Give Your Employees Something Meaningful

This time of year, you try to find gifts for your employees that are both meaningful and carry value for them. Aside from a jaw-dropping year-end bonus, at the end of the day there are three meaningful gifts every employee would appreciate from their employer. “Fun” is a common thread.


Experience marketing doesn’t have to be reserved for Disneyland or trendy retail. Your employees would embrace an opportunity to come to work and do something out of the ordinary, even it was simply for a moment. In their book The Power of the Moment, Dan and Chip Heath remind us that a clear majority of your time at an amusement park is far worse than a casual day on your couch. However, we walk away from trips to the magic kingdom remembering bliss. The Heaths teach us that it is human nature to remember the highlights as the total experience, not the average of those moments. As the year comes to an end, we all have the opportunity to construct a moment in our offices that creates an experience. Here are a few ideas that cost little to no money and don’t even need HR approval:

  • Office Olympics: Chair Racing, Trash Can Hoops, Printer Hammer Throw (OK, this last one may just be a reflection of how we feel about our own office printer, but you get the idea.)
  • Paper Airplane Wars at 11:11am
  • Happy Hour at 10am – Redefine what happy hour means to your office. Booze is just the excuse to let down the walls and laugh a little. Skip the cocktails and go for an adventure (group hike anyone?) and see what happens.

“Me Time”

As adults, especially with families, you rarely get time alone. Surprise your employees with a “snow day” even if it’s 70 degrees. Let them schlep into the office and then send them out for a little “them time.” Enforce a no-email and no-meeting window for a chunk of the day. Give them a some time during the day to do with what they will.


We all have job descriptions, but very few of those involve all-out creativity, even though that is one of the most basic needs of the human psyche. Here’s an idea…reach out to a retirement community and see if you can have a handful of “experienced” individuals come into your company to lead pods of old-school “rainy day” activities that our grandparents use to do with us when we were young. Teach your accountants how to paint, a salesperson how to build a dove-tail joint in wood, or bake a batch of grandma’s secret chocolate chip cookies.

Real gifts are moments. Live, moved this holiday season and give meaningful experiences that your employees will remember.

What keeps you moving at work? Comment below or email us at [email protected].