At present, I have no employees, but over the years, it has been reliant on a variety of factors. I always gathered information (on the sly) about the employees so as to get the appropriate gifts.
In my brick and mortar businesses, I would have a holiday party done up right and have a personalized holiday gift basket for everyone.
Then, for commissioned employees and subcontractors in the week before New Years, a high dining experience with their annual bonus checks based on their years earnings and volume.
I've been in many very different businesses over the last 40 years, and they have been routinely sculpted to match what was acceptable and appropriate for the times and the businesses.
I had a partner in the 80's I bought a car for, a volvo. I had a partner in the early nineties I bought a Caribbean Cruise. There have been a number of individual I've gifted in this manner in the high times of my life.
It has to be scaled to one's budget, on average, it's the gesture and the meal that go along way. My father, a fine restaurant owner and operator from '43 to '96, would prepare extremely fine meals for some of his employees and our entire family would go to their houses and set it up, serve it, and clear it. He did this for some of the poorer families in our community as well.
For others that worked for us, he would give money.
Over the years, I've learned it to be a very personal choice. It's hard to make the choices sometimes. I do believe it needs to be scaled to one's ability and budget. As well, scaled to the position of the recipients.
When I was still managing my sister's business we always give cash money and grocery items as our gifts for our employees on Christmas Day. We also gives yearly incentives as part of our Christmas give away as a way of saying our thanks of appreciation to them for their contribution to the growth of the company and working hard for our company.
Every place I've worked in the past as given a Christmas bonus and paid for a Christmas party although I'm not sure if that's dying out now over here in the UK.
It seemed to have become the norm, and people expected something extra, instead of seeing it for what it was, a bonus. I think a lot of the smaller companies especially were realising that they simply couldn't afford it, so are trying to move away from offering monetary incentives and maybe offering other things in its place.
I do! Since I have a small business, I have gotten to know my three employees very well. We go out to breakfast or lunch for business "meetings," we all find a day a month we can make it to happy hour, and we confide in each other.
I love Christmas and all things celebrating the season, so I get them all gifts. Usually it's a kitchen-related ornament, a gift card somewhere, and something homemade (often brownies). Everything is subject to change except the ornament. I also invite them all to my huge annual Christmas party. The holiday season is a blast if his work for me.
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