a small business? Why not invite all your employees over to your home for dinner and drinks? 
  • Take your employees out for a night on the town. Let them bring a guest and provide them a nice meal and a drink on you. 
  • Take them to the casino or the horse races. Provide each employee with an allotted amount of money and let them go crazy betting. This is a great way to get everyone in the office together to have fun and let loose a little bit. 

5. Healthy Gifts 

New year, new me. We've all heard the mantra. In fact, one of the most popular New Year's resolutions is losing weight or getting healthier. And as an employer, healthier employees mean better workers for you. Why not give them the gift of health? Sometimes the only thing holding people back from becoming healthier is the money it costs for a fitness class or a gym membership. 

Here are some of the ways you can give the gift of health this year:

  • A Fitbit for every employee. This will depend on your budget, but if you've got it, this makes a great gift that everyone will love. Plus, a Fitbit is an easy way for employees to start their new year off right. 
  • A gym membership. You don't have to pay for the whole year, but a month or two at a local gym will help jump start the health of your employees. 
  • A gift certificate for a local fitness class. Let them choose which one they're interested in. 

Don't Forget to Say Thank You 

A gift is great and lets your employees know you appreciate their hard work and dedication to your brand. But don't forget what I said above-;employees want recognition. They want to know they're appreciated. A gift shows that, but make sure you're taking time out of your busy schedule to personally thank each employee. A simple stop by their desk or a handwritten note goes a long way. 

This simple act of appreciation not only shows gratitude, it improves employee morale and your bottom line. Don't let great workers leave your company-;make it a point to show how appreciative you are of your employees not only during the holidays but all year long.