Noise Cancelling Headphones
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.