White elephant gifts and gift certificates may be the office gift go-to, but your team and colleagues deserve a more creative gift that shows you care. This year show your appreciation to the team that does so much, through thoughtful gift giving.

The Team Gift

When teams get larger, it becomes more difficult to cover everyone on your list. Team gifts are a great way to show appreciation to the group and still make individuals feel special. The right outing is a great team gift idea that will bring your team together, as you celebrate the holidays.

One year we took our team to go see a movie Philomena, as a holiday treat. We went to an afternoon show during a work day and ended up having a private viewing with no one outside of our team attending. We chose a special theater that serves food and drinks in the theater, so it made the event more festive.

Cover the tickets and refreshments and see your team members get excited about the lost tradition of seeing movies on the big screen. Create a special invitation that looks like a movie ticket for your gift card, and pick a movie the majority of people would enjoy.

A team outing gift takes planning as you need to coordinate the activity but it can be a great way for team members to both feel the holiday spirit and your appreciation for their work.

The Right-Hand Man/Woman Gift

The right-hand man or woman may be a co-founder or another team member that is your go-to to help solve problems and put out fires. It's hard to imagine how you would survive without this person, and the holidays are a special time to share a gift to show your appreciation.

A little tongue-in-cheek, this firefighter-styled toiletry bag is a gift that highlights the important role this person plays in your life. These bags can be used for travel or to keep items around the house tidy. 

For the gift note, remind your teammate of the "fires" they put out on the daily, and how much you appreciate their friendship and support in the trenches at work. You can even fill the bag with essential items like a Swiss army knife or their favorite candy and chocolate. 

As the resident "firefighter", what a fun and functional gift that will make your teammate smile each time it's used. It's gifts like these that will earn you the title of being a Great Gift Giver. 

The Coordinator Gift

One of the most difficult gifts to give is to the office coordinator or administrator that keeps the calendar and activities of everyone in place. It is hard to imagine a gift that truly shows how thankful you are for the work done day-in and day-out.

The coordinator is no-nonsense when it comes to getting things done. A nice pair of noise-canceling headphones shows empathy and thankfulness. The need to tune out the world and go heads down at work plus a gift that can help tune into a favorite book or music on the weekend.

Make the gift extra special and include a gift certificate to iTunes to be used for a favorite meditation app, new album, or best-selling audible book.

The office administrator puts up with a lot and the holidays are a great opportunity to show that you appreciate their work and dedication.

The Advisor and Mentor Gift

The advisors and mentors in your life provide the much-needed advice and network that helps your company thrive. More than a thank you card, the right gift for an advisor stands out and creates a thoughtful way to connect.

A beautiful journal makes for a daily reminder of your thankfulness. You can make the journal special by having your company logo imprinted on the cover. If there isn't time to personalize with a logo, you can add a quote or thank you note to the front page, reminding the advisor of the important role he or she plays for your company.

Too often, our team is the last to make our holiday list and a real opportunity is missed: the holidays are a perfect time to reflect on some of the most important people that make your company special. 

Published on: Dec 6, 2018