By RedBalloon for Business

The power of personalising employee gifts

“You can’t win in the marketplace unless you win first in the workplace. If you don’t have a winning culture inside, it’s hard to compete in the very tough world outside,” Douglas Conant

In this series we suggest ways to ‘shift people’s experience of work’. #8 looked at how experiences can add impact to your promotional activities. In this ninth post we look at how important it is to personalise employee gifts, and how experiences are the perfect solution.

Experiences are personal

One thing we all have in common is the desire for life to be a positive experience, and that is the culmination of lots of smaller positive experiences. People have bucket lists, aspirations and things they’ve always dreamed of doing. Those desires and those moments are special and they’re very personal.

That’s why using experiences as part of your internal engagement and corporate gifting strategy is a great way to add a truly personal flavour to a realm usually dictated by logo-laden stationary, stale hampers and bottles of wine.

Personalised employee gifts encourage productivity

In challenging times especially, businesses can never afford the luxury of unproductive staff. As businesses continually look to cut costs as they negotiate unknown waters, cutting costs from the wrong places can be short sighted and damaging.

Strong businesses will always continue to focus on their people – and have a team of ‘A’ graders who are truly engaged. To be competitive is to have a focused team of engaged employees, who are there for the long haul. In troubling times it is those that focus on their people that will be able to maximise the opportunities that will arise. That’s why employee engagement has long been heralded as the holy grail of organisational success. It’s a person’s emotional and intellectual commitment to an organisation that will make a real difference to how the business fares. 

How to use employee gifts for engagement

  • The key: capturing the hearts and minds of employees. 
  • The catch: finding out what inspires employees to make that extra discretionary effort. 
  • The payoffs: work becomes pleasurable, more productive and more profitable. 

If you don’t capture the hearts and minds of your people – no amount of money will keep them long term – and when there is no cash to splash around and bonuses are non-existent then smart companies are looking for alternatives. Personalised, non monetary rewards, is one avenue to bring this to life.

Shared experiences produce relationships, they generate conversations, create memories and build emotional bonds. And it doesn’t have to cost a lot to be effective. In fact, much of employee engagement is simply about making sure that people know what they are there to do in the day, that they have the tools to get the job done, that they are noticed for what they contribute and they go home feeling like a winner.

People expect personalisation

Personalisation – and expectations of – are everywhere these days. Customers want to know you understand them; where they shop, what they want, where and how they want it. And this applies to your corporate customers, clients and employees as well. Successful and effective gifting is all about showing you understand that person.

Gift vouchers have long been considered the most impersonal gift option available – a fall back when you simply can’t think of anything else. But experience gift vouchers are different. They not only allow you to show you know that person by your selection of a unique and special activity, but they allow personalisation in the delivery of that experience.

You can also take your corporate gifting up a notch, and inspire an emotional connection to your brand, with an experience that is not only personal in its nature, but personalised when delivered. RedBalloon for Business offers businesses the ability to co-brand vouchers for this very reason.

Experiences are the most memorable of all gifts, and what better way to enhance that memorability than by ensuring your business is front of mind when the recipient looks at their voucher? It means the memories and stories that come from that experience will be forever associated with your brand and that moment of giving.

Our story with personalised employee gifts

Before the Big Red Group was formed, our star brand RedBalloon had an internal engagement project called “The Dreamcatcher”. At the beginning of the year every employee would write down 10 things they wanted to experience or achieve that year – and they would work to tick them off. When it came time to recognise our people for great work, personal milestones or to just say thanks, we could do this in an incredibly personalised, and powerful, way.

Something so simple yet so effective in showing our people we knew who they were and what made them tick. Because ultimately it’s how people talk about your business that makes the difference. Stories create culture and folklore, and that’s how brands are built in the hearts and minds of customers. 


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To find out more about how the RedBalloon for Business team can help you reward and recognise your people, contact us today

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