Work & Wellbeing

“1 in 5 Gifts Go to Landfill”: How to Ensure your Corporate Gifting Makes the Cut

Louise Doyle | 2 December 2021 | 2 years ago

Louise Doyle, founder of gifting service, ‘needi’, explains what you can do as a manager this Christmas to ensure your staff know that they’re valued by gifting them with personable and special gifts.

Heartfelt emotions and careful consideration should create the core ethos of the reason we gift and I am hoping to change the way we view gifting in today’s world. One of my major concerns is the corporate side; and as we are nearing Christmas, with the office parties looming and Secret Santa exchanges expectant, I am already on tenterhooks as to how many unwanted gifts will be circulating this year.

Corporate gifting is always so underwhelming. From start to finish, the giftee will likely see it as a chore. A ‘to do’ list that haunts their desk for the first part of December and something constantly niggling away that they just want to get over with quickly. It is a ‘to do’ list completed with little thought other than getting it over with

In a recent study, it was revealed that 1 in 5 gifts go to landfill, 50% of Brits admit to receiving gifts they don’t want and 84% find gift-shopping stressful. I say, let’s change how we gift in the modern world. People have a responsibility to help protect the planet and you can contribute towards this by choosing the correct gift to ensure it is used and wanted. We are so dated when it comes to corporate gifting ideas. Presenting someone with a gift should be one of the most genuine and raw acts of kindness a human can offer

Let’s think about your clients from a personal perspective, not just as a business. What do they like to do? What are their hobbies? You must have talked a good amount of waffle other than business and figures throughout the year, so use this to your advantage. By gifting something other than the standard case of cheap plonk, you will stand out from the crowd!

The chain between customer and supplier is just as important between boss and employee. Afterall, without the employees, there would be no customer. So why is it, the majority of employees feel so underwhelmed with their Christmas gift from the company they give so much to throughout the year? Christmas is about giving something back, with a heartfelt action, that generates happiness and joy. It shouldn’t be about the annual Christmas bonus or the brightly branded water bottle to add to the collection bursting from the bottom drawer.

I’d like to share my top tips to ensure your corporate gifting makes the cut this Christmas:

  1. If you are looking to gift individually, think about what is happening in the person’s life at that moment – if they have moved house, why not include a voucher for an interiors company? Or are they planning a holiday? A Christmas card with euros inside instead of the bog-standard end of year bonus, shows thought behind it. It’s the small adaptations that can mean so much.
  2. Think about who you are buying for. What will suit them? What do they like to do for fun? An experience led day is always a winner. It shows you have thought about them as a person and not just a number in the office. You could even make this a team event to help strengthen office relationships.
  3. Children always write a list for Father Christmas, but as adults, it’s frowned upon to ask, or answer with anything other than, ‘oh nothing, I have everything I need’ or ‘please don’t bother with me this year’. I think the solution is to go back to our roots. By creating a small survey which gives your employees or clients three simple options to choose from, your employees will feel thankful for the thought going into the corporate gifting and it will feel more personal to them – something every gift should be. This way, bosses can ensure they are giving their employees something they actually want. It may be a case (excuse the pun!) of some people being genuinely grateful for wine, others a voucher for afternoon tea and there will be people that love the sound of the final option – leaving it up to you to decide as this way you are really thinking of them and they trust you to choose the right gift!
 

Louise Doyle is the Founder of needi, the gift matching service and marketplace created to help you find the perfect gift from local independent shops and merchants around the UK.

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