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The Best Budget-Friendly Holiday Gifts for SMB Employees in 2022

November 8, 2022

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The nights are getting longer, the days are turning colder, and the holiday season advertisements are in full swing. Yes, let us commence the season of giving (strong shout-out to receiving — you aren’t half bad, yourself).

As the year draws to a close, it’s the perfect time to look back and celebrate everything your business has achieved — and the team that helped you meet those goals.

You always appreciate your employees for what they do in your business, but the holidays provide that perfect opportunity to show them that you care. And an end-of-year gift is a great way to make that appreciation clear and obvious.

Employees want to feel that appreciation. Holiday gifts can even contribute to employee retention — in a Snappy study from last year, 59% of people surveyed revealed that they’re more likely to stay in a job if they receive a meaningful gift from their employer.

So, it’s worth it to put some thought and energy into figuring out the best gifts for the team that runs your business day in and day out. In an informal LinkedIn poll, we asked our followers the best gift they’ve ever received from an employer. One-third of respondents voted for gifts cards, another 24% went for tech, and one commenter revealed she had never received a gift from an employer (just one of a soul-crushing 34% of employees who have never gotten holiday gifts from a company before).

But buying a gift isn’t always easy. In fact, there are some circumstances that can make things pretty difficult: What if you’re only in your first year of business and the purse strings are still a little tight? What are the best options when you have a large and diverse team of employees? And (no judgment) what if you just happen to put off holiday shopping until the very last second?

We’ve been there. So, we’ve compiled a list of the ten best holiday gifts for your small business employees — perfect for any budget, any company size, any time.

1. Food and beverage

AKA: Who doesn’t love free food and drink? 
Price range: $-$$$
Ideal company size for this gift: 1-500+ employees 
Minimum prep time: 1 week

Box of coffee-related gifts.
Source: Etsy

Custom snack boxes, a coffee lover’s dream variety pack, a nice bottle of red for the perfect mulled wine (note: Alcohol may not be the best gift for every employee or work environment.)   — the possibilities are endless. There’s a lot of versatility when it comes to choosing food and/or drink as this year’s holiday gift, making it a perfect choice for any budget. If you have a smaller team, you can even gift unique packages to each individual employee. Plus, if you need to put off your holiday shopping, you can head to your local specialty food or liquor store and stock up the day before you need it.

2. Self-care packages and gift baskets

AKA: The true gift is rest and relaxation. 
Price range: $$
Ideal company size for this gift: <50 employees 
Minimum prep time: 2-3 weeks

Source: Etsy

Gift baskets aren’t restricted to themed snack foods. A good self-care package can help your employees unwind and relax as the year comes to an end. Maybe your employees would enjoy an at-home spa day set or perhaps a cigar lovers' gift set. These packages are probably not a “one-size fits all” deal — they would be best suited for smaller companies with a good deal of lead time to purchase or compile the best components for individual self-care. But it will be so worth it (like, c’mon, who hates bubble baths?).

3. “Office” essentials

AKA: Be prepared.
Price range: $$
Ideal company size for this gift: <50 employees
Minimum prep time: 4 weeks

Your employees work super hard to make sure your business runs smoothly — so, why not buy them gifts that will help their working days go the same way? People gotta stay hydrated, so consider setting your employees up with a personalized Stanley tumbler. Or gift them a plush throw to keep them warm at their desks.

If they work in-office, you may want to invest in personalized desk accessories like an organizer or cute desk plants. But what if most of your team is remote? Set them up with work-from-home essentials like an ergonomic office chair. Or, if your team is constantly on the go, think outside the box — for example, if they’re constantly driving from place to place, set them up with a cell phone mount or a cute container to make driving snacks easily accessible.

4. Clothing

AKA: Something for those cold nights.
Price range: $-$$
Ideal company size for this gift: 50-100 employees
Minimum prep time: 4 weeks

As a kid, getting the gift of clothing was a bit of a drag — nowadays, a comfy pullover, a cool hat, or even a nifty pair of socks can spark a lot of excitement (are the socks just us?). But giving your employees clothing is also a great way to show them you care. For instance, do you have employees who are out visiting customers in the cold, hard rain? Hook them up with some nice, water-wicking rain jackets.

Bonus: If you have extra time, check in with your local seamstress and get your clothing embroidered with your employees’ names (and your company logo).

