How to Make Gifting a Part of Your Employee Engagement Strategy

How to Make Gifting a Part of Your Employee Engagement Strategy

Does your company have a thoughtful engagement strategy?

Building a positive company culture takes concerted effort, even under typical circumstances. The pandemic and the shift to more remote and hybrid work arrangements have made these efforts even more challenging.

Successful organizations understand that their employees' happiness matters. When your company culture is genuinely positive, you can attract, retain, and get the best performance from people. Plus, it makes work a more enjoyable place to be. 

Compensation, benefits, and flexibility are some areas that impact employee satisfaction. A thoughtful employee gifting strategy is another. According to a 2022 Harris Poll, 71% of Americans surveyed shared that they feel more connected to their employer or manager after receiving quality, thoughtful gifts.

But one-off gifts aren’t going to move the needle. You need a comprehensive strategy to make an impact. Here are our top tips for using employee gifting to drive engagement and strengthen company culture. 


Audit your existing benefits and examine your values. 

Our first piece of advice is to examine your overall engagement strategy and determine where gifting might enhance your efforts.  

Review the things you are already offering your employees, including benefits, perks, and incentives. Remember that incentives tied to performance are a type of reward. On the other hand, gifts should be given with the express purpose of appreciation. More on this later in this post. 

Think about your company's core values. Are there concrete ways that you can reflect these values in your employee gifting strategy? For instance, if one of your values has to do with eco-consciousness, you would want to consider gift items made responsibly and with little environmental impact.


Identify your employee gifting goals and budget.

Next, think about the significant milestones and life events, both personal and professional, that you want to celebrate or show support for. You might consider things like: 


Make sure you budget accordingly, ensure gifting parity, and stick within the company and legal gifting guidelines.

Avoid cash gifts or gift cards since those are always taxable income and are also an impersonal option. Instead, choose items below the taxable threshold, consulting your tax expert for details.  


Select the right gifts to send the right message.

To really contribute to your overall engagement efforts, choose gifts thoughtfully with the goal of showing your employees that they are valued.

A successful gift starts with pure intent. Think of employee gifting as part of long-term relationship-building. Gift-gifting has natural psychological benefits, including demonstrating appreciation, care, and a desire to connect. 

Here are a few things to think about when selecting the specific gifts to share with your employees:

Refrain from overly branding things.

It's the quickest way to turn goodwill into marketing. We love helping clients find subtle ways to nod to their brand without pasting their logo all over everything. 

Think about the recipient.

Instead of having people choose their own gift or gift card like they are redeeming credit card points, take the time to make gifts meaningful. The more you know your employees, the more personal you can get. No matter what, choose high-quality items and exercise caution when including food (because of dietary restrictions and allergies) or alcohol-related items (since not everyone partakes). 

Include a personal message. 

A note from a leader in your organization that shows you know who the recipient is can go a long way!


Think about presentation and delivery. 

The items you select matter, but ultimately it’s about the gesture, so think about how the gift will be received.

We've all had the experience of an unwrapped gift in a brown Amazon box showing up on our doorstep. It feels different from receiving a beautifully wrapped present accompanied by a thoughtful card.

At PlumTree, we customize your gift box with branded packaging and send your gifts with preferred shipping to your employees' homes or your office for you to deliver. Every gift also comes with a personalized note with your preferred message.

Beyond the gift itself, we encourage our clients to make sure of our email and e-survey tools to further support, celebrate, and engage their team members throughout the year. These communications can bolster your gifting efforts and gather essential information that helps you adjust your strategy for the best outcomes.

Do you need help mapping a gifting strategy that aligns with your other employee benefits and engagement efforts?

We can help. 

Answer a few questions, and we'll reach out with an initial plan for you to review. 

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