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Gifts vs Money: What do Employees Value More

By BloggerKhan

My profession is Management and Marketing and it revolves around outsourcing, ecommerce and marketing on the internet. Wise men say identify what you are passionate about and then see if ...

By BloggerKhan

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Want to let your employees know they are appreciated? What form of recognition are you considering? Spoken praise in private or in public, gift card, physical gift, cash…, there are so many possibilities. What is the best option to let your employees know you care about them and appreciate their effort?

Let us take a look at the pros and cons of the two major forms of recognition, gifts and money.


Giving your employees small thoughtful gifts will certainly let them know they are appreciated and increase employee retention. It will also help forge a kind of relationship with your employees that money never will. If you opt for a gift, deciding on the type of gift may prove to be tricky so here are a few of our tips: keep their interests in mind, decide when to give them, and make sure they show that your employees are part of something bigger.

A gift doesn’t always have to be big. Depending on the accomplishment, it can be something inexpensive and something that spreads good cheer around the office. A company called DallasDry.com specializes in dry fruits and nuts as employee rewards. What makes that popular is people like to share it around their office and it helps other employees feel good that if they do good work, they will also be recognized. One person gets the reward but others dip in too.

Gifts vs Money: What do Employees Value More

Gifts vs Money


Sometimes it is better to reward a group of employees rather than an individual. If you met your sales target for the quarter, send the whole sales group on a picinic. That will include your sales support staff in addition to the sales reps. Such outings help build camaraderie.


A monetary reward will show you appreciate your employees performance but not in a way that will strengthen your relationship with them. They do not show how much you care and appreciate their effort like a thoughtful gift would. Others that may be struggling with their bills will definitely appreciate a monetary bonus more or argue that they can use the money to just buy whatever they need themselves.

Ultimately we come back to the fact that people appreciate your relationship with them, the way you treat them and show them you appreciate them more than a bonus. They can even outmatch the positive effect of a raise. What workers crave more than money is recognition from their managers or superiors. Reward them for a job well done.

Instead of standardizing rewards, try to undersand your employees better. If a person’s financial situation is not very strong, maybe a monetary gift will resone better with him. Those who have less financial needs can better use a gift or a psudo cash gift like a weekend getaway or even time off.

Other examples of rewards may include:

  • Bonuses for the employee meeting the sales quota or team bonus for doing an exceptional job on a project. Quite a few companies also give out Christmas bonuses.

  • Profit sharing where employees receive a share of the profit based on their position and time spent with the company. It also gives them the sense of ownership so they will perform even better.

  • Paying for the employees continued education and any additional employee training programs.

  • Paid time off for meeting certain work goals.

  • Restaurant coupons.

  • Movie tickets.

  • Recognition of birthdays.

  • Free parking.

  • Employee discounts.

  • Flexible working hours.

  • Free mobile phone.

  • Life insurance.

  • Financial advising services.

  • Paid vacation
    Paid vacation Gifts vs Money: What do Employees Value More

    Gifts vs Money

Ultimately, it is up to the company policy. Each company is different and its employees may have different preferences than others. However, we would like to add that even research has shown that a non-monetary incentive results in a significant increase in productivity compared to equivalent cash rewards. One is treated as compensation, the other as recognition. It is up to individual organization to make a decision on what suits them best.

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