Given the importance of festivals in India, organizations have always tried to a part of such celebrations for their employees. This has created a lot of focus on festival gifting by organizations. However, the concept of festival gifting has undergone a tremendous transformation over the years. Traditionally, organizations used to gift items such as sweet boxes, dry fruit trays, snack baskets or even small appliances to their employees. These are increasingly being replaced by items such as chocolate boxes, gift vouchers and electronics. Given the criticality and complexity of this process, organizations often struggle with it. To help them, we have a put together a guide to festival gifting for employees:
Why is Festival Gifting such a difficult process for organizations?
Organizations find it challenging to manage the process of festival gifting due to various reasons:
· Time sensitivity
· Budget constraints
· Need for personalization of gifts
· Ensuring quality and logistics
The gift preference of each employee is different depending on their age, gender, marital status, ethnicity, personality and a host of other personal factors. Hence it is a nightmare for the organization to come up with a one-size-fits-all solution to festival gifting.
Smaller organizations find it difficult to identify and negotiate with vendors to manage the entire process due to the lack of enough volumes that vendors would typically look for. Larger organizations are faced with the challenge of numbers and geographical dispersion of their workforce. This is further complicated by the fact that today a significant chunk of employees of most organizations are working from home or from their hometowns which might be in remote areas.
All this puts a lot of pressure on the HR and Admin Teams in most organizations given the amount of visibility and importance festival gifting gets in organizations. To top it all, even a single lapse gets highlighted and draws considerable flak from the management and the employees.
Most organizations understand festival gifting is a great way to enhance employee experience and motivation and create emotional bonding with the workforce. Given its importance for the organizations in the overall scheme of things, it is critical for them to manage as well as possible. The following a guide to festival gifting for employees with best practices that are simple and easy to implement for organizations:
1. Plan well in Advance
Since the timing of the festival gifting is critical, organizations need to start planning for it well in advance, possibly a few months in advance. They need to get the necessary budgetary approvals in place and start identifying the vendors to partner with, in managing the whole process. Apart from budgets, other financial implications such as taxation, etc. also need to be taken into consideration.
2. Offer Choice to Employees
One of the biggest challenges faced by organizations is to ensure that the employees feel happy and satisfied with the gifts they receive. The best way for ensuring this is by providing choice to the employees in selecting their gifts. For example, giving gift vouchers that can be used at multiple retail stores or on online shopping websites can prove to be a much better option than specific items such as home appliances, gadget or beauty/ wellness products. These gift vouchers provide employees with the freedom of choice and help in enhancing their happiness and satisfaction level.
3. Provide Convenience for Employees
There were those times when employees would lug home an appliance of a gadget that they have received as a festival gift. Or even a big box of sweets! Even physical gift cards can be easily lost or misplaced. Organizations need to look at gifting options that ensure the convenience of the employees.
4. Use an Online Platform
Organizations should consider using an online platform for managing their festival gifting programs. Such platforms provide employee multiple options for gifts within a certain budget range. Platforms like HiFives provide options of hundreds of gift vouchers of popular brands that can be delivered to the employees electronically, ensuring both freedoms of choice and convenience for employees. Such platforms can be used not only for festival gifting but also for employee rewards and recognition throughout the year.
Festival gifting is an important activity for any organization looking to build a stronger connects with its employees. This guide to festival gifting for employees can help organizations manage the process smoothly with minimum administrative overheads and operational hiccups.