In the Trenches: What to Give Employees for the Holidays?

BrettSnyder by Brett Snyder on December 7, 2011
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It’s that time of year again; it’s time to think about holiday gifts. It’s hard enough to figure out what to get for family and friends at this time of year, but as a small business owner, I find it even more difficult to know what to get for the people that make the business run as well as it does.

On the one hand, there’s always the idea of plain old cash. It’s hard to go wrong with that, right? I know people like getting cash from the people they work for, but it also strikes me as the easy way out. It shows a level of appreciation in that I’m digging into the no-so-deep pockets of the business, but it simply doesn’t seem to get the message across clearly enough that what everyone does is really important.

I know some people like buying things like Christmas hams or (in theory, though I haven’t seen it in years) fruitcakes, but that seems even worse to me. Not only does it show little creativity, but it is also likely to not really be needed or even remotely wanted. That’s no good.

And that latter point is really the biggest issue. It’s hard to know exactly what people want in their personal lives when I usually interact with them on a professional level. Sure, I know something about them personally, but it’s not the same as a friend buying a gift.

So, I’m sifting through some ideas now that will hopefully get that right mix between usefulness and thoughtfulness. I don’t want to reveal too much, since I think some of my people read this column. Maybe I’ll just have to check back in and write a follow up after it’s done.

What are you all thinking about giving for your holiday presents?

BrettSnyder

Brett Snyder is President and Chief Airline Dork of Cranky Concierge air travel assistance. Snyder previously worked for several airlines, including America West and United, before leaving to create a travel search site for PriceGrabber.com. Snyder did his undergrad at George Washington and earned his MBA from Stanford.

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