Nearly 80% of American workers would rather receive a great holiday gift than have an office party, according to the 2013 Holiday Business Gift Survey released this week by Lands' End Business Outfitters (asi/250566). The percentage of employees preferring a holiday gift grew 12% compared to one year ago.
"The holidays are a natural time to recognize employees and business partners with a thoughtful gift," said Carl Atwell, senior vice president of Lands' End Business Outfitters. "Our survey shows that people really appreciate those gifts."
According to the survey, the best time for corporate gift shopping is now through November 30 – a window of time that distributors can take advantage of. "I think budgets are loosening and employers are shifting their focus to recognizing and thanking their employees during the holiday season," said Jim Guarnera, national account director with 2020 Promotions, Inc. (asi/170720).
For the holidays, data shows that many employers (42%) prefer to give workers apparel, with gift cards (28%) and bags/totes (27%) close behind. Yet, 45% of employees prefer to receive a holiday cash bonus, followed by gift cards (23%) and apparel (11%).
While employees value cash as gifts, Linda Stevens, owner of LS Enterprises (asi/246865), has had success providing staff gifts like logoed vests, zip-up hooded sweatshirts, duffel bags and blankets. "Employees like cash, yes, but as we all know, it is spent and there is nothing tangible," she said. "Their employees are proud of the articles they receive."