Source: The Trainual Shop

5. Books

AKA: It’s not just a book — it’s the gift of wisdom.
Price range: $
Ideal company size for this gift: 1-500+ employees
Minimum prep time: 2 weeks

"The Business Playbook" book.

Ted Lasso got it right — books are the best gift, and they’re a great way to connect with your employees on a more personal level. Books are also an economical option for any business on a budget — Amazon makes them easy to buy in bulk, and as long as you don’t go hardcover (no matter how nice they are), you can save a lot of money. Plus, when it comes to the topics, you’re spoiled for choice — gift your mystery-loving employee with a bestselling thriller or give your entrepreneur-in-the-making a guide to building their business playbook.

6. Subscriptions

AKA: The gift that keeps on giving.
Price range: $-$$
Ideal company size for this gift: 50-100 employees
Minimum prep time: 2 weeks

A man saying, "Be sure to smash that like button and subscribe!"

Why should your holiday gift be a “one and done”? Maybe one of your employees has always wanted to try that local pilates studio — there’s a subscription for that. Or let’s say you’ve got an employee who’s wild about cheese — there’s a subscription for that. You can even set your employees up with streaming services like Netflix, Disney Plus, or HBO Max. How else are they going to gossip about the latest House of the Dragon episode around the proverbial water cooler?

7. Technology

AKA: Headphones, tablets, speakers, oh my! 
Price range: $$-$$$
Ideal company size for this gift: <50 employees.
Minimum prep time: 1 week

Let’s face it — technology just makes our lives so much easier. And it can make your employees’ lives much more convenient. Does your team want to block out unwanted chatter in the office? Set them up with some noise-canceling earphones. Are they running around town and need to be reachable at all times? A good power bank will make sure that a dying battery is the least of their worries. Want to help your employees relax after a hard day of work? A fancy Bluetooth speaker or a tablet (if you’re feeling generous) can set them up for the best relaxation routine.

8. Time off

AKA: An extra day off? Sign me up.
Price range: $$
Ideal company size for this gift: 1-500+ employees
Minimum prep time: 2 weeks

A teenage boy lounging and saying, "I'm taking the day off."

The holidays are a time for friends and family. And as much as your employees may love you and their fellow coworkers, no one is going to turn down an extra day off during the holiday season to spend with their loved ones. Make it a surprise — announce the extra time off at your company’s holiday party or your next all-hands meeting. Just make sure your customers know that you’ll all be taking some well-deserved R&R.

9. Monetary bonus

AKA: Sharing is caring.
Price range: $-$$$
Ideal company size for this gift: 1-500+ employees
Minimum prep time: 2 weeks

A cartoon starfish handing out a bag of cash under a sign saying "Free Money."

Maybe you’ve had a pretty lucrative year profit-wise. Congrats on the success — but if you can swing it, you might want to consider rewarding your employees with a nice bonus and end their year on a high note. Remember: That profit isn’t possible without the hard work of your team. Plus, that bonus could help your employees better celebrate the holidays and buy some gifts of their own.

10. Gift cards

AKA: Voted most versatile, time-saving, and best overall.
Price range: $-$$$
Ideal company size for this gift: 1-500+ employees
Minimum prep time: 1 day

A man at a podium saying, "I bestow upon Marge Simpson this $100 gift card."

Ah, the gift card. That tiny piece of plastic holds a world of potential. They’re easy to purchase (especially with digital e-gift cards), easy to use, and incredibly versatile. Do your employees love plants? There’s a gift card for that. Movies? Here you go. Travel? Bam! You can even buy gift cards that will donate a certain amount of money to charity based on how much you spend.

Basically, there’s a gift card for virtually everything. That makes it easy for you to personalize your gifts for each of your employees. And you can spend as much as you want on each gift card. Plus, employees love them — in our recent LinkedIn poll, guess what came out on top?

Buying gifts for your employees doesn’t have to be as hard as you think. The most important part to consider is what your employees will actually like. Think about their interests or what will be most helpful to them in the coming year — you’ll definitely come up with gifts that will make your employees feel appreciated for everything they’ve done and continue to do for your business.

