When the arrival of a new year is just a few dawns away, you should wrap your head around deciding on new year gifts for employees. And this fervent assertion is backed by a sound rationale - both psychological and emotional.

It’s that time of year where your employees take a sip of calmness and view the balance sheet of the life in the year that is just about to fade away. Deep in inquisitive mode, they take stock of what they had dreamt, what about the resolutions that they had made in high spirits of ambiance, and how many tick boxes are vacant in the last year’s bucket list.

And since the new year isn’t just an event to change the calendar but life, many employees use it as a starting point to fill up the last years’ backlog with new zeal, energy, and planning.

Gifting your employees strategically to help them move up the ladder in their aspirations doesn’t just let you shower upon them the greatest gift—gratitude. But your consideration and concern for them get permanently imprinted on their psyche, making the bond between you and them as firm as a lava-borne rock. New year gifts for employees, therefore, shine with special importance.

However, it is marred with one deceptively simple question: what to gift?

The Right Gifting for New Year

The sculpture is already present in a rock. A skilled sculptor truncates and weeds out the unwanted portion from a rock. He creates by subtraction and not by addition, as he knows what he doesn’t want.

New Year gifts for Employees

It applies mirror-reflectively to new year gift ideas for employees, as there is a clear-cut chasm between what employees want as a gift and what employers are giving. ‍

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According to SHRM ( Society for Human Resource Management), 8 in 10 employees in the U.S. have received a workplace gift—mostly from managers—that they didn't want.

Companies, therefore, can take a leaf out of the sculptor's book. More than what to gift, employers must understand what not to gift, particularly for the new year, as employees view it as a starting point to beginning new things and experiencing the things and feelings that have always been at their arm's length.

And luckily enough, researchers have burned enough midnight oil to bring to light the persona non grata of gifts that irk the employees most.‍

A Comprehensive Guide to Corporate Gifting | Xoxoday
Corporate gifting is a gesture of gifting valuables to clients, employees, or any other co-habitant within the business space.

7 Best New Year Gift Ideas for Employees

The perfect recipe for new year gift ideas for employees, including what to gift and how to gift, is served on your plate: Gift what will help your employees unwind and better in the coming new year through stem-winding gift vouchers. It’s almost pixie dust, and we have cut short your workload by listing out the areas you can gift via vouchers.

1. Health

One of the most procrastinated new year resolutions is coming into shape by sweating heavily in gyms. But the designated MONDAY to kick-starting never comes, and the much-desired perfect shape eludes them. Giving employees the vouchers of full-fledged health centers as a new year corporate gift can break that continuous streak of procrastination.

2. Reading and learning

A new year is an ideal time to review your skill sets and analyze your career prospects. In times where what is in vogue becomes unnoticeable within a blink of an eye, keeping yourself abreast with the demands of the market is a must for your survival.

A gift voucher of most cutting-edge online courses can give a long rope to employees in this concern, as online courses brim with the capacity to impart must-to-ace skills.

3. Hobbies

If you check the wish lists of your employees, which they write in their secret diaries, one of them would be to master some art and craft- then it could be playing guitar, learning to paint, making a world out of ordinary pieces of paper. But due to some controllable and uncontrollable forces, it remains buried in diaries only.

Vouchers of hobby classes as new year gifts for employees might prove the little trigger your employees need to convert those burials into actual accomplishments in the coming year.

4. Travel

Everyone’s bucket list and new year resolution have one common thing -  the dream vacation destination they want to visit in the next year. Putting a foot on it doesn’t just give a sense of satisfaction and achievement to your employees. But after two years of pandemic turmoil, it will unwind them and rejuvenate them mentally as well. Remember: A mere employee isn’t your biggest asset, but a mentally and physically fit employee is.

5. Subscriptions

With Diwali, Thanksgiving, and Christmas, three of the most significant events for the films and OTT show release, falling near the year-end, the possibility of in-house and in-theatre entertainment is gigantic. Let your employees relish it with their beloved ones throughout the year with a subscription voucher as a new year’s corporate gift from your end.

6. Software upgrades

Upgrading to software and its various versions is a moving target. One never knows when the existing version will become outdated and rob you of functionality necessary for personal and professional work. A gift voucher to software, thus, is a perfect new year corporate gift.

7. Electronics and gadgets

For a workforce that boasts of the creative genius of graphic designers and wizardry of tech freaks, tech gift vouchers are tailor-made new year give-outs. Your employees can choose according to what suits their requirements and move up the ladder a bit in being digitally literate.

