What is a cash-strapped startup to do when the holidays roll around? It's traditional to give the employees something in December (although, the employees should not get something for the boss, so don't expect it). So, what to buy?
You can, of course, follow this helpful list collected from actual humans who have enjoyed gifts from their bosses. (Tl;dr: Food and cash top the list.) But, if you want to make your employees love you, and strongly consider spending the rest of their lives working for you, here's the key to holiday present success: Allow them to ship packages to the office.
Yep. It's that simple.
Now, this isn't a practical suggestion if you're at a huge site with 10,000 employees. Your mail room people would quit or you'd have to hire a bunch of temps to deal with the holiday boxes, but for a startup with 20 people, it's perfect. Not convinced? Think about these things.
Everyone is shopping on the internet these days.
45 percent of people buy at least some of their gifts online, spending $79.4 billion. That is a lot of shopping. We'll set aside the question of whether or not they're shopping at the office (they are), and just point out the obvious: UPS is busy. Your employees are buying their gifts online and they have to be shipped somewhere.
Porch pirates are a real thing.
Ever worried about that package getting stolen off your front porch? It happens. It happens a lot. Now, you can do things to prevent package theft-require a signature, or have it delivered to pick up location. But, then, your employees have to take the time to work at home to sign for the package, or take the time to go to a package drop facility. Wouldn't it be awesome if, instead of having concerns, the packages just arrived at the office?
Gone are the days of the stay at home spouse.
I work from home, so ordering from the internet is easy-peasy, and we do so with abandon. But not every couple has someone available to answer the door at any given moment. (And, let's be honest, the UPS guy shows up the second you get in the shower or run to the grocery store anyway.) While there are lots of families with a stay at home parent, there are tons of people that doesn't apply to. Probably most of your staff.
Shopping is going to happen.
No matter how bad the economy is, presents will be purchased. Your staff can take two hours to fight traffic and crowds at the mall, or make a few clicks and have things purchased, wrapped, and delivered to the office. Which takes more time out of their day? Which causes more stress? If that package can come straight to the office, it will encourage online shopping, which will lower stress for your employees. Could there be a better perk?
Your front office staff will need a bit of an additional perk.
When the company is small, everyone sees packages coming and it's no big deal for someone to sign. As the company grows, this does become more complicated. But, do something nice for whoever accepts the mail, and make the rest of the company love the holiday seasons.
A gift that keeps giving.
This is a gift that you can start this holiday season, but there's no reason this can't be a year-round perk. Keep your staff at their desks and their packages safe from theft. That's a win-win situation.