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The Ultimate Guide to Corporate Gifting in a Diverse Workplace!

Don’t fret! You can personalize gifts without crossing HR boundaries! Opt for gifts that give back, support diversity, or provide unique experiences. Read more for your gift giving checklist. 

It’s the holiday season, the end of the calendar year and possibly the closing of your company’s fiscal year! You and the team are closing out projects, reconciling expenses and planning time off – all while juggling kids, holiday shopping and preparing for visiting loved ones! There’s a lot to think about and get done before the holiday and end of the year!! 

However, this year deciding if and how to show your team appreciation doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Let us help you by providing answers to questions you’re probably swirling around and giving some quick tips! Read on:

  • Avoid the Usual Swag!  Branded organizational swag may have lost its charm, especially if it's been collecting dust since the shift to remote work. Steer clear of dated hoodies and items that lack a personal touch.
  • Say No to Gift Certificates: Choosing a gift certificate can be a hit or miss for many individuals. The chances of getting it wrong, especially with generic options like restaurant certificates, are high. It's time to explore more thoughtful options.
  • Ditch the Standard Items: Mugs, water bottles, and office supplies? Your team likely has enough of these. It's time to think beyond the usual suspects and consider gifts that stand out.
  • Embrace Company-Wide Gifts:  If you have the ability to give your team an early close, time off and/or a holiday bonus, you should definitely go that route! Hands down! 

Consider pairing company-wide gifts – such as time off – with personalized touches. This dual approach acknowledges your team's individuality while fostering a sense of collective appreciation. They can go a long way in letting your team members know that you see them as full human beings and you welcome and appreciate their unique perspective and experiences in the workplace. 

Afraid of getting too personal? Don’t fret! You can personalize gifts without crossing HR boundaries! Opt for gifts that give back, support diversity, or provide unique experiences. Choose items like group activities, relaxation-inducing products, seasonal treats, or variety gift boxes. Here’s your gift giving  checklist:

  • Give a Gift that Gives: Choose mission-oriented vendors who give back. Or, choose Black, indigenous, women, LGBTQ+ and small business vendors to purchase gifts. They will likely offer items that reflect the diversity of your workforce.
  • Gift An Experience: Consider gifting group activities, like: trivia card games, miniature board games or puzzles. It’s the holiday season and folks will likely be spending time socializing with friends and family. Make it easier for them to get the party started! 
  • Promote Relaxation: Acknowledge your team's hard work by giving gift items that promote relaxation at home. Consider bath and body items, like: massage balls, aromatherapy (essential oils, incense, candles  and wax melts), nurturing hand and foot masks,  shower steamers, bath soaks or bath bombs.   
  • Give for the Season: Items like herbal teas, natural sanitizing surface sprays, mittens or fuzzy socks will help folks keep warm and support wellness during a happy - but germ filled - holiday season! 
  • Choose Variety: Giving a gift box allows you to choose variety. If you choose you intentionally and send an array of items, there’s a higher likelihood that your team member will enjoy multiple items.  
  • Leave a Note: If feasible, add a personalized touch by leaving a note with your gift. Acknowledge the intention behind the selection, whether it's supporting minority vendors or promoting relaxation, wellness or time with family. For instance: 

“This year we chose to work with minority, women and LGBTQ+ vendors to pack gift boxes that promote family-time, wellness and relaxation. We are working in every way to align our actions with our values. We appreciate all you’ve done this year to support the org in this mission! Happy Holidays, [Insert Leadership’s Signature]”

  • Trust Your Instincts: In a diverse workplace, trusting your instincts can go a long way. Consider the relationships you've built and choose gifts with sincerity. People often appreciate the thought and effort put into a gift more than the actual item.

If you are a manager the holidays can be an opportune time to show your team that you appreciate them. Like you, they’ve dedicated their time to the mission of the organization and are likely reflecting in much the same ways you are. They are thinking about the highs and lows of the past year and making resolutions into the future about work and life! It is the perfect time to demonstrate appreciation for your team and show that you see them. 

Throughout the year, we spend many hours with our co-workers on zoom or in the office. We’ve gotten to know one another by working on projects – and through cheesy team icebreakers and the occasional happy hour. So, don’t be afraid to trust your gut when giving a gift! It’s safer to lean toward being human than being cog in a corporate scene. 

Remember, the holiday season is about connecting, appreciating, and celebrating. Don't hesitate to reach out if you need more guidance – at Woke + Well, we're here to help!

Stay Woke + Be Well, 



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