Additional: Charity

There is no dearth of people, and that includes your employees too, who spend their new year's eve with the hapless ones or those who their people have abandoned. And many want to keep doing it throughout the year.

But the shortage of time, familial responsibilities build up a wall between them and this selfless want. Letting them donate for the cause that gives them sleepless nights through gift vouchers will bulldoze that wall - making it one of the most cherishable, meaningful, and significant new year gifts for your employees.

What Employees don’t want as a New Year Corporate Gift

1. Gifts with too many logos

According to the same survey, almost 3 in 4 workers would prefer to get a new year corporate gift without their company logo. Paul White, a Ph.D. in psychology, mentions that employees have reported that they don't mind some gifts with logos, but they resent feeling like a 'walking billboard' for the company.

He further asserts that when they are given gifts with the company's logo, the item immediately is disqualified as a gift—because the focus of the item is the company, not the recipient.‍

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Quick tip: Subtle branding while coming up with new year gift ideas for employees is fine. Please don't overdo it and make your employees feel that they are a walking-talking promotional machine of your brand.

2. Commonality (banality) that makes gifts forgettable

Corporate gifts, particularly new year gifts for employees, have mostly been smothered due to their commonality. The three usual suspects are sweets, chocolates, and dry fruits. They are highly resented by employees even during the festive season when they come up with a ring of tradition.

The simple reason is they are as ubiquitous as parties on new year’s eve. They score zero when you evaluate them on their ability to thrill your employees. Naturally, they are a big no as a gift not only to employees but also to new year gifts for customers too.

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Quick tip: Stay away from all-too-common gifts. You won’t be wasting your money only, but a chance to earn respect in the eyes of your employees.

3. Unusable gifts

Giving books to a non-bibliophile person is like offering food to a person who is full up to the last alcove of his stomach. It’s useless, as it has no touch of personalization that usually sprouts through a thorough understanding of the likes and dislikes of a person.

It then shouldn’t punch you in your guts that many employees pass on the gifts they receive from their company to others, and 42% of them do it because they don’t like or need it.

New year gifts for employees

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Quick tip: Think about the usability of the new year gift ideas. They should somehow - either emotionally, physically, or psychologically - help your employees fulfill their new year’s resolutions. That’s where the need for real personalization arrives like a comet.

4. Mere things/objects that vanish as quickly as vapor

Regardless of the supremely materialistic world that we live in, the best things, particularly in the realm of gifting, are still not things. Objects get consumed and evaporate even before they settle in the consumers’ whole being. Consequently, they fell short in being truly memorable and thereby lingering long over the minds.

That’s where the yet-unfelt experiences reach the finishing line while things-as-gifts are tightening their shoelaces. It is particularly true for new year gifts, where employees want to venture into newness.

The LinkedIn survey’s analytical residual that more than three in four workers would instead share an experience than exchange gifts, and 73% would rather have time off to do what they’d like rather than a holiday bonus can staunchly vouch for it.

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Quick tip: Things are temporary, but experiences are permanent. But since things have their own importance in terms of usability, the ideal approach towards gifting is the right blend of usable objects and unforgettable experiences.

If you distill all the above inferences from what not to gift at this new year, then what to gift emerges slowly. And more or less, they need to fulfill the following prerequisites.

  • Freedom to choose is a must, as each person is different and values things differently.
  • Gifts should be usable, instantly gratifying, and should not reek of promotional intent.
  • Should break the hardened and accepted mold of commonality and bequeath upon employees the glittering experiences.
  • Gifts should be as personal as possible, and that includes a gifting message as well.

As only and only online gift vouchers can tick these checkboxes under the sun, one can see why they rank so high in the desirability quotient of employees.

Gifts For Employees On New Year

In a nutshell

  • New year comes with combined emotions - an analysis of the year that has just gone by and the plans for the upcoming new brand year. That's why gifts that help the employees enjoy the present moment and prepare for the future ring well with employees.
  • The perfect new year gifting begins with identifying what employees don't want as gifts, and chocolate boxes, dry fruits, products with company logos sit atop in this regard.
  • While gifting, employers should think about gifts' novelty, usability, personalization, and freedom of choice. Egift, thus, with the capacity of combining earthly objects and heavenly experiences, is the real silver bullet.
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See how Xoxoday irons out the problem of gift selections with its capacious gift catalog and guarantees personalized, unforgettable gifting experiences to your employees.
Rani Joseph

Rani Joseph

Rani Joseph comes with a decade-long experience across the value chain of content and brand marketing. She currently is the Sr. Manager of Content Marketing at Xoxoday.