As an employer, you know that your culture is everything. You are the shepherd to your flock. You like to think that without you their efforts would be an aimless mess of glassy-eyed incompetence. But the reality is that you need them, because under your guidance, they make the magic happen. Stay in their good graces by showing that you understand them and appreciate them, because if they ever turn on you, there will be hell to pay. And it’s okay, you can admit it: you love these people. They make you look good, so go ahead and make them feel good in return.
When it comes to your workplace, there are so many things your minions love. The open lines of communication, the abundant praise for good work, the absence of backstabbing politics. The free donuts. But more than anything, they love being paid not to be there. Let’s stop messing around and make them really happy.
Your employees are the most dedicated group of people you can imagine. They would run through a brick wall for you. But brick walls are significantly more robust than the human frame, and too many in one pay period requires some equally hardcore rest and recovery. A Spa Finder gift card even lets them choose where to go, if you can stand to stop bossing them around for a minute.
Knowledge is the lifeblood of commerce, and sharing knowledge is how the human race continues its noble march toward destruction. But these days, people would just as soon carry a stone tablet as a paperback. An Amazon Kindle is the best way to look smart in public without seeming like a relic.
Your employees have sacrificed so much for the present and future of your company. But like it or not, they still have to eat. In fact, besides plotting your demise, it’s one of the few things you can be sure they all do. Which makes a grocery card the perfect gift.
There are many forms of behavioral conditioning and mind control that can be used to get what you want out of the people you employ. In the end, however, cash is still king. But don’t waste this opportunity for some sly brand promotion, or to give them a subtle reminder of who pays the bills around here.
In the internet age, knowledge moves and evolves faster than anyone could have ever anticipated. Either you’re on the learning train, or you’re getting left far behind. Here’s their boarding pass.has 1000s of quality online courses covering everything from software to business management. An investment in their ongoing education will not only make them more productive at work, but will enrich their lives outside the office walls as well.
It only took us several hundred years, but we’ve figured out that chairs are the worst thing ever. The option of working on your feet has come to seem more attractive than ever, and some say it facilitates greater productivity. And if you’re not comfortable forcing your employees to stand all day, there are plenty of adjustable desks that allow them to choose how lazy they want to be.
You put plenty of work into assembling your team of the best and brightest. Or at least the most tolerable you could find. Now they can re-create that process of assembly piece by tiny piece. Even if only to see how funny you all look together. But every employee is an indispensable part of that big picture that defines your company, and what better way to show it then with a custom printed jigsaw puzzle?
Agift card is like a magic key that opens doors all across the land. Which is handy, because not everyone is comfortable sleeping in the woods while on vacation. For those with delicate sensibilities, this gift is worth its weight in gold. Your employees deserve some time off to unwind, but some may choose to use their PTO for a “staycation” to save a few bucks, which is a sad substitute for an actual vacation. With a gift card they can use at almost any hotel you can help make sure they make the most of their time away from work.
Nothing is more galling than to give an employee a gift just to watch him eat it. Furthermore, if you’re the boss, you are probably very diligent in controlling the messaging at your workplace. You don’t need your loyal workers getting infected with some goofy superstition based on something Confucius mumbled while he was drunk. This makes conventional fortune cookies a terrible choice for any workplace function. On the other hand, people love these things, despite the fact that they taste like sweetened cardboard. This is the compromise you’ve been looking for.
Mainstream wine snobbery has never taken hold in the New World like it did in Europe, so we use coffee and beer as vehicles to look down on each other in its place. Your grandpa may have been more than happy with a cup of Maxwell House every day for 70 years, but that was a different time. The masses have developed a palate, and there’s no looking back. But with all the thousands of artisan roasters out there, anyone trying to keep up on their own is likely to go insane. Luckily, some already insane person has taken on the job of curating, so the rest of us can pretend we’re experts.
When your employees say in their interviews that they’re looking for a workplace with a great “culture”, this is what they mean. Team building activities, group outings, honest communication, integrity, and a sense that they’re making a difference in the world are great, but those are all forms of beating around the bush. And that bush is beer. Because anyone who feeds them free beer earns their trust and respect. Anyone who feeds them free beer while paying them earns their eternal loyalty and the keys to their soul. Talk about a return on investment.
A starving brain is not a productive brain. But left to their own devices, most people will shovel literal garbage into their mouths just to quell the rumbling in their guts. And like they say, garbage in, garbage out. So then you have a team full of company reps vomiting garbage on your clients in the form of subpar work. It’s time to end the nonsense already, and the way you do that is to go straight to the source. The source is their mouths. Fill them with something good.
This is the perfect metaphor for an idealized workplace: a self-contained ecosystem where the needs of every organism are met without any input from the outside world, harmony is maintained effortlessly, and if one organism dies, the rest feed off it and get stronger. Your company’s culture probably can’t compete with this little glass orb, but let it serve as a model for all to follow in the hopes that one day you can approach its perfection. Subconscious guidance can be very powerful.
