Gift Card for Event Tickets
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.