Tag Archives: gift

What Can You Expect From Your Employer This Holiday Season?

what_workers_want_poll_webThe holiday season is here and as the song goes, for many employees, this will certainly be the most wonderful time of the year.

A recent poll conducted by the Refresh Leadership blog revealed that a majority of businesses plan to show their employees appreciation this year through some type of gift. A majority will give a cash bonus (26%), while others (19%) said they’ll give a combination of gifts.

Other business leaders said they’ll give gift cards (16%), another type of tangible gift (13%) or extra days off (7%).

“This time of the year is a great time for employers to show their employees how much they appreciate their work throughout the year,” said Bob Funk, CEO of Express Employment Professionals, and a former chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City. “It’s also an encouraging sign of a strengthening economy that 93% of businesses in the poll plan to give bonuses, a significant increase since last year.”

“The holidays provide the perfect time for businesses to set themselves apart and attract great talent by recognizing their employees’ hard work. Regardless of how your business is faring this holiday season, take time to make sure your employees know how much you value and appreciate them.”

What This Means for You

Not every business is the same, but these poll results are a good indication that you may see some type of gift this holiday season. If that’s the case, then your response should be one of thankfulness and gratitude.

Whatever the gift may be—a cash bonus, gift card, or extra day off—be sure to send a thank you note to your leader to let them know how grateful you are for their generosity. Unfortunately, this doesn’t happen often, so when you take time to express thanks, you stand out as an example of gracious character.

If, however, you don’t get a gift this year, don’t get down. Businesses experience ebb and flow throughout the year and may not be able to offer a gift. If you don’t receive a gift from your employer, that doesn’t mean you can’t show appreciation to them and your co-workers. A thank you note to your teammates can leave a lasting impression.

What do you plan to give your co-workers, if anything? Share with us in the comments section below.

Movin’ On Up is brought to you by Express Employment Professionals.

Boss’s Day – Showing Appreciation to Your Boss

Boss’s Day is Friday, Oct. 16! This day is dedicated to showing appreciation for managers and those who lead in the workplace. If you’d like to join in the celebration of bosses across the country, check out these easy gift ideas.

  • Card – This inexpensive gift can show a lot of thoughtfulness. Gather your co-workers and have them all sign a card for your boss to show your appreciation.
  • Spa in a jar – Fill a large jar, bucket, or basket, with items to help your boss relax – like a manicure set, fingernail polish, lotion, or candle.
  • Golf basket – If your boss enjoys time on the course, fill a bucket or basket with golf balls, tees, and other accessories.
  • Gift cards – Does your boss enjoy a fresh cup of coffee? Pick up a gift card to a local shop in the amount you’re comfortable gifting. You can ask for an empty cup and use it as your gift card holder. Consider adding a note, like “Thanks a latte for being a great boss!”
  • Homemade treats – Put your baking skills to use by making some of your favorite recipes. Try desserts for an afternoon treat, or muffins or other breakfast items to start the day off right.
  • Desk organizer – There are a variety of functional desk organizers for sale in many stores. If your boss likes to stay organized, this may be the perfect gift for them. You can even make one yourself with a little creativity and the right supplies.
  • Coffee mug – Even if your boss doesn’t drink coffee, chances are they could use a mug for tea, cocoa, or other drinks. Consider your boss’s personality, likes, and dislikes before picking out the perfect mug.

What ideas do you have for Boss’s Day? Share with us in the comments section below!

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Movin’ On Up is brought to you by Express Employment Professionals.

Gift-Giving Guide for Your Co-Workers

coworker_gifts_webTis the season! With the holidays upon us, it’s the time of year when office parties and gift giving abound. It can be stressful trying to decide how to approach gift giving with your co-workers, but it doesn’t have to be. Here are six simple tips to ensure the celebrations stay merry.

1. If you decide to give gifts, know you’re doing it voluntarily.

Your decision to give gifts to your fellow co-workers is 100% a voluntary decision. Most people do like to celebrate the holidays, but you may come across someone who doesn’t want to participate in gift exchanges. It could be for a number of reasons. Maybe their budget is tight and they can’t afford it. So, don’t get upset if everyone you give a gift to doesn’t give you one back. Instead, embrace the idea of giving without expecting anything in return.

2. If you plan to give one co-worker a gift, you may have to give them all a gift. 

The simple rule to remember here is that no one likes to be left out. If you give a gift to one co-worker and not another, that person may feel excluded. And you don’t want that to happen. Inclusion is the name of the game. Also, if one of your best friends works with you and you’ve bought that person a more elaborate gift than everyone else, wait until after work hours to give the gift so you can keep all workplace gifts fair.

3. Use kind words. 

Sometimes it means more to a person to hear kind words than receive a gift. Consider giving a holiday card to each of your co-workers with a message about why you enjoy working with them or that you hope they have a great holiday season and you wish them a great new year. Remember to keep it professional and sincere.