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Article

The Best Budget-Friendly Holiday Gifts for SMB Employees in 2022

November 8, 2022

Jump to a section
Share it!
Sign up for our newsletter
You're all signed up! Look out for the next edition of The Manual Weekly coming Wednesday am!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

The nights are getting longer, the days are turning colder, and the holiday season advertisements are in full swing. Yes, let us commence the season of giving (strong shout-out to receiving — you aren’t half bad, yourself).

As the year draws to a close, it’s the perfect time to look back and celebrate everything your business has achieved — and the team that helped you meet those goals.

You always appreciate your employees for what they do in your business, but the holidays provide that perfect opportunity to show them that you care. And an end-of-year gift is a great way to make that appreciation clear and obvious.

Employees want to feel that appreciation. Holiday gifts can even contribute to employee retention — in a Snappy study from last year, 59% of people surveyed revealed that they’re more likely to stay in a job if they receive a meaningful gift from their employer.

So, it’s worth it to put some thought and energy into figuring out the best gifts for the team that runs your business day in and day out. In an informal LinkedIn poll, we asked our followers the best gift they’ve ever received from an employer. One-third of respondents voted for gifts cards, another 24% went for tech, and one commenter revealed she had never received a gift from an employer (just one of a soul-crushing 34% of employees who have never gotten holiday gifts from a company before).

But buying a gift isn’t always easy. In fact, there are some circumstances that can make things pretty difficult: What if you’re only in your first year of business and the purse strings are still a little tight? What are the best options when you have a large and diverse team of employees? And (no judgment) what if you just happen to put off holiday shopping until the very last second?

We’ve been there. So, we’ve compiled a list of the ten best holiday gifts for your small business employees — perfect for any budget, any company size, any time.

1. Food and beverage

AKA: Who doesn’t love free food and drink? 
Price range: $-$$$
Ideal company size for this gift: 1-500+ employees 
Minimum prep time: 1 week

Box of coffee-related gifts.
Source: Etsy

Custom snack boxes, a coffee lover’s dream variety pack, a nice bottle of red for the perfect mulled wine (note: Alcohol may not be the best gift for every employee or work environment.)   — the possibilities are endless. There’s a lot of versatility when it comes to choosing food and/or drink as this year’s holiday gift, making it a perfect choice for any budget. If you have a smaller team, you can even gift unique packages to each individual employee. Plus, if you need to put off your holiday shopping, you can head to your local specialty food or liquor store and stock up the day before you need it.

2. Self-care packages and gift baskets

AKA: The true gift is rest and relaxation. 
Price range: $$
Ideal company size for this gift: <50 employees 
Minimum prep time: 2-3 weeks

Source: Etsy

Gift baskets aren’t restricted to themed snack foods. A good self-care package can help your employees unwind and relax as the year comes to an end. Maybe your employees would enjoy an at-home spa day set or perhaps a cigar lovers' gift set. These packages are probably not a “one-size fits all” deal — they would be best suited for smaller companies with a good deal of lead time to purchase or compile the best components for individual self-care. But it will be so worth it (like, c’mon, who hates bubble baths?).

3. “Office” essentials

AKA: Be prepared.
Price range: $$
Ideal company size for this gift: <50 employees
Minimum prep time: 4 weeks

Your employees work super hard to make sure your business runs smoothly — so, why not buy them gifts that will help their working days go the same way? People gotta stay hydrated, so consider setting your employees up with a personalized Stanley tumbler. Or gift them a plush throw to keep them warm at their desks.

If they work in-office, you may want to invest in personalized desk accessories like an organizer or cute desk plants. But what if most of your team is remote? Set them up with work-from-home essentials like an ergonomic office chair. Or, if your team is constantly on the go, think outside the box — for example, if they’re constantly driving from place to place, set them up with a cell phone mount or a cute container to make driving snacks easily accessible.

4. Clothing

AKA: Something for those cold nights.
Price range: $-$$
Ideal company size for this gift: 50-100 employees
Minimum prep time: 4 weeks

As a kid, getting the gift of clothing was a bit of a drag — nowadays, a comfy pullover, a cool hat, or even a nifty pair of socks can spark a lot of excitement (are the socks just us?). But giving your employees clothing is also a great way to show them you care. For instance, do you have employees who are out visiting customers in the cold, hard rain? Hook them up with some nice, water-wicking rain jackets.