Don’t bother trying to figure out what your employees really want to do in their spare time. The tickets to Marylin Manson’s reunion tour that you gave away at Christmas last year? Those went straight to StubHub. Making a misstep with event tickets makes your entire team wonder if you know them at all. One Nickleback ticket can undo a whole year of culture building. You’re a firm believer in delegating responsibility to lower level managers. It’s time you let them have control over their personal lives as well.
You demand a lot from your employees (as you should), and they give you the bulk of their precious energy day after day. And nothing is worse than getting done with a long day’s work, only to stop at the supermarket and find you have to pick through piles of brown, wilted lettuce that’s already been groped by a thousand strangers. Is that your idea of the American Dream? The employees who hand you their soul on a silver platter every day should come home to a hand-picked box of the freshest vegetables their boss’ money can buy.
You’ve never expected your employees to build the castle alone. Everyone has their own strengths and weaknesses. But when you give a competent, conscientious person the guidance they need - in the form of instructions they can’t possibly f— up - that’s when the magic happens. Blue Apron works on the same principle. The recipient does the cooking, but everything has been planned, portioned, delivered, and explained by a master chef, ensuring that the final product is something everyone can be proud of.
You may think you all know each other, but as any shipwreck survivor can tell you, real bonding happens in the wild. After a few days on vacation together, everyone will know what it’s like to turn to the person in the next cubicle, reach into their chest, and feel their squishy, pulsating heart. Okay, maybe it won’t get that intimate, but at least you’ll get to see people let their guard down for a few minutes.
Nothing interrupts productivity like the intrusion of inane chatter, construction noise, fire alarms, and other nuisances. And try as you might to erase it from existence, every office has its fair share of explosive interpersonal drama. The only solution is to give your most dedicated employees the means to physically block it out, and let all the other unhinged maniacs eat each other alive. Hey, it’s your fault for hiring them. That makes it your job to shelter the innocent.
From an ergonomic perspective, the verdict is in: chairs are a public nuisance, contributing to all manner of aches, pains, muscle imbalances, and other dreaded physical dysfunctions. In fact, there’s only one thing worse than chairs: old chairs. As an employer, you’ve taken an implied oath to limit the psychological, physical, and spiritual damage you inflict on your employees. Subjecting them to the torment of antiquated furniture is like a doctor shooting his patients. We can do better.
There’s no substitute for hard work and a craftsman-like approach to getting things done. So when you sit down at your desk, it’s great to a have a little reminder that it’s time to roll up your sleeves and have at it. This message comes through loud and clear with a desktop toolbox. It’s also a great way for your most hopelessly messy employees to clean up that atomic catastrophe of a workspace. No organization involved. Just gather all the junk into your arms and toss it into the generous confines of this stylish vessel where no one can see it. Sometimes appearance is everything.
Everyday life has plenty of unavoidable indignities; there’s no reason to add cold coffee to the list. We’ve come so far technologically, yet we’re still relying on basic pottery to keep our coffee warm, like it’s the Stone Age or something. And your employees are too busy making your business AWESOME to pay attention to how long their coffee mug has been sitting out on the desktop. Place it on one of these instead, and they never have to worry about it again.
Location is just a state of mind, and traveling is a fool’s paradise anyway. If you’ve got any imagination at all, then your musty old office is as good as the brightest, sexiest beach on the planet. A simple mindset shift - along with one of these miniature sandboxes - is all it takes to transport yourself across the world to the oceanside destination of your dreams. If you’ve been hearing grumblings through the grapevine about “not enough vacation time”, give your employees one of these and see if that doesn’t shut them up for a couple more years.
The quality of someone’s baggage isn’t just a consideration when you’re entering a relationship - it’s a fundamental way that your employees are going to be judged when they enter meetings with clients as well. And while you can’t do anything about Jim from sales’ mommy issues, you can certainly make sure he looks a lot better when he’s pulling out his laptop to fire up that slam dunk powerpoint presentation he spent so much time putting together. It’s all about the details.
Like happiness, most peoples’ wealth is intangible. It’s just a number that represents a theoretical claim on a few bars of metal locked in a vault somewhere that probably don’t exist anyway. So what’s better than happiness and fake money? Gold! And nothing but gold! But you’re way too sophisticated to give your employees a shapeless ball of ore. Gold coins allow you to hand over timeless wealth in a package that’s fit to be displayed. Just like a king of yore.
Money isn’t just about the present, it’s about the future too. And in the future, the machines won’t have any use for your paper dollars with big heads on them. They’ll be way too smart for that. Better to start planning for the singularity now. In order to gift someone bitcoin, you will need to set up a wallet for them and transfer the bitcoin to it after you purchase the cryptocurrency from an exchange like Coinbase or Gemini. You can set up a digital wallet, or you can create a "paper wallet" that has their public and private keys printed on it.