The holiday season is a time for giving, and finding the perfect gift for your work colleagues can be tricky. As a team leader, you want to show your appreciation for your hard-working crew while also sticking to a budget. The good news is that giving thoughtful, affordable gifts to your workmates is totally doable with a little planning and creativity. Here are some great Christmas gift ideas for your work team that will spread holiday cheer without breaking the bank.
Get To Know Your Team's Interests
The first step to finding the perfect gifts for your team is to get to know what each person is interested in outside of work. Make a list of each team member along with a few of their hobbies, causes they support, and interests they have outside the office. Even if you know your co-workers well, it never hurts to ask around for gift ideas from their family or friends to get suggestions you may not have thought of.
Give Gifts That Make Work Life Better
Look for gifts that relate to your colleagues' jobs to show that you notice their efforts at work. For the office coffee addict, give a travel mug or bag of artisan coffee beans. For the person who's always cold at their desk, a cozy blanket or space heater is sure to get used. If someone loves tuning out distractions with headphones, upgrade their music experience with wireless bluetooth ones. Office supplies like notebooks, fancy pens, or a personalized notepad can make an eco-friendly and useful gift too. The options are endless for practical gifts that directly improve your team's daily work life.
Get Creative with Office Treats
Treat your team by getting creative with edible gifts for the office. Make your own Christmas gift basket filled with gourmet snacks or a selection of fancy hot chocolate. Bring in a tin of homemade cookies, fudge, or other holiday sweets to share. You can even buy or make food gifts tailored to your teammates' dietary needs, like sugar-free or gluten-free treats. Just make sure to get the okay from management first before giving food items. Small stocking stuffer candies or gift cards to nearby coffee shops also make budget-friendly edible gifts.
Make DIY Gifts From The Heart
Nothing says "happy holidays" like a thoughtful, handmade gift. Get crafty and make your teammates something special that shows you put in time and effort just for them. Ideas include hand-knit scarves, homemade candles or soap, decorative baked goods like biscotti, and personalized ornaments. You can craft fun office accessories like bookends, magnets, or pen holders too. DIY gifts have an intimate feel that mass-produced gifts lack. Just be sure to give yourself enough time to make each item with care.
Give Charitable Gifts
For the colleague who seems to have everything, make a donation to a cause important to them in their name. Look up which charities or non-profits they regularly support to pick one meaningful to your co-worker. You can donate any amount, even just $10 or $20, and the organization will send a thank you card acknowledging the gift to your team member. Charitable holiday gifts let you spread extra holiday spirit to those in need.
Run a Holiday Gift Exchange
Instead of buying something for every single team member, suggest a gift exchange. Have everyone pick a name out of a hat and set a spending limit, like $20 per person. This way, everyone only has to buy one gift within the set budget. To build excitement, have people keep their giftee a secret until your office party when everyone opens their gift. A gift exchange makes giving easy and affordable for everyone.
Giving thoughtful gifts does not have to be stressful or overly expensive. Focus on what each person likes and make it personal for a special gift within your budget. With creativity and a little effort, you can make your work team feel valued this Christmas. The holiday season is about showing you care, not how much money you spend.
What kind of gifts should I avoid giving to coworkers?
Anything too personal, like perfumes or clothing, could make others uncomfortable. Also avoid gag gifts that may be perceived as inappropriate for the workplace.
What if I have a large team and can't afford gifts for everyone?
Consider suggesting a gift exchange or giving one larger gift like a fruit basket that the whole team can enjoy together. Handwritten notes are also a thoughtful way to show your appreciation if gifts aren't in your budget.
Should I give gifts to the whole team or just my direct reports?
It's common to give small token gifts like gift cards just to your direct reports. But you may want to get something consumable to share with the whole team like donuts or cookies to spread holiday cheer.
What if I don't know someone's interests that well?
Generic gifts like gift certificates to Starbucks or Amazon make great fallback options if you don't know the person well enough yet to get them something personal. Asking their team members for ideas can help too.
Are homemade food gifts appropriate for the office?
Yes, edible homemade gifts are appreciated, but make sure no one on your team has food allergies first. Also give baked goods and snacks in packaging to avoid contamination.
Giving Christmas gifts to your work team is a thoughtful way to show appreciation and spread holiday cheer. When selecting gifts, make sure to avoid anything too personal or inappropriate for the workplace. If you have a large team, consider suggesting a gift exchange or giving one larger gift that everyone can enjoy together. It's common to give small token gifts just to your direct reports, but you may want to get something consumable to share with the whole team like donuts or cookies.
Finally, if you're not sure what to get someone, generic gifts like gift certificates or asking their team members for ideas can be helpful. And remember, homemade food gifts are appreciated, just make sure to check for allergies and package them properly. Happy holidays!