Bonus: If you have extra time, check in with your local seamstress and get your clothing embroidered with your employees’ names (and your company logo).

Source: The Trainual Shop

5. Books

AKA: It’s not just a book — it’s the gift of wisdom.
Price range: $
Ideal company size for this gift: 1-500+ employees
Minimum prep time: 2 weeks

"The Business Playbook" book.

Ted Lasso got it right — books are the best gift, and they’re a great way to connect with your employees on a more personal level. Books are also an economical option for any business on a budget — Amazon makes them easy to buy in bulk, and as long as you don’t go hardcover (no matter how nice they are), you can save a lot of money. Plus, when it comes to the topics, you’re spoiled for choice — gift your mystery-loving employee with a bestselling thriller or give your entrepreneur-in-the-making a guide to building their business playbook.

6. Subscriptions

AKA: The gift that keeps on giving.
Price range: $-$$
Ideal company size for this gift: 50-100 employees
Minimum prep time: 2 weeks

A man saying, "Be sure to smash that like button and subscribe!"

Why should your holiday gift be a “one and done”? Maybe one of your employees has always wanted to try that local pilates studio — there’s a subscription for that. Or let’s say you’ve got an employee who’s wild about cheese — there’s a subscription for that. You can even set your employees up with streaming services like Netflix, Disney Plus, or HBO Max. How else are they going to gossip about the latest House of the Dragon episode around the proverbial water cooler?

7. Technology

AKA: Headphones, tablets, speakers, oh my! 
Price range: $$-$$$
Ideal company size for this gift: <50 employees.
Minimum prep time: 1 week

Let’s face it — technology just makes our lives so much easier. And it can make your employees’ lives much more convenient. Does your team want to block out unwanted chatter in the office? Set them up with some noise-canceling earphones. Are they running around town and need to be reachable at all times? A good power bank will make sure that a dying battery is the least of their worries. Want to help your employees relax after a hard day of work? A fancy Bluetooth speaker or a tablet (if you’re feeling generous) can set them up for the best relaxation routine.

8. Time off

AKA: An extra day off? Sign me up.
Price range: $$
Ideal company size for this gift: 1-500+ employees
Minimum prep time: 2 weeks

A teenage boy lounging and saying, "I'm taking the day off."

The holidays are a time for friends and family. And as much as your employees may love you and their fellow coworkers, no one is going to turn down an extra day off during the holiday season to spend with their loved ones. Make it a surprise — announce the extra time off at your company’s holiday party or your next all-hands meeting. Just make sure your customers know that you’ll all be taking some well-deserved R&R.

9. Monetary bonus

AKA: Sharing is caring.
Price range: $-$$$
Ideal company size for this gift: 1-500+ employees
Minimum prep time: 2 weeks

A cartoon starfish handing out a bag of cash under a sign saying "Free Money."

Maybe you’ve had a pretty lucrative year profit-wise. Congrats on the success — but if you can swing it, you might want to consider rewarding your employees with a nice bonus and end their year on a high note. Remember: That profit isn’t possible without the hard work of your team. Plus, that bonus could help your employees better celebrate the holidays and buy some gifts of their own.

10. Gift cards

AKA: Voted most versatile, time-saving, and best overall.
Price range: $-$$$
Ideal company size for this gift: 1-500+ employees
Minimum prep time: 1 day

A man at a podium saying, "I bestow upon Marge Simpson this $100 gift card."

Ah, the gift card. That tiny piece of plastic holds a world of potential. They’re easy to purchase (especially with digital e-gift cards), easy to use, and incredibly versatile. Do your employees love plants? There’s a gift card for that. Movies? Here you go. Travel? Bam! You can even buy gift cards that will donate a certain amount of money to charity based on how much you spend.

Basically, there’s a gift card for virtually everything. That makes it easy for you to personalize your gifts for each of your employees. And you can spend as much as you want on each gift card. Plus, employees love them — in our recent LinkedIn poll, guess what came out on top?

Buying gifts for your employees doesn’t have to be as hard as you think. The most important part to consider is what your employees will actually like. Think about their interests or what will be most helpful to them in the coming year — you’ll definitely come up with gifts that will make your employees feel appreciated for everything they’ve done and continue to do for your business.

Article

The Best Budget-Friendly Holiday Gifts for SMB Employees in 2022

November 8, 2022

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