The holidays are approaching faster than a sneeze, and in fact, I've got friends who have confessed to having done most of their shopping already. (Yeah, I haven't even started.) If you're still wracking your brain for good gift ideas for your team, though, there's still time to arrange something that people on your team actually will like getting.
Space tends to be limited these days, and at the same time, people have less time and money to look after themselves. So my advice is to stick to non-material options like those below.
Sitting at a desk can be rough on the body all by itself. Plus, work stress can manifest as muscular tension, high blood pressure and other problems. Find local massage spas and buy gift cards they can use at their convenience. Then make sure they have mental health, personal or vacation days available to cash in.
Part of learning as part of leadership or enhanced creativity is exposing yourself to a wide range of experiences. Buy tickets to plays, concerts, tours, sports games or other events. These types of activities encourage your team to find hobbies and get their nose away from the grindstone in better work-life balance. Ideally, figure out which events each employee prefers and customize the tickets within comparable values, rather than opting for blanket one-size-fits-everyone packages.
People can struggle at work because they don't have access to the right type or amount of food, and many people come home exhausted regardless of their financial situation, so they choose less nutritious convenience foods. Pay for memberships to preferred bulk food stores or subscriptions to meal kit or delivery services to give those on your team a break and healthy fuel for the workday.
Yes, you can suggest productivity apps that relate to work. But perhaps a better bet is to let your team get the premium subscriptions to whatever apps they actually use off the clock. They'll appreciate the additional features that apply to their specific needs and interests, and that help make life a little easier.
Today's workers are desperate to feel connected to a purpose. And many workers have a giving heart without necessarily having the pocketbooks to match. Find out which causes your workers feel strongly for, and then give them the option of having you make a charitable donation in their name.
6. An Evening Out
Not every worker will have kids, but 33.6 million American families do have children under the age of 18, according to 2018 data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Some workers also are legal guardians for relatives or foster children or even care for both kids and aging parents. For these people, a night out can be a welcome relief. Pay for a babysitting or adult care service and simple dinner to take some weight off their shoulders and let them connect with partners or friends.
As with apps, classes don't have to be work related. Let your team find hobbies that energize them and challenge them to be flexible with their sense of identity. Or let them explore language, home repair or a fitness option. The key here is to be mindful of scheduling and to find reasonable accommodations and times. Online courses can offer convenience and cost effectiveness, but try to go hands on where you can.
Music can help motivate your employees, get them in a good work groove, help them relax and block out noise. But with most companies banning access to sites like YouTube for productivity and security reasons, a few music gift cards can be a good workaround that also promotes good, legal and financial support of artists. You also can pay for steaming services, particularly ones that allow workers to make personallized playlists and download tracks for offline listening.
The gifts above are all easy to adjust based on your budget. For example, an evening out doesn't have to mean going to a five-star restaurant, and similarly, you can turn a massage into an entire spa day or basic event tickets into airfare tickets and hotel fees. Companies also might be willing to partner with you at discount rates in return for the advertising they get. Just make sure that you're connecting with your people one-on-one to recognize the gifts that will make a real difference, and give as fairly as you can.