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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.