The holiday season is often a time when employers show appreciation to their employees. Yet one in five organizations won’t be giving holiday bonuses or gifts, for one reason or another. Bob Funk, CEO of staffing company Express Employment Professionals reminds us, “It can be disheartening for an employee to feel unappreciated … you don’t have to be extravagant … but it’s important to show recognition.”[1]

Funk goes on to say that showing appreciation is actually an investment in your employees. It not only improves morale, it increase loyalty.[2] If your organization is looking for ways to recognize its staff this holiday season, consider one of these top 10 holiday gifts for employees in healthcare.

  • Logo’d apparel: Logo’d outerwear, such as a fleece jacket or wind- and water-resistant jacket, is a much-appreciated gift. Consider embroidering a special message such as “Nurses have heart” or “Making a better world one smile at a time.” Order a variety of sizes or get preferred sizes ahead of time to make sure no one is left in the cold.
  • Power banks: Give the gift of battery life with a power bank (any). These techy gadgets are showing up in gift guides everywhere. Mashable® named them the safest gift to get anyone on your list.[3] And Tech Times® listed them as a top choice in its holiday gift guide.[4]
  • Food items: Food items are popular holiday gifts.[5] The selection is vast, and many come packaged with a tangible gift. Thoughtful ideas are a holiday turkey with a bamboo cutting board or a cheese and sausage board with a cutting knife. Employees can indulge or share at their own holiday get-togethers.
  • A free lunch: Often times, nurses and other healthcare staff are on the go throughout their entire shift. Leaving the facility for lunch or taking a stroll to the cafeteria isn’t always possible. A holiday lunch for each shift is a great way to say thanks for all you do. Opt for cold lunch items like sandwiches, salads and fruit to accommodate those who get stuck on the floor. As an added gift, include a logo’d lunch bag (any) or cooler.
  • Barista for the day: Are your staff members coffee drinkers? And do they come to work armed with a cappuccino or latte? Consider being a barista for the day. Bring in a cappuccino maker, fresh espresso beans, some flavored syrups, creamers and milk and start taking orders. Present drinks in a premium, double-walled travel mug for a take home gift.
  • Emergency preparedness: Healthcare workers are known for helping others. Ensure they are well taken care of, too, by gifting them an emergency kit. These kits contain everything you need in the event of a disaster or emergency—first aid, food, a flashlight, an emergency blanket and more.
  • Better health: A recent NBC News article termed 2016 as “The year Americans get serious about getting healthy.”[6] Why not give the gift of better health with a free or discounted gym membership? With the average monthly gym membership costing close to $60, employees are sure to appreciate this gift.[7] If a membership isn’t in your budget, consider gifting employees a personal fitness gift such as a home fitness kit or personal health tracker.
  • Gift cards: Gift cards can be an appealing choice for your holiday employee gift. Most are available in any dollar amount and come from a variety of retailers. Companies that choose gift cards should choose something that appeals to the masses—a certificate to a local supermarket or to your area’s association of commerce. Present it in a logo’d holiday gift card holder for an added impression.
  • Cash: Not to be confused with the annual performance bonus, a holiday appreciation bonus is a good fit for any staffer. Approximately 27 percent of employees say cash is their preferred form of holiday appreciation—it always fits and never goes out of style.[8]
  • Personal thank you: A personal thank you goes a long way, whether you plan an added gift or not.[9] Whether verbal or written in a holiday greeting card (any), a little goes a long way in spreading thanks—and holiday cheer.

Holiday gifts for employees are a great way to show the love and express appreciation. We hope you take away a few ideas to help recognize your hardworking staff for all their accomplishments.

[1] Miller, Stephen. ”  Holiday Rewards: Cash vs. Gifts Employees Are Creating Their Wish Lists, but Should You Give Them What They Want?” Holiday Rewards: Cash vs. Gifts. N.p., 5 Dec. 2014. Web. 27 June 2016. <https://www.shrm.org/hrdisciplines/benefits/articles/pages/holiday-rewards-gifts-cash.aspx>.

[2] Ibid

[3] Kumagai, Jillian. “The Safest Gift to Get Anyone on Your Holiday List.”Mashable. N.p., 25 Nov. 2014. Web. 27 June 2016. <http://mashable.com/2014/11/25/battery-life-gifts/#yIrmySJrhmqb>.

[4] Passary, Sumit. “Holiday Gift Guide 2015: Best IPhone 6s And IPhone 6s Plus Accessories.” Tech Times. N.p., 14 Dec. 2015. Web. 27 June 2016. <http://www.techtimes.com/articles/116046/20151214/holiday-gift-guide-2015-best-iphone-6s-and-iphone-6s-plus-accessories.htm>.

[5] “Engagement Strategies Media: Present Perfect: The Art of Corporate Gift Giving.” Engagement Strategies Media: Present Perfect: The Art of Corporate Gift Giving. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 June 2016. <http://www.enterpriseengagement.org/articles/content/8289147/present-perfect-the-art-of-corporate-gift-giving/>.

[6] Carroll, Linda. “2016: The Year Americans Get Serious About Getting Healthy?” NBC News. N.p., 2 Jan. 2016. Web. 27 June 2016. <http://www.nbcnews.com/health/health-news/2016-year-americans-get-serious-about-getting-healthy-n488731>.

[7] “Statistic Brain.” Statistic Brain. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 June 2016. <http://www.statisticbrain.com/gym-membership-statistics/>.

[8] Miller, Stephen. ”  Holiday Rewards: Cash vs. Gifts Employees Are Creating Their Wish Lists, but Should You Give Them What They Want?” Holiday Rewards: Cash vs. Gifts. N.p., 5 Dec. 2014. Web. 27 June 2016. <https://www.shrm.org/hrdisciplines/benefits/articles/pages/holiday-rewards-gifts-cash.aspx>.

[9] Miller, Stephen. ”  Holiday Rewards: Cash vs. Gifts Employees Are Creating Their Wish Lists, but Should You Give Them What They Want?” Holiday Rewards: Cash vs. Gifts. N.p., 5 Dec. 2014. Web. 27 June 2016. <https://www.shrm.org/hrdisciplines/benefits/articles/pages/holiday-rewards-gifts-cash.aspx>.

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