Everything You Need to Know About Employee Gifts

Digital Christmas Gifts

The holidays are an ideal time for gifts at the workplace. With the right present, a company can show employees appreciation for their contribution and loyalty. In choosing a gift, it’s recommended to keep up with the times: Digital gifts are becoming more and more popular. 

Why Are Gifts Important for Employees?

Many employees complain about a lack of recognition and appreciation at the workplace. A study of 1,500 employees by the incentive provider Sodexo showed that 57 percent see shortcomings in this area. With a gift during the holidays, companies not only give their employees a treat but increase their motivation. In companies with a positive, harmonious working environment, gifts for employees are a longstanding tradition. They express recognition for employees’ contribution and encourage good relationships between the management and their teams. 

What to Consider When Choosing a Gift

The choice of a gift at a company is determined mostly by these factors: 

  • The number of employees
  • The budget available for gifts
  • The company goals that gift-giving should help achieve
  • Tax-related questions 

Expensive company gifts bring taxes for the company or for the person receiving the gift. Gifts to business partners are tax-free up to 35 euro each year. For gifts to employees, there are other rules: 

  • For gifts related to a specific occasion — for example, a birthday or wedding — anything under 60 euros is tax-free. Companies can claim these costs as business expenses and reduce their own tax burden. However, gifts aren’t covered by these rules. 

  • Non-cash benefits that aren’t related to a specific occasion are tax-free as long as they stay under 44 euros per employee per month. This is how it’s also possible to keep gifts for employees free from taxes. 

Important: If the cost of the gift is even one cent above the legal limit for a tax-free gift, the entire value of the gift is taxed. Alternatively, companies can pay a flat-tax for gifts to business partners. 

Of course, the gifts should also fit what employees would want. Some unpopular gifts are, for example, household goods, pens, cosmetics, wine, and chocolate. Digital gifts, however, are particularly popular among employees. 

The Top 5 Digital Christmas Gifts for Employees

Digital Gifts
 for Your Employees  the Top 5

Digital presents are often equated with high-tech devices. However: If a company is able to give their employees a smartphone or tablet, there are automatically taxes to pay, which lessens the joy for one party or the other. With a little creativity, it’s still possible to find exciting digital gifts to surprise your employees. 

Sodexo also has a study that provides a guide to gifts that employees really enjoy. According to the study, 73 percent of the employees surveyed want a gift from the company that they can use as they like. That includes, for example, bonuses or days off, but also gift certificates for gasoline and perfume. This approach can also be applied to digital gifts, with gift certificates for exciting options in the digital world. When it’s about digital gifts, these five options are at the top of the wish list for employees: 

  1. Gift certificates for entertainment like Amazon Prime, Audible, Netflix, or Spotify.

  2. Gift certificates for charity. It can be a completely open donation or one with fixed options. 

  3. Gift certificates for fitness appsExamples of popular fitness apps are Freeletics, Runtastica, or Strava. 

  4. Gift certificates for a food box subscriptionWell-known providers are Hello Fresh, Marley Spoon, or mycouchbox. The first two don’t only offer fresh food, but also delicious recipes for preparing it. There are also many regional food box providers with regional food. 

  5. And of course our favorite: E-learning gift certificates for individual development. For example, many employees are interested in improving their language skills or learning a new language. With a gift certificate for the digital language learning platform Babbel, your company is well-placed to fulfil these wishes and as a side effect your company will benefit as well. Babbel for Business offers business packages for various sizes, so it's an easy gift for small, as well as large teams. 

A thoughtfully chosen present for your employees pays off!

Thoughtful digital presents for your employees are well worth it. You should invest some time and thought into your search for the right gift. Ideally a well-chosen Christmas gift enhances the impact of your employer branding, encourages lasting connections among employees, and is a general benefit to your company culture. The best option is an individual choice that is tailored to your employees’ wishes. Digital Christmas gifts offer diverse possibilities to do just that. It’s especially impactful when the recognition of employees expressed at Christmas continues throughout the year.

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