As the year is nearing its end, the Christmas carols are sneaking a way into your life and the days seem to be even shorter than last year, you will need to get your employees a holiday gift. Chances are there are more important points on your agenda, such as closing your books or a last few deals rather than fantasizing about holiday gifts. However, Christmas is the ultimate opportunity to show your colleagues or employees your appreciation. In fact, a recent study by Forbes pointed out that 94% of employees consider the holiday gift as a sign of being valued. Christmas is the season to be jolly and the season to bond. In addition, it is an opportunity to get creative! But what do people actually want? As it turns out, gifts that can be enjoyed together with friends or family tend to be most successful as well as gifts that are non-consumable and extend beyond the holiday season. Some ideas…

“52% of employees argues that socks are the absolute worst gift out there.”

1. Cash
We all know those people who claim that money does not motivate, but in practise it often does. A little extra pocket money to spend on champagne or a little Christmas get away always comes in handy, and will be appreciated by most.

2. A Useful Voucher
If you consider cash too trashy of a gift, you can always go for the easy way out and translate it into a gift voucher. After all, it is pretty difficult to screw up a gift card. 29% of employees say they appreciate gift vouchers, according to the same Forbes study, however, the key here is that the voucher can be spent on a wide variety of items. In plain English, it should be useful. Another thing to keep in mind, it that getting someone a voucher might come across as if you didn’t put any effort in. 

3. Open Bar at the Office Party
Last week, we dedicated a blog post to how to behave at the annual Christmas party (read about it here). It turns out that 20% of employees consider a free bar at this great event to be a gift on its own. Something to consider.

4. Something Personal
If you only have a couple of employees, you might want to take the effort to buy something personal. Is one of them always struggling with his/her headphones?


Buy some wireless ones. Does one of them always lose his/her keys? Get a personal item tracker (yes, that exists, check it out here). Is one of them a whiskey lover? Well, you get the idea. Getting your employees something personal is a chance to demonstrate that you actually know them and put effort into finding something that is useful specifically to them.

5. A Good Read
Whatever business your startup is operating in, entrepreneurial people are always eager to learn something new. So, do not underestimate the power of a good book! Books are not old-fashioned. On the contrary, the (e-)books are and will continue to be great sources of inspiration.

6. The Safe Options
If you really left it to the last minute, there are some classic options that will do the trick. A good bottle of alcohol or a beautiful bouquet of flowers are in many cases well received and appreciated. The problem with those gifts, however, it that after it will be consumed/go bad, it will be forgotten about.

7. The Worst Gifts
The Forbes survey also highlights what the least appreciated gifts are. 52% of employees argues that socks are the absolute worst gift out there. 26% believes getting no gift at all is worse. Other bad gifts include soap, shower gel and cheap wine. But well, that speaks for itself, doesn’t it? 

Do you have other great gift ideas that other entrepreneurs should know about? We’d love to hear from you!

About Amstel Lab
Amstel Lab partners with startups and scaleups to commercialize your business. On the back of our experience, we have developed the unique Amstel Lab method: a tailor-made approach to maximize success. We test your markets, refine your product, innovate your commercial approach and execute your strategies. Any good idea is worth seeing through.

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