To the CEO or manager considering gifting your employees for the holidays, kudos. Your employees and support staff contribute largely to the success of your enterprise and, in many cases, they are your face and reputation. Your employees will truly appreciate your generosity and will be encouraged to work a little more diligently, when it is evident that they are viewed as people and valued. If you run a larger company, dealing with so many personalities, backgrounds and values, the thought of giving everyone a gift can be intimidating. This is especially true if you don’t personally know your employees. I am fully aware of this, hence why I am throwing out this life-preserver: the application.
You may be re-reading that last sentence to make sure you read it properly, but yes, I am serious. When you craft your application for potential employees, you obviously seek out the usual suspects: legal name, date of birth, birth place, address and so on. Of course, if you are labeling and shipping something, these are are useful, but we’re digging deeper than that. In addition to their names and addresses, you also have their work history (most employers seek 5-10 year employment history), their educational history, community groups, volunteer history and references. With this information, you have a profile of your employees. Each and every single person that works for/with you, had to first introduce themselves on paper or digitally. Now with this in your mind’s eye, you can build a plan to gift your employees.
Let’s start with work history. If you employ millennials, this section will be very telling. The majority of teens who seek employment, aim for jobs that hold some benefit to them. When I started working, one of my first jobs was at the local mall at Gadzooks. It was a teeny bopper clothing and accessory store. Why did I apply there? I wanted a discount on the clothing and accessories. I saw items going on the floor before customers did, a heads up on sales. If you think back, you may have the same memory. Teens typically don’t work out of necessity, so a job with a benefit is enough.
Look over those earlier years in the history and see what they “valued”. As you move up the history, you’ll see a shift as maturing happens. Don’t underestimate the information in this section. Even as maturing occurs and professional aspirations change, you still get a clear picture of who they want to be in the world. You also learn what matters to them.
If you want to glean further gift insight from their employment history, pay special attention to the jobs they kept the longest and look at the reasons given for why they left each job. For example, an applicant may inform you that they left their previous job, because they wanted weekends off. This can mean they have children and want to be home with them and do family things. This can also indicated they value self care and relaxing. By doing this, you get a clearer picture of their nature and character. There is so much to unpack in this section that can enlighten you in your gifting.
In the next installment I want to spend a little time evaluating the educational history and how that can assisting in the corporate gifting process.