The holiday season presents the perfect opportunity for employers to unite their staff in celebration, but what’s the best way to do that?
When the economy came to a grinding halt a few years back, tight budgets necessitated companies to downsize or altogether cancel lavish holiday parties. Holiday parties have made a comeback, but apparently that turning tide might not be completely welcome.
Entrepreneur Inc. cited a survey by clothing retailer Lands' End Business Outfitters that more than 70 per cent of employees who participated indicated that they “would rather receive a gift than go to an office holiday party.” So much for the idea that materialism is on the outs.
Taking that route opens up a rather daunting task to come up with gift ideas for those in your workplace. There are always the traditional ideas, such as tree ornaments, gift baskets or thoughtful items that have a work-related meaning.
Gift cards might seem impersonal, but with retailers providing increasingly creative ways for gift cards to be personalized and delivered, it’s a great way to allow recipients to choose something meaningful to them.
In fact, gift cards are the most requested holiday gift for the sixth year in a row. Another recent survey by the National Retail Federation (November 2012) claims more consumers are looking to purchase gift cards this holiday season (81.1 per cent in 2012 compared to 77.3 per cent in 2010), so it appears the practicality and convenience of this idea is welcome.
Before taking on the brain teasing game of what gifts to buy for whom, companies may want to consider gathering employees through charitable efforts to help those around them. The possibilities are endless: volunteer at the food bank, collect money for local organizations or perhaps challenge staff to “pay it forward” with kind gestures.
Pique Newsmagazine has created the SHARE Whistler campaign to highlight the good work community organizations do with funding from the Community Foundation of Whistler. In turn, Pique is giving away prizes in a weekly draw. To qualify for the draws, you need to donate $50 (donations will be matched up to a total of $10,000) or volunteer five hours with one of the charities listed on Community Foundation of Whistler’s website www.whistlerfoundation.com. What an ideal way for our business community to engage their employees while at the same time, maximizing their charitable efforts and donations.
On a personal level, why not spend a few minutes during this holiday season reflecting on the causes that mean the most to you, and planning how you will make an impact in 2013? As Helen Keller said, “Many persons have a wrong idea of what constitutes true happiness. It is not attained through self-gratification, but through fidelity to a worthy purpose.” What is your worthy purpose?