A study by Upwork reveals that by 2025, around 22% of the workforce in the US, around 36.2 million Americans, will be working remotely. It will be an 87% increase in the remote workforce from the pre-pandemic time. The remote workplace of today is helping the economy stay afloat in these trying times. But at the same time, life is not always easy for remote employees. So it is essential to keep them motivated and engaged.
One of the best ways to boost the morale of the offsite employees is to regularly remind them that their efforts are being noticed and acknowledged. And what better way to do so than sending them a gift once in a while?
9 Ideas to Reinvent Your Employee Gifting Policies in 2021
As times have changed, you will also have to rethink how and which gifts work. Here are some tips to help you improve your employee gifting policies:
1. Re-imagine gifts to suit the ‘new norm’
Social distancing is the new norm, and it is here to stay. Even beyond the pandemic, total or partial work from home is likely to continue for most companies. The onset of new technologies has facilitated this.
But working from home without the bustle of an actual office can often be lonely and depressing for employees. So, it is necessary to think about ways to motivate the remote staff. It’s time your gift giving policies take into account all the factors.
2. Think about personalized gifts
What you urgently need to include in your employee gifting policy is an employee-focused approach. Instead of a ‘size that fits all,’ look at customized gifting. It pays well to know your employees, their likes, dislikes, and interests to come up with a gift they will appreciate. Personalized gifts will cement your efforts to reinforce in your employees that their company values their contribution. Valuing each individual is one of the best ways to increase loyalty to the organization.
However, it may not be feasible to ask every individual employee about their preferences. This is where automated gifting chatbots can help. More on that later.
3. Not every gift has to have a logo
While gifts with the company logo sound great, all the office gifts don’t have to bear the logo. Maybe, you can display the company tagline and logo on the packaging, but at the same time, introducing unusual and customized gifts for your employees can thrill your remote staff.
For example, a wine bottle, a whiskey gift, or a gift for their pets tell your employees that you value them as human beings and not just workers. It also means, you as an employer, are not about work all the time and that you also understand their need to chill and relax.
Include drinks, pet feeder, organic food items, chocolates, etc., as employee-gifting items in your gifting policy. You can mix these gift items with other office gifts with a logo and make an interesting gift pack for your employees.
4. Let gifts not be all about work or the office
Pens, chargers, hard disks, note pads, files, pen drives, diaries, etc., do not motivate employees anymore. The urgent change you should bring to your employee gifting policy is including gifts that remind them of work. Gifts can be fun and should bring a smile to the receiver’s face. If your employee gifts can positively impact the recipient, the purpose of your gift is served.
If your employee gifts can positively impact the recipient, the purpose of your gift is served.
5. Give a shout out to the families
Now that people are working from their homes, they are also snatching away a bit of personal life from their families. Children have to be quiet, spouses more adjusting and adapting to the new office at home, other family members have to check before they can visit, and more. If you look at it, the families of your employees are also contributing to your work. Isn’t it time you acknowledge their sacrifices? You should now include anniversaries, birthdays of family members, birthdays of homes (if they celebrate one), birthdays of pets, etc., in your gifting policies, and think about appropriate gifts.
Wondering how to find out all these dates and add them to your database? Automated gifting is the answer. Keep reading for more on it…
6. Personal celebrations should matter in professional life too
As workplace and home have merged into ‘home workplace,’ it is time offices appreciate their employees’ personal celebrations and make changes in their employee gifting policies. For example, gifting at an employee’s wedding or celebrating a baby’s birth in the family could be great occasions to send your employee a thoughtful gift.
Offices have long celebrated birthdays, but that was all, but now it is time to consider other personal celebrations as well. When you recognize such personal moments of your employees, they feel valued.
7. Give a new twist to team milestones
Workplaces have long celebrated with gusto team milestones, but earlier, it was easy. The pandemic does not allow lavish office parties, but you can always plan as per the new norm. For example, you can send your remote employees lunch from a popular restaurant in their locality or organize a virtual office party.
Pandemic or no pandemic, celebrating team milestones by bringing all of them together is essential as it strengthens team spirit, enhances camaraderie, and reinforces the feeling that they are a part of a larger mission.
8. Be flexible
Do not be rigid with employee gifting policies. The pandemic has taught us to be resilient, but it has also given us lessons in adapting and changing as per the new norm. Do not hesitate to update your gifting policies now and then make gifting a memorable experience for you and your employees.
9. Adapt to new technology, adapt to Eva
During this pandemic, HR staff can’t scout for perfect gifts, and neither is it practical that they spend hours chatting up with the employees to gather what they would want as gifts. Technology, as usual, has the perfect solution in the form of an automated gifting chatbot like Eva.
Eva is AI-driven and leverages data to get the perfect gift for your employees. Data never fails, and that is Eva’s strength. Simply speaking, Eva is a smart gifting assistant. All it takes is 5 minutes for Eva to find the right employee gift.
The HR team can simply generate a chat link and forward it to the employees, who can easily reply to a few questions from the fun Eva chatbot. From these few texts, the chatbot will grasp the likes, dislikes, preferences, and interests of your employees from the chat, and then Eva will work on selecting the best suitable gift. Eva’s selection is not just based on the conversation, but it also analyses the data on the gift trends in a particular area, the weather, and more. Eva also takes into account the popular gifts past recipients loved. All the information is compiled, analyzed, and then used to come to the perfect conclusion.
Eva also takes care of the packaging and logistics, and to make it more personal, the employees will also get a personalized note, lending a hand-picked feel to the gifts.