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Employee Gifts: How They Can Boost Employee Morale

November 4, 2019

Contributed by Independent Bank

Does boosting morale belong in your budget?

The economy seems to be on an uptick, and unemployment rates are lower than they have been in years, but are employees delighted in their roles? According to a 2017 Gallup Study on workplace engagement, about 51% of the country’s employees didn’t feel like they were actively engaged with their work. They cited not feeling a connection to the company or the workplace as a reason for their lack of engagement, and nearly 20% admitted to feeling negative about their job, the company they work for, or the workplace in general.

So, what does this all mean? Are employees just an unhappy bunch? Absolutely not. Employees who feel valued by their company are more likely to feel connected to the workplace and to go above and beyond their role to help the company succeed. Employees who are happy and feel like they have a stake in the company are more likely to step up and take on more responsibilities, too. A tight business budget doesn’t mean you can’t be generous with your employees, and doing so may raise productivity and lead to a healthier more robust business budget in the long run.

Companies can do a lot to make their employees feel happy and engaged, suggest experts. Most employees who are disengaged in their job are disconnected because of the work environment, rather than the actual work itself.

Consider giving out smalls gifts for individuals on their birthdays, or when they get married, or their baby arrives. By actively engaging in your employees’ personal lives, they will feel like the company values them as a person rather than as a worker, or simply part of a larger group. You needn’t break the bank to make your employees happy, either. According to experts a small box of chocolates on birthdays, or a token of your congratulations during significant milestones should suffice.

Handing out holiday gifts is also an excellent way to make your employees feel like their effort is being appreciated, as long as it fits into your business budget. Remember that there are tax implications on large gifts, but the IRS is okay with gifts that have nominal cash value. For example, if you hand out hams or turkeys during the holiday season, the value is low enough for each employee that it isn’t considered additional income. The same is true for gift cards that have low cash values or a nice bottle of wine.

If you are considering handing out gifts, make sure you speak to your financial advisor or a tax accountant first. You will want to ensure your business can afford to factor gifts into its budget before you get too generous. It is important to remember that small businesses are run on rather tight margins, so you’ll need your morale-boosting gifts to fit neatly into your business budget.

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