Why corporate holiday gifting should be more than just giving away a turkey

woman giving her Christmas presents

Article by Louise Doyle, Founder needi.co.uk

It’s getting to that time of year again, when company bosses will be endlessly scrolling through last year’s emails, casually clicking on the same wine merchant’s company they have been using for years and ordering a vast amount of cheap and not so cheerful – different coloured plonk for the field reps to drop off at client’s offices before they finish for the Christmas break.

A case of wine to share around the office, will either result in a couple of disappointing slurps at the desk or be second hand gifted to friends and family – and that’s actually a good scenario.

Many clients might be surprised with a brightly branded baseball cap (might come in handy for that 80s fancy dress do, you may never be invited to?) or that trusty non-descript voucher to be used only in-store where the nearest outlet is 100 miles away. As it currently stands, corporate gifting is, in my eyes, the laziest of all the gifting partnerships. It is executed with hardly any positive thought and most probably seen as a chore – yet it is a necessity to express gratitude for all the support the client has shown your business throughout the year. So why, when this should be one of the most important gifting partnerships, is it treated with such little consideration?

The chain between customer and supplier is just as important between boss and employee. Afterall, without the employees, there would be no customer. So why is it, the majority of employees feel so underwhelmed with their Christmas gift from the company they give so much to throughout the year? Christmas is about giving something back, with a heartfelt action, that generates happiness and joy. It’s not about the slightly higher numbers in the December paycheck, along with the mass-produced printed note ‘a little something towards the turkey this year!’

I say, let’s change how we gift in the modern world. We are so dated when it comes to corporate gifting ideas. Presenting someone with a gift should be one of the most genuine and raw acts of kindness a human can offer.

Here are three great tips to help you find the perfect corporate gift this Christmas:

  1. Why not think about the conversations you have had throughout the year with your colleagues and clients? Start to compose a list of ideas that will suit the person you are buying for. It could be a day out for the team to the races or a top-notch restaurant? Or a corporate box at a concert or comedy show?
  2. If you are looking to gift individually, think about what is happening in the person’s life at that moment – if they have moved house, why not include a voucher for an interiors company? Or are they going abroad soon? A Christmas card with euros inside instead of the bog-standard end of year bonus, shows thought behind it. It’s the small adaptations that can mean so much.
  3. Survey says. If you’re still in doubt, ask. As children we’re taught to write a Christmas list for Santa Claus filled with treats and presents from unicorns to train sets and everything in-between. But as adults, it’s frowned upon to ask, or answer with anything other than, oh nothing. But, by creating a small survey which gives your employees or clients three simple options to choose from, it shows that you’re putting thought into getting them something they actually want. Some may actually love a case of wine for Christmas, others a voucher for afternoon tea and others may love the final option, something personal to them. Of course, the last option means you’ll have to think about what they’d like, but how lovely that they’ve chosen for you to find them something special.

About the author

Louise DoyleLouise Doyle, Founder and CEO of the unique personal gift-matching service needi, is passionate about empowering people and the power of gift-giving. Louise’s business acumen, leadership and strong sales background has given her the expertise and experience required for needi to form partnerships with some of the leading independent merchants across the UK offering the very best in unique and luxury products. A Global Sales Director with 15 years proven success in sales, recruitment and business development. Her tenacity, entrepreneurial mindset, passion, drive and leadership skills earned her the accolade of youngest and first ever female Director for a fast-growing Global enterprise.

Responsible for growing a UK, office-based sales team of seven, generating £5million revenue a year, to a 30+ remote sales and customer service staff, spanning four continents and over £15million revenue per year, on a minimal social enterprise budget, while overcoming multiple socio-economic and geo-political challenges.

Louise is the highest ranked graduate of the 2021 London Founder Institute cohort (The world’s largest pre seed start up accelerator programme). Labelling herself as a positive changemaker, Louise was stunned to learn 1 in 5 unwanted gifts go to landfill. The concept for needi was created with the aim of always gifting the right gift and reducing the waste associated with unwanted gifts and the negative impact this has on the environment.

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