As the VP of Administration, the holiday season starts early for me. There are many people, departments, organizations, and vendors to think of during the holidays and to coordinate their holiday gifts and gatherings. Every year, the backlash against Christmas commercials that air too early, or retail stores placing decorations out before Halloween seems to grow; however, those in the event planning world are often thinking of the holidays prior to Labor Day. Event planners are in charge of everyone’s holiday cheer.
During the holiday planning season, it is important to keep in perspective the purpose of the season, and what employees and clients will value and appreciate as the company’s gift giving plan for the year. Gifts and gatherings should highlight the company’s value and mission. Sure, some may say, “How much thought goes into the popcorn gift tins and holiday potlucks?” But everyone in the planning industry knows it takes time and thought to organize, budget, and deliver all of those corporate gifts. You may not be distributing cheesy popcorn as a gift, but for whatever presents you purchase, you want to make sure the recipient feels appreciated from the organization.
Some ways companies can make sure the season is special for all those at hand, including the community, are:
1. Engage employees in volunteering opportunities.
These activities can include collecting and delivering toys for organizations like Toys for Tots, food and clothing drives for local missions, or even engaging in virtual volunteer opportunities.
2. Create a personalized experience for staff that allows them to customize the gift they receive.
There are sites that will allow you to pick out a gift card or item with a set budget. This makes the employees feel appreciated.
3. Sponsoring local community organizations for a donation drive.
Align with an organization that shares your company’s core values and invite employees to participate.
4. Donate on customer’s behalf.
Setup a private donation page with a list of reputable charities that your clients can pick from and you can donate on their behalf.
5. Gift experiences.
Giving staff gift cards to movies and meal for two or passes to the local zoo or aquarium.
6. An extra paid day off for the year so staff can be with family.
Because who doesn’t like an bonus day off?
When spreading holiday cheer remember to appreciate, thank, and gift with a purpose. The effects of giving during the season can create a lasting impression on clients and employees.