Can you remember what your boss got you for your wedding? How about what a co-worker got you when you had a baby? Did anyone you work with remember your birthday? These are such huge moments in a person’s life – moments in which acts of kindness speak their loudest.
Out of all of the things I’ve done as an employer, I believe that one of the right choices I’ve made is to celebrate with my employees during major life events. It has built loyalty, friendship, and a culture that is hard to beat.
If you’re not naturally gifted in finding these opportunities to connect with your employees, here are 7 occasions when a gift would speak loudly to your employee.
We are starting with the easiest one here, but I am often shocked with how often this is overlooked! You likely have a list of your employees’ birthdays from onboarding. Pull that bad boy up and start gifting! Find something personal for them if you can. Or, if that’s too overwhelming, choose a luxury branded corporate gift that you give everyone for a year and then switch it up the following year.
2. Wedding Bells
Your employee has tied the knot with the love of their life. Time to celebrate. It doesn’t have to be a large gift, just something so they know that you support them and celebrate this momentous occasion with them. If you know they are both runners, how about a guys/girls running singlet set? If they are into Harry Potter, use your Google to find a couples gift that would be perfect for them!
For many of us, we will take any opportunity to buy some tiny socks or obnoxiously large baby bows. And celebrating an employee’s new addition is a great reason to look for those adorably impractical gifts. In addition to celebrating with your employee, you’re also paving the path toward an inclusive environment for working parents. Early in my career, I worked with a company that was super supportive of working parents, and I poured my heart into my position for many more years that I would have otherwise. I felt valued, seen, and supported.
4. Major Wedding Anniversary
While this isn’t a typical corporate gifting event, it’s something to celebrate. Do you have someone on your team celebrating 25 years of marriage? If they are going to a nice dinner, maybe give them a gift card for a manicure and let them go an hour early. Or perhaps a beard-grooming kit to help them get ready for their big night out? Again, it’s really not about the size, but the thought!
5. New Home
Purchasing a new home is usually an exciting time! But anyone who has undergone this process can attest to the fact that it’s every bit as exhausting as it is exciting. If your employee is making a move to a new home, you know there are a thousand things they will need! Entry rugs, candles, guest towels, etc.
If you have an employee who wants to travel to all 7 continents, and they are about to embark on a trip to Antarctica – their last stop on the list – a small gift is the perfect way to celebrate this momentous journey with them! Or perhaps you employ an athlete who’s always wanted to compete in the Crossfit Games and gets in after 5 years of making it to the semifinals? Find a tangible way to celebrate with them! Each time they think back on this accomplishment (which they will often!), you will be connected to the memory.
7. Death of a Loved One
I know this one has a different tone than the others, but I have to mention it. Two of the most meaningful corporate gifts I have received were from clients after my first (and only at the time) employee was killed suddenly by a drunk driver at the age of 36. I was in shock. One client sent flowers to my home. Another to the funeral. I was literally moved to tears. I can vouch that small lights shine brightest in the darkest places. To this day, when I think about these clients, I so appreciate their thoughtfulness. Having felt this warmth personally, I’ve been sure to pass this gift of sympathy on to my employees.
You may wonder why it’s important to celebrate personal wins in a work environment? It’s all about creating a culture where your employees feel valued as people, not robots. And let’s be real – after a year like 2020, the separation between personal and work is pretty fuzzy, right?