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Personalised Gifting to Value Your Employees India's corporate gifting market has grown tremendously; there has been a transformational shift from giving physical traditional gifts such as sweet boxes and dry fruit boxes to digital gift cards

By Ramki Gaddipati

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Vikas (38) is a senior marketing professional who recently celebrated a decade of being married. He went on a short holiday with his family and on the day he resumed work, he found an envelope waiting for him at his desk with a simple note saying, 'The celebrations must go on.' When he opened it, he found an e-gift voucher which he could redeem at restaurants, spas, hotels, e-commerce portals of his choice. It was an unexpected and welcome gesture from his organisation that showed they valued his personal life as much as his professional contributions.

In another instance, Saloni (23), a fresh graduate had just stepped into the corporate world and was trying hard to save up to gift her parents a rocking chair for Diwali. Just a week before the festival, she received a sweet box from her organisation along with a gift voucher that could be used on more than 50 e-commerce portals. She was thrilled; not only did she gift her parents the rocking chair she hoped for, but she also bought herself a dress she had been longing for.

What's clear from these two instances is that choice is key to employee happiness today. India's corporate gifting market has grown tremendously; there has been a transformational shift from giving physical traditional gifts such as sweet boxes and dry fruit boxes to digital gift cards. While operational inefficiencies were a key driver for this shift, the realisation that it's imperative to make employees feel valuable is far greater. After all, employees drive the organisation's vision and it's only fair to nurture them and incentivize their contributions towards the organisation.

However, a majority of the organisations still prefer to gift employees on select days of the year such as Diwali and New Years. This one-size-fits-all approach fails to have the impact gifting ought to have. The reason is, today's millennials appreciate experiences that a) make them feel valuable b) empower them to choose their rewards, and c) are given to them when it matters the most to them.

Here are 3 ways to make employee gifting more personalised and valued –

1. Personal Happiness - As part of onboarding, understand every employee's important days and interests they wish to pursue. These may not necessarily be their birthdays or anniversaries. For some, it could be their spouse's birthday or their parents' anniversaries. For others, it could be a trek in the Himalayan Range or a photography course they want to pursue. Over the year, make an effort to gift your employees' gift cards that can be utilised towards pursuing their interests or spending special days with their loved ones. If you're gifting an e-gift card for an e-commerce giant, a little effort to look up options that would suit your employee would help them use it wisely. For instance, MakeMyTrip, Taj Hotels, BookMyShow gift cards can be bought on Amazon. So, if your employee likes travelling, you can add a small note letting them know that they can plan their trip through this route

Here, digital cards also have an edge over physical cards as it offers flexibility to employees to choose from a plethora of brands. Plus, the experience is hassle-free, can be availed right at the employee's desk offering a smooth experience.

2. Professional Recognitions – It's important to reward an employee for their outcomes; not only does this motivate them to aim higher at work but it also makes them feel valued as they realise the importance of their contributions. An employee's manager can inform the HR about their achievements ensuring the gifts are timely. Another way is to give managers a certain amount of gift cards which can be directly given to employees, strengthening the relationship between them, leading to better work outcomes as well.

3. Development - Upskilling is key to every employee's success. While most organisations conduct workshops in-house making it mandatory for employees to attend these, they miss out on a wealth of e-learning courses that are available today. Identify an employee's preferred courses and gift them the same, ensuring you're helping them grow continually.

As the dynamics of employee-organisation relationship has evolved over the years, corporate gifting to has become an integral part of this. A little appreciation makes a world of difference — , especially at the workplace. To feel valued at work, employees need to know that their hard work is being acknowledged. That's precisely why employee gifting and rewards and recognition are for.

Ramki Gaddipati

Co-founder and CTO, Zeta

Ramki Gaddipati is Chief Technology Officer and the co-founder of Zeta, the fastest and most convenient way to make payments in India. Ramki leads a strong team of engineers to give the product a stable foundation at Zeta. He is extremely passionate about product engineering with a strong sense of initiative and commitment to excellence at every step.

Ramki has been involved with the Directi Group for seven years, having led several tech initiatives in various capacities. In the past Ramki co-founded Bridle Information and Technology Solutions and was listed in Asia’s Best Entrepreneurs Under 25 by BusinessWeek in 2006. He holds a Master’s degree in Management and a Master’s in Software Systems from Birla Institute of Technology and Science (BITS), Pilani.


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