Have you noticed that businesses often turn to sports for inspiration? That's why we have business coaches, and when people work together on a project, they're a team. So after a big victory, shouldn't your employees—the ones who are helping you build your company—get something? Of course they should. Sports teams get trophies, individual players often get sports rings and often bonuses when they win the season. But what are good team gift ideas for work? If you're trying to think of gift ideas for team members that will fit your budget, be a crowd pleaser and really show you care, read on.
Free Team Gifts
Maybe you feel like your "team gifts for work" budget is a little anemic. That's okay. Giving a reward doesn't have to cost you a cent, or, well, not much anyway.
For instance, you could offer some paid time off, suggests John Hanson, a customer-service consultant based out of Columbus, Ohio.
“Especially on a Friday or a Monday, extending the weekend," Hanson says. “It's low cost to the company and something to look forward to as a team member."
He also suggests recognizing a successful team internally:
- on the company's intranet,
- on the company bulletin board,
- on an employee spotlight tab of the company website or
- as a blog post.
All of those options are free, Hanson says, and should offer "loads of goodwill and positive morale to the team and social media followers."
Or let people work at home, which is about as free as it gets.
“Working remotely is all the rage," says Andrea Loubier, who is based out of San Francisco, and the CEO of Mailbird, a Windows email application.
Loubier suggests this time gift idea for work: Allow your team the opportunity to work from home for a period (e.g. one day a week for a time)—assuming that isn't already happening.
“This can also test how well they can work without supervision, and your leaders will begin to stand out. Just be sure to equip them with communication and project management apps to make working remotely a bit easier. Think along the lines of Slack and Asana," Loubier says.
Team Gifts Under $10
When it comes to team gift ideas for work, there's always gift cards. But if you give out a $5 or $10 gift card, it might be a numerical reminder that you really aren't giving anyone a very big gift.
You might get a better reaction if you took the same money and bought big candy bars and left one on everybody's desk. Then maybe give a little speech about how much you appreciate your team, and that someday you hope the business will be successful enough to give everybody two candy bars. (Seriously, a little self-deprecating humor can go a long way.)
Deborah Sweeney has a pretty cool idea for team gifts for work. She is the CEO of MyCorporation.com, an online document filing services company for clients who wish to form a corporation or limited liability company. It's headquartered in Calabasas, California.
Sweeney says that she often rewards her employees with scratch-off lottery tickets.
“It's a goofy, fun gift you can give year-round," Sweeney says. “It's also a gift where you never know who might win big, and it's really easy to buy in bulk for offices of any size."
You never know: If you spend $10 on lottery tickets, your employees could potentially end up with more money.
“Usually, our team members will win anywhere from $5 to $50 at the random luck of the draw," Sweeney says.
Team Gifts Under $25 Each
Now we're getting to where gift cards to restaurants or retailers would probably be quite appreciated.
But if that seems too impersonal, some other team gift ideas for work include:
- snack boxes (like a tin of popcorn or cookies),
- a nice potted plant,
- a book you think a team member would be interested in,
- a throw blanket,
- ·a travel pillow, if you have any frequent fliers on your staff,
- protective cases for their phones or laptops,
- or a cool paperweight for somebody's desk.
Or this might be a good time to take people out to lunch. Odds are, you could give people a pretty darn good lunch for well under $25 per person.
And a meal everyone partakes in can be less confusing than coming up with individual gift ideas for team members, says Cheryl Chester, a human resources consultant with KardasLarson, a human resources consulting firm in Glastonbury, Connecticut.
What's important is that you select a reward that can actually be useful and is worthy of working extra hard to achieve.
—Andrea Loubier, CEO, Mailbird
A group meal is also more in spirit with being on a team as well, she says.
"To provide individual team member awards, based on collective team performance, is counterproductive to teamwork—and every member of the team has his or her own preferences for things like gift cards," Chester says.
Team Gifts Under $50 Each
Again, when it comes to team gift ideas for work, gift cards may not be the most creative idea, but they're always a classic, appreciated gift.
Assuming your budget is $50 per team member and not $50 per team, you could take everyone to a fancy restaurant, or you could do a team-building exercise like a painting class or a trampoline park.
This is also a price point where you could do some online shopping and find some somewhat upscale gifts for under $50. Judging from scouring what online deals are out there, you could buy a wireless charging phone stand or possibly some Bluetooth speakers.
You can also individualize the gifts based on things you've noticed about your team. Maybe purchase a nice umbrella, if you've noticed a team member never seems to have one when it rains.
Team Gifts Under $100 Each
Now that we're getting to a higher price point, what about a small spa package for your hard-working employees?
You could offer members of a team the chance to have money donated to a charity that each of them personally supports, Hanson suggests.
“If shared on social media, make sure it does not come across as self-promotion," Hanson warns.
Team Gifts Over $100 Each
You can really start to use your imagination at this price point for team gift ideas for work. There are a number of luxury corporate gift companies that will be more than happy to sell you some seriously nice products that are over $100. You could buy each member of a team a leather briefcase, a clock for a mantel or perhaps a distinguished watch.
You could go for a bigger spa package, like maybe an entire spa day, for your hard-working team.
Or if you have a decent amount of money in the budget, you could take out employees—and perhaps their families—to a play or musical.
Of course, if we're going to dream, you could whip out your business credit cards with travel rewards and pay to take the whole team and their families on a vacation.
Whatever you do, whether it's something free or something insanely big, do something thoughtful.
“Team rewards can be very important, especially if you want your employees to work together and achieve successful results," Loubier says. “What's important is that you select a reward that can actually be useful and is worthy of working extra hard to achieve."
And if you really score with team gift ideas for work, then your employees will probably work even harder on the next big project, and, of course, you'll be so grateful, you'll have to brainstorm some more to come up with more gift ideas for team members. In that sense, team gifts for work really are the gifts that keep giving.
Read more articles on employee retention.
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