24 December, 2020

The right gifting cycle for improved employee engagement

Employee recognition and engagement is a priority for any organization that wishes to attract the right talent, particularly in the face of today’s unstable economic conditions. However, it is important to celebrate not only your employees’ extraordinary accomplishments, but also them as people. Creating an employee R&R strategy with a gifting focus can greatly help in this regard. Mapping the employee’s personal journey to their company life cycle can offer numerous opportunities to organizations to give inexpensive yet meaningful gifts to employees.

Typically, organizations have adhered to gifting on milestones- 5, 10 or 20 year work anniversaries. However, looking at the latest statistics from Deloitte, we realize that millennials do not stay in an organization long enough to receive such gifts, and hardly value them even if they do. Recognition delayed is recognition denied, and an organization’s employee rewards program needs to be cognizant of the changing preferences of today’s intergenerational workforce.

Following are the types of occasions that can be considered for a corporate gifting cycle:

  • Personal events – Birthdays, marriage anniversaries, new-born child
  • Professional milestones – Years of service, achieving or surpassing sales targets, product launch, project completion, process/product innovation
  • Firsts – first working day, first payday, first new account or sale etc.
  • Festivals – Diwali, Christmas, New Year etc.
  • Special events – any noteworthy achievement/award received outside the workplace

Having a scientific approach to employee gifting involves having a clear gifting and incentive framework for employees, including setting rules for eligibility and redemption. Moreover, complete transparency and strict adherence to the budget can be gained through a robust digital platform. Conducting surveys and getting regular feedback on the gifting process helps firms constantly improve and get new incentive ideas. The ‘art’ of gifting, however, involves aligning corporate gifts to company values and delivering superior ‘recognition moments’.

Creating a gifting calendar and configuring the various occasions on an R&R platform can help automate reward distribution, ensuring that gifts are disbursed on time, without exceeding the allocated budget. Considering that a majority of the global workforce is still working-from-home, manual methods of gifting have become obsolete and drain significant time and resources. Engaging today’s workforce therefore involves having a mix of tangible (cash-based, physical products) and instantly redeemable gifts (e-vouchers, online L&D opportunities). A digital gifting platform can offer an e-catalog from which employees can get the freedom to choose their own gifts. Some of the most popular gift categories are experience vouchers, gift certificates, and physical products spanning over gadgets, home appliances, etc. With the holiday season upon us, the way a gift package is delivered makes all the difference. For remote employees, a timely, well-packaged gift delivered to the doorstep creates an enduring positive impression. Every employee interaction, especially on happy occasions such as festivals, adds to the growing attachment with the organization and brand as a whole.