17 of the worst holiday gifts employees ever received from their employers


    It’s the thought that counts, right? Doesn’t seem like too much thought was put into these real-life holiday gifts employers gave their people.

    The folks at Snappy recently surveyed workers and compiled this cringe-worthy list:

    • a book on how to be better at your job
    • season tickets to the CEO’s son’s little league
    • melted chocolate coins
    • old stale cookies
    • deli meat
    • a seat belt cutter
    • quail from a boss’s hunting trip
    • company logo junk
    • a plaque
    • a lanyard
    • socks
    • a fanny pack
    • a tourniquet
    • a coupon for a McDonald’s apple pie
    • a mouse pad
    • a can of soda, and
    • a banana.

    This is hardly the first list of this kind. Nor will it likely be the last. And hopefully your company hasn’t shown its appreciation with any of these.

    Only 1 in 10 give out physical holiday gifts

    The “good news” in all this? Most employees are safe from this gift-giving.

    Just 11% of employers plan to give a non-monetary holiday gift to their workforce this year. That’s according to a recent poll conducted by Challenger, Gray and Christmas.

    More than a third (36%) of companies won’t be giving out anything at all this holiday season. What will the rest of your peers do?

    Nearly a quarter (24%) will dole out a performance based year-end bonus – but only to select employees. Another 21% will say it with cash to all their people with a monetary holiday gift of less than $100.

    Getting creative with holiday gifts

    Of course you don’t want anyone breaking the bank by overspending on employee gifts. Why not get a little more creative with the gifts you bestow on your staffers?

    CFO Daily News scoured the Web for some of the best ideas out there to give employees a holiday gift that still shows you appreciate them. Some of these might work for you:

    • A corporate “yearbook.” One company had staffers share their favorite recipes, holiday stories, and anecdotes and photos from their departments. Then it compiled them into a sort-of yearbook to give to all employees. A very personal present.
    • Travel coffee mugs and water bottles. Everyone could afford to go a little greener. Gifts like this let them do that. But spring for a decent quality product here, so employees won’t hesitate to bring their mug to 7-Eleven or Tim Horton’s every day on their commute in.
    • Subscriptions. They don’t cost much, but it’s a gift that keeps on giving all year round (and with so many subscriptions being electronic these days, all you need is an email address). Whether it’s this or the more heavily-leaned-upon gift card option, the key is personalization. A one-size-fits-all subscription or card to the same place doesn’t show people you understand or appreciate their personalities. You want to get individual supervisors involved in this so they can suggest ideas that mesh with staffers’ interests.
    • Time. No not that kind of time – we’re not suggesting you gift folks with an extra day off (though some of your peers do that). But there’s another, less financially taxing option. One employer gifted their people with a personal assistant, to help with 30 task requests. The price tag? A reasonable $40.  And at this time of year, who couldn’t use a few tasks taken off their plates? Might be the most appreciated gift yet.

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