For the time-strapped: Gift cards
The beauty of a gift card over money is that you can be sure that your employee will use it to go towards a treat for themselves. With a cash payment, there is always the danger that your employees might just use something intended to reward them on something mundane — for example, paying a bill or adding to a savings account (of course, they could always use it to get a gift for another person, but that’s a different story...) Gift cards encourage us to reward ourselves in the present and encourage us to have a little fun for once.
In a cost of living crisis, gift cards are often a lifeline to employees who find that their budgets are at breaking point. Giving one to your employees can really make the difference when
They’re useful for employers because they’re a flexible, practical and adaptable gift that can be personalised by the employee themselves.
Types of gift cards
So, if you’re planning on going down the gift card route for a present, you’ll need to actually choose which type you want to give. And there are a lot of gift cards to choose from: from cards that you can spend at one retailer, physically or digitally, through to cards you can spend at multiple shops.
You’ll usually be able to buy gift cards directly from your chosen retailer, as well as from supermarkets. Here are three the most popular choices for Christmas gift cards for employees:
Amazon gift card
Wirth an unparalleled amount of products to choose from, Amazon gift cards are truly versatile and are a good choice if you don’t want to spend time thinking about which specific type of gift card would be best for your company. In fact, digital Amazon gift cards (an increasingly popular choice) can be transferred and redeemed instantly, saving HR professionals time when it comes to giving the card and employees time in redeeming it.
Supermarket gift cards
The majority of UK supermarkets like Morrisons, Sainsburys, Tesco and Asda offer gift cards that can be redeemed in their stores. Gift cards for supermarkets are a good choice if you’re not particularly bothered about what your employees spend the money on and you don’t mind it going towards the cost of a weekly shop. The versatility of these gift cards comes in the fact that practically every town or city will have at least one of the supermarkets mentioned, allowing you to pick up gift cards in a pinch — great if you’ve left it until the last minute.
Multi-shop gift cards
Whilst most gift cards can only be redeemed at one specific shop, some gift cards exist that can be redeemed at multiple shops. You can usually buy them in supermarkets, where you’d buy other gift cards. The beauty of this type of card is the fact that your employee gets to choose the shop that they spend it at, allowing them to personalise the gift further.
For the overwhelmed: Money
If your workload is busy enough without having to find personalised presents for 300 people, you could just take the easy option. By that we mean, just giving your employees cold, hard cash to spend themselves on what they want — usually in the form of a bonus payment on top of their December salary.
Whilst it’s not the most imaginative way to give a gift, it’s probably the most flexible for both employer and employee. After all, employees can do whatever they want with the payment, using the money in the way that would bring most satisfaction to them, and employers don’t have to go to the effort of sourcing and delivering physical gifts. Everybody wins!
That said, just giving money can look a bit depersonalised, so it could be useful to consider some ways to add a bit of character to the way that you’re delivering the bonus — rather than just relying on your email software to do it’s digital thing. Personalisation is your friend here. Consider doing something like the following to make your gift of money look a bit more human:
- Create a Christmas card for each employee with a personalised message to announce the bonus
- Throw an in-office Christmas event and announce the bonus there
There is one important thing to bear in mind if you plan on giving money as a gift though – it is taxed as normal earnings by HMRC so your employee will be have tax and national insurance contributions deducted from it. This can end up reducing the size of the bonus overall.