4. Avoid giving cash and keep gift spending to a minimum. 

Sure, sometimes it’s nice when your family gives you money for the holidays, because it allows you to purchase what you really want. But, when it comes to work, choose to give a gift instead. It’s more thoughtful and shows heart. And speaking of thoughtful, you don’t have to spend a lavish amount on co-worker gifts. In a 2013 holiday survey conducted by CareerBuilder, 78% of respondents said they expected to spend $25 or less on a gift, 36% said $10 or less, and 10% said $5 or less. For example, does everyone on your team like Starbucks? If so, consider a gift card with a nice message for them.

5. Suggest a department-wide secret Santa gift exchange. 

Why not suggest drawing names and buying a gift for that co-worker? If your department leader will allow, everyone could gather together for lunch or snacks at the end of the day and exchange gifts. This will ensure that everyone gets a gift (at least those who want to participate), and you don’t overspend on the celebration.

Many departments also play dirty Santa, a game where participants bring a wrapped gift and then on each person’s turn they can either choose an unopened gift or steal an opened gift from a co-worker. If your gift gets stolen, you can steal from someone else or pick a new, unopened gift. Just remember with any gift exchange, you are still in a professional environment. Avoid gag gifts or anything inappropriate.

6. Approach a gift for the boss with caution. 

The holidays are not an avenue for you to earn brownie points with management. If you’re considering buying a gift for your boss, it’s best to ask your co-workers if they would like to contribute. Make it a gift from your department rather than just you. While you may have a gift idea in mind and want to volunteer to get it, just remember the importance of including all of your co-workers.

The holidays should be a fun time full of cheer. Remember, if you’re ever in doubt about your company’s gift-exchange policy, always consult your manager first. Happy gifting!

How do you show appreciation to your co-workers this time of year? Let us know in the comments section below!

Movin’ On Up is brought to you by Express Employment Professionals.

The Results Are In: How Do You Wish Your Company Showed Appreciation to Employees

what_workers_want_poll_webThe holiday season is quickly approaching, and many companies are deciding how to show appreciation to their employees. In a recent poll, we asked Movin’ On Up readers how they wish their employers, or future employers, showed appreciation to employees this time of year.

According to the results, 27% of respondents would most appreciate a cash bonus for the holidays, while 13% reported pay raises as their biggest incentive. While monetary gifts are always a go-to choice for companies when budget allows, 9% chose “days off or shortened holiday hours” as their top choice for holiday bonuses.

Only 1% of respondents chose “gift items other than money,” while less than 1% selected “a holiday party.”

What Workers Really Want
In addition to the traditional gift options, readers were also allowed to choose “Other” and take the time to respond with their own answer. Readers who selected “Other” left responses that ranged from “a few hours off for Christmas shopping, and we can bring evidence of the shopping back to work” to “keep their corporate mantra to employees, not just customers.”

Of those “Other” responses, the overwhelming majority responded with answers that offer insight to an often overlooked form of holiday gifting – appreciation.

Personal responses included:

  • Words of praise from managers
  • Telling employees they did a good job
  • A simple thank you goes a very long way
  • A thank you note will suffice
  • A thank you every now and then
  • Tell us thanks and good job

The poll’s personal responses speak much louder than the pre-written choices readers could choose from. Instead of clicking and moving on, readers who selected “Other” had to take time to share their thoughts, which were highly concentrated on wanting sincere appreciation from their employees in lieu of money, gifts, or time off.

What Workers Will Get
In a corresponding poll with Refresh Leadership, Express Employment Professionals blog for business leaders, the results reveal a lack of parallelism with what workers want. In fact, 21% of respondents revealed they will not be giving holiday bonuses this year. While 9% of our poll’s respondents want time off during the holidays, only 3% of business leaders plan to provide it. Only 5% of readers want gift cards, but 12% of employers plan to give them away.

Of respondents to the Refresh Leadership poll, 7% selected “Other,” with 27% of those readers reporting answers like “our company never gives employees anything for the holidays” and “no holiday bonuses ever.” Other responses include, “a turkey,” “a ham,” and “a holiday dinner.”

One response that never appeared was “appreciation.”

The Power of Appreciation
If employers knew their employees were providing answers like “a simple thank you” or “words of praise,” would they take a different stance on the idea of never providing holiday bonuses? Would the respondent to the Refresh Leadership poll who chose to answer “coal” take a more sincere approach to the holidays?

While today’s workers appreciate monetary gifts and time at home, as can be seen by the results of the poll, their answers also reflect an understanding that it’s not always feasible for businesses to give extravagant gifts. Times can be hard, and not all businesses are profitable. Employees know that. But while they may not expect gifts from their employers, they do crave appreciation.

Forbes recently studied the 18 best companies to work for in the Fortune 500 and found that employee appreciation was a key factor to their success. According to Forbes, half of the companies on the list did things to show appreciation to employees. Google provided free massages, the vice chair at NetApp called 10-20 employees a day to praise them, and Qualcomm provided personalized notes and special lunches. Devon Energy allowed employees open access to senior executives while Whole Foods let their employees vote on new hires.

The results of the Movin’ On Poll reveal that some of the most powerful gifts are the easiest to give. From a few hours to go shopping to a thank you note, sincerity is the gift that keeps on giving this holiday season.

Movin’ On Up is brought to you by Express Employment Professionals.