Holiday gifts

Shawnee Love   •  
December 16, 2010

You want to thank your employees for their efforts over the year, have them share in the success of the organization, and/or simply encourage the Christmas spirit and spread a little holiday cheer and fun. However, holiday gift giving is fraught with challenges for companies and so you must decide:

To give or not to give and if you give, what to give?

Today, I heard about a “Christmas gift” gone horribly awry. A local retailer decided it would spread its holiday cheer by giving its employees a 5% off coupon. Now this might be good value for a place like Lululemon whose products are IMHO crazily overpriced anyway, but we are not talking about an expensive store here. Instead we are talking about a company that sells basic items any of us might use.

What makes this story worth reading is that this 5% off coupon came with strings:

  1. It had to be used at their stores,
  2. It could only be used once,
  3. It only counted if they spent over $50, and
  4. The 5% off was only good for their store’s brands. Yes, I do mean the low end company branded products that we see retailers producing to ensure they can compete with other low priced store brands.

Yeesh, why even bother? This gift has no redeeming features beyond being a good horror story the recipients can share with future colleagues in their new job. In fact, this “gift” did more damage to employee morale and motivation than if they’d done nothing at all.

Have you got a story about a good company Christmas gift to share?