Regardless of whether you or your employees celebrate any type of holiday this time of year, many people look forward to receiving an employee gift or bonus. They enjoy feeling like you as an employer notice and appreciate their efforts.

However, purchasing these gifts can be a time-consuming and frustrating experience for you as a business owner. This is especially true when you want to show some individuality with your gifts. You also need to keep the gift strictly professional and not cross lines by getting too personal. It can be a tough balancing act, but the ideas below can help.

Consider Alternatives to Traditional Holiday Gifts

While some employees enjoy the annual gift card from their boss, others would appreciate the opportunity to receive something more personally meaningful to them. For example, you could consider giving employees an extra half or full day of vacation to allow them to participate in a charity event of their choice. You could also make a donation to charity on their behalf, so long as you know which charities matter to which employees.

A Bit of Pampering or a Night on the Town

When your employees work hard for you by giving up their free time to meet deadlines or just have an excellent work ethic, rewarding them with time away from work and other responsibilities can mean a lot to them. A spa package is just one such example. Employees can choose from ala carte services such as a massage or spending time in the sauna.

Going out for the evening with a friend or significant other can also help employees relax and unwind from the stress of work. It could even turn into a team-building opportunity when you purchase tickets for entire work teams to the same event.

Gifts That Promote a Healthy Lifestyle

Some of your employees may be trying to lead a healthier lifestyle but have little money in the budget to join a gym or receive dietary counseling. If you feel this could be the case, paying for a gym membership for a few months or a session with a health coach would make a thoughtful gift. A gift certificate to a grocery store known for healthier foods can also help. These gifts tell employees you care about them and want to help them improve their health.

Commuter Passes or Parking Discounts

Employees who ride public transportation or who must pay for parking to work incur additional expenses. A thoughtful employee gift for those who take the bus or ride the train would be a monthly or annual pass that covers the cost of fares. Providing employees with free or reduced parking spaces or a special spot for high performers are other ideas you might consider.

Need help creating a budget for employee gifts? This is just one of the many services we can assist you with at Nolan Accounting Center.