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.
In order to truly command a room, you absolutely must have comprehensive wireless control of your surroundings. Public speakers must retain a god-like aura throughout their presentations, or they risk being torn to shreds by the ravenous maniacs in the audience. Appearing vulnerable in the midst of a corporate presentation for even a second is like jumping into a shark pool covered in chum. Don’t let your beloved employees meet this fate. The good news is that audiences are easily impressed and distracted by simple implements like this wireless presenter. A true life-saver.
Networking may be a digital sport these days, but the good old fashioned business card has survived nonetheless, and it’s not going away any time soon. And since you don’t want that all-important connection to get lost in an ungodly jumble of papers and other paraphernalia, the conscientious professional keeps their business cards neatly organized in a single place, instead of going home and throwing them in a junk drawer with a bunch of small stationery, loose screws, spare buttons, and their secret pot stash. No, the conscientious professional keeps all that invaluable information in a handsome full-grain leather organizer like this.
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.
How do you know you’ve really made it? When you’ve finally put your stamp on the food supply — literally. The shrewd business moves of your company’s executives have nourished your employees in many ways, filling their lives with meaning and putting food on the table for their families. But nothing is as satisfying as seeing the workers you command physically assimilating your corporate logo. It’s like watching the circle finally be completed, right before your eyes.
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.
The tactile satisfaction of writing on real paper is still valuable, and many people take notes and capture ideas better when using a pen than when typing in a digital device. The problem is that paper gets lost in desktop jumbles, thrown away accidentally, or eaten by one’s dog. That’s where digital synchronization and storage come in. The cloud never gets accidentally thrown out, and as far as we know, dogs still can’t eat digital information (though they would if they could figure out how).
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.
With all of the devices we’ve become dependent on, it’s safe to say that the average person’s life is held together with electronic cables. Connectors, chargers, and even headphones are a necessary part of being able to carry on business as usual these days. Don’t let your employees’ lives descend into a mess of tangled cords, because that disorder and sloppiness will bleed over into their work, and then you’ll have to fire them. So when you buy them this cord and cable case, you’re not just getting a nice present. You’re saving their job, whether they know it or not.
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.
Sure, you could have your employees use disposable Bic pens. You could also have them go out and kill a wild turkey and pluck it bare, then drive to the ocean and spear an octopus and dip the turkey quills in the octopus ink and write with that, like it’s the year 1600. But we assumed we’re past that point. A high-quality Montblanc pen screams class, while a Bic pen suggests “cheapskate” and the turkey quill says “savage” or “weirdo” at best. Your business has a reputation to uphold, and the small things matter.
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.
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.
Your best employees have carved their individual signature into your business, leaving an indelible mark that has become a permanent emblem on your corporate history, influencing and directing your financial success. You’re not going to give them some run-of-the-mill leather or paper bound journal you picked up at Walgreens. Right? It’s okay, you don’t have to admit it if you were. Just grab this one and thank your lucky stars we were there for you again.
You might call your toes “little piggies,” but the truth is that feet are the real workhorses of the human body. And we tend to be pretty merciless toward them for long stretches of the day, so it’s a nice gesture to show them some love when it’s all over with. And healthy feet make a happy human, so you could try giving a foot hammock to the most unlikeable person you know and see if it brightens them up a bit. Or better yet, give it to someone you like. Trust us, they’ll appreciate it.
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.
Online publishing means you no longer have to go through some stuffy, crotchety editor at Ye Olde Publishing House just to get your damn name on a book. Even as the world transitions more and more toward digital information, there is a certain undeniable charm and a tangible sense of authority when you’ve got a real-life, hold-it-in-your-hands printed book. Especially when it looks as snazzy as these. Ideas are ideas in any form, but a real book still makes a special kind of statement.
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.
Money is a slippery commodity. Much like a wet fish, if you don’t handle it just right it’s bound to squirt out of your hands, never to be seen again. However, there’s a lot of solid advice available on this front. You just have to know where to look. The important thing is that you get this good advice in the hands of a new investor before they go monkeying around in the markets and end up with empty pockets and egg on their face. A beginner’s guide to investing from a credible source is a great way to start.
In our crazy modern world, who has the patience to wait more than a day for their online purchases, or to watch one episode a week of their favorite series, instead of a 10-hour binge? If they don’t already have a subscription to Amazon Prime, it’s your duty to bring them out of the dark ages. It’s a gift that keeps on giving, and you can get it for them right now. They’ll get free shipping on tons of great stuff from Amazon as well as access to a bizillion movies for free. Whatever their addiction, they can feed it on Amazon. Help them feed it faster and better.
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 the hopelessly messy 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.
If you’re going to send your employees far out into the world to do your bidding, at least give them the means to stay relatively clean and presentable. And while you can’t always be there to babysit them and make sure they’re grooming and showering themselves when on the road, you can certainly give them the tools to conveniently do so. A full grain, hangable leather travel bag is a great start. If they can’t bother to keep up with their personal hygiene after you’ve given them one of these, at least you can rest knowing you’ve done all you can.
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.
Business cards, whether black-and-white or color, whether simple or visually striking, whether elegant or playful, are designed to communicate something about the business they represent. So how do you think it looks when one of your employees pull a card out of their wallet - or even worse, straight out of their pocket - crumpled, covered in lint, and discolored by some mystery stain of questionable origin? A fancy metal or leather case shows some class and forethought. Because in business, it’s not just what you have to say, it’s also about how you present it.
A safety net for the mechanically impaired, AAA is a one-of-a-kind grease monkey support network that can be relied upon to rescue them at any time of day or night. Because deep down inside, you know that for every happy ending, there’s a 1990 Camaro on the side of the road somewhere with a skeleton in the front seat.
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.
Any well-dressed man or woman carrying a high-quality leather document case immediately gains the respect of everyone in their surroundings. Doormen greet them at building entrances with deep bows, taxis drivers fight with each other to pick them up off the street, and people generally show them abnormal deference. This is mostly because of spy movies, since everyone assumes said well-dressed man or woman is carrying documents that could get people killed. It’s usually not that serious, but it can be kind of fun to pretend.
It’s hard to stay active and moving around when you’re chained to a desk with work all day, so consider giving your employees this Under-Desk Elliptical machine. Exercise is a great way to stay energized at work, relieve stress and get the creative juices flowing. As a bonus, they’ll all look like hilarious ducks treading water, with their feet pedaling frantically under the surface.
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 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 them 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.
Who has time for trial and error? Folks today demand fast-acting, proven solutions to their everyday conundrums. A modern stand-in for the tried and trusted Farmer’s Almanac, this back pocket companion is more reliable than your great-grandmother and more concise than an open-ended Google search. Believe it or not, some of the “smartest” solutions have been around for ages.