The holidays are upon us, and each year there seems to be more and more pressure to give great, thoughtful gifts. And if you're a leader or manager in your workplace, the pressure is two-fold. Your co-workers look up to you to set an example and your gift-giving can say a lot about how you view the people around you and what type of leader you are.

If you want to be a people-first leader and want your gifts to help your people improve their experience of work, here are 7 ideal gifts to help your people outperform in 2017:

1. Leadership or career consulting.

Whether they are stuck in a job rut, hitting a wall in terms of performance, or a rising star in the workplace, anyone can benefit from a strategy session with a career consultant. These sessions can help people gain clarity around their strengths, figure out their ideal career trajectory, and game-plan actionable next steps to help them on their way to success. What better way to start 2017? Check out Muse Coach Connect to schedule a one-off session.

2. An exercise class or gym membership.

Getting regular physical exercise is linked to greater performance at work can help relieve stress and up creativity. Get your people active with a fun group exercise class or membership to the local gym. ClassPass is a great option for those with many different fitness interests.

3. The "premium" version of their favorite online tool.

Maybe your coworker is a power-networker, or a total whiz at organization and project management. Help them amplify those talents in the New Year by gifting them the "pro" version of their most-used systems--like LinkedIn Premium or Evernote Plus.

4. A virtual assistant.

The fastest way to lose a great employee? Letting them get bogged down by nitty gritty tasks that pull them away from work they really love. Help your employees hire virtual assistants so they can delegate tasks that are just not in their zones of genius. Check out eaHELP and Fancy Hands.

5. A charitable donation to a cause they care about.

We are instantly more productive and engaged in our work when we are able to relate our work, and the company's mission, to our own personal purpose and mission in life. Help your people reconnect with their purposes by taking time to show that your company cares about the community and the world. Check out Charity Navigator for help deciding how to make an impact.

6. Their favorite office supplies.

Maybe your sales associate has a favorite type of pen, or your marketing director loves planning on the giant dry erase board. Show your employees that you notice how they work and care that they are comfortable at the office by stocking up on all their favorite supplies. Staples and Amazon.com should have everything you're looking for.

7. An unforgettable group experience

They say experiences are better than things, and in the workplace, fun group activities can make a huge impact on how your team works together and performs throughout the year. Gather your people together and go do something that is totally different and unrelated to your industry. Take a pottery class together, go shuffleboarding, or book out the conference room for dance lessons. These experiences will foster group connection and spur creativity. Check out Soul Camp or CorporateTeams to create your own experience.

Published on: Dec 9, 2016