Clients also score big during the holidays
Cash isn’t always king.
As the holidays approach, so do year-end bonuses and gifts — and with them, the anticipation of just how jolly your January will be. About two-thirds of companies plan to give out bonuses, gifts or other perks this year.
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Though cold, hard cash tends to be the most common means by which employers bring cheer to their staff — gifts are also popular, with roughly 16% of companies saying they’ll give workers one this year, according to data from global outplacement and executive coaching consultancy Challenger, Gray & Christmas.
Large companies like Apple, Buzzfeed and Disney have been known to think outside the box when it comes to presenting staffers with their annual handouts. In 2014, Buzzfeed gave employees a $350 Apple watch, a tech-savvy gadget that wasn’t even available for retail at the time. A Disney employee reported being given an iPhone, an iPad and a pillow in 2011 — a perk likely worth nearly two thousand dollars. And while last year, Apple gave employees a t-shirt that listed the location of every Apple store around the world, in years past, employees have reported receiving headphones, music subscriptions, and iTunes gift cards.
Some smaller companies — like New York City-based public relations and influencer marketing firm Alison Brod Marketing and Communications — tailor their gifts to each employee. “I go through every single person and assign a value and gift. It’s a somewhat grueling process, but I feel strongly about thanking partners,” Brod tells Moneyish. She’s a proponent of giving gift cards so people can select what they want or give to others and she tries to plug her clients as well. “Sugarfina for most, GlamSquad, Venus et Fleur, NEST Fragrances and Urban Decay Naked Palette sets,” says Brod.
Clients score big — sometimes really big — in the gift department too. Over the course of the last few years, Lowell Shapiro, co-founder of Los Angeles-based talent management firm Black Box, and his partner Mike Dill, have given clients unconventional gifts like $850 Yeezy’s, a $1,000 queen-sized bed, a $150 customized Dallas Cowboys jersey, an Uber gift certificate and subscriptions to MoviePass. “If we weren’t able to pick out unique gifts, it would mean that we don’t really know who our clients are as people and artists,” says Shapiro.
For these managers, knowing that they’re giving their clients something that genuinely excites them and makes them feel confident going into the New Year is important. “In our business it’s essential to really understand and know your clients,” Shapiro tells Moneyish.
But opting for the personal route requires careful consideration. According to Forbes’ Ian Altman, “In many cases, your best intentions can backfire. You don’t want your gifts to scream desperate or gauche. You want your gesture to be thoughtful and personal.”
Additionally, Altman suggests avoiding gifts that might be interpreted as marketing pieces. “Many companies send clients gifts that contain their own name and logo. That’s not a gift,” says Altman.
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