Happy Team

How Gifting Can Transform Your Employee Experience

6 min read
Martin Samuels
Author
Martin from Huggg

Employee experience has become quite the big deal of late. The fact you’re reading this article indicates that you’re already paying attention to yours. Good on you. The time spent now in ensuring your employee experience is ship-shape will pay off tenfold when you start to see the fruits of your labour – more about that later.

It’s no coincidence that ‘employee experience’ being suddenly adopted into corporate-speak comes hand in hand with the meteoric rise of team gifting. These two things complement each other like fish and chips, strawberries and chocolate, and peanut butter and marmite (honestly, it’s delicious, try it).

In this article, we’re going to dive into exactly what we mean by employee experience, how it feeds into other aspects of employee life, the benefits and how you can maximise it with some simple yet effective gifting.

What is employee experience?

If you’ve been waking up in a cold sweat asking yourself this question recently, then today is your lucky day.

Employee experience is simply the name that has been given to the collected factors that contribute to what it ‘is’ to be an employee at any particular place of work. 

The experience starts the moment your new hire accepts their offer, continues through their development within the company and ends the day they finally come to say goodbye. 

Don’t mistake it as just another word for the employee lifecycle though. 

Employee experience runs alongside the employee lifecycle simply because it encompasses everything an employee encounters during their time with you. Think employee wellbeing, physical work locations, company culture, colleague interactions, engagement, leadership methods, salary, job progression etc. 

It’s a long list which only goes to show why it’s such a good idea to spend some time thinking about and, more importantly, improving your employee experience. 

Why upping your employee experience game is important

With the hangover from COVID-19 still causing headaches in the world of work, it’s not surprising employee experience has become a hot topic. 

“But how does it affect me?” we hear you ask. Here’s how…

Staff churn

The Great Resignation has been a hot topic for a while, but that doesn’t mean it’s over. Far from it – a recent survey found a worrying 1 in 5 employees are looking to change jobs within the next 12 months. It’s figures like this that have HR departments looking for ways to keep their talent happy and keen to stay in their current position. 

Recruitment

Similarly, things are getting tougher when taking on new hires. With record levels of job vacancies available, employees find they can afford to be picky about where they choose to work. More power to them of course, but companies need to find new methods of attracting people to their vacancies. 

Employee review sites are becoming increasingly popular with job hunters, meaning that companies need to be doing all they can to ensure their employee experience is on point.

Customer experience

With increased financial pressures appearing from every direction, it can be easy to slip into the trap of prioritising customer experience over employee experience. After all, the customer brings in the money, right? Well, yes, but that’s forgetting you can’t achieve exceptional customer experience without exceptional employee experience. 

A loyal, happy team member will radiate positivity and will produce loyal, happy customers. Not convinced? Think about the last time you had a poor experience as a customer. Did it encourage you to want to continue giving the company your money or did you start looking for a plan B?

Employee engagement

Another term that is often confused with employee experience. Here’s the difference – high levels of employee engagement are the result of a good employee experience. 

Employee engagement measures how invested a team member is in their work and workplace. Once upon a time, all that was expected of an employee was to clock in, do the thing, clock out then wait for the paycheque to arrive. 

Good companies now want to nurture a culture where staff feel connected to their work and the business as a whole. This results in increased motivation, greater feelings of trust and responsibility, improved output, quality collaboration, and many other positives. 

Sounds good, doesn’t it? Well, you’ll be glad to know that a major contributing factor towards employee engagement is, you guessed it, good employee experience.

We’re hopefully now in agreement that employee experience is an incredibly important factor in running a successful business and it goes without saying that good employee experience starts with the basics – fair pay and good working conditions. We’re going to assume you already have these covered and look at practical ways you can boost your employee experience today using team gifting. 

Gifting and the employee experience

Let’s make things personal for a second – if you send a present to a friend, it hopefully isn’t just because it’s their birthday/anniversary/Christmas. It’s because you want that person to know you care about them and value your relationship.

Likewise, when you receive a gift from a friend, it makes you feel good and you will want to let your friend know that you appreciate their thoughts and efforts. It’s called mutual reciprocation and is the basis of why we gift.

Looking at these two things in more detail, we find that gifting is closely linked to our primal instincts of survival and community. Humans are pack animals, and we thrive best in groups of like-minded people with the same goals and motivations. When one pack member gives another a gift, it’s a way of strengthening the important interpersonal bonds that keep the pack together. 

Sending gifts to employees works in exactly the same way, and the benefits of creating these bonds in the workplace are obvious; your team members will feel appreciated and will instinctively reciprocate that by working hard, showing company loyalty, leaving positive company reviews and becoming further invested in their workplace… the list goes on.

Where gifting can transform your employee experience

By building a robust gifting strategy, you will see your employee experience improve (meaning happier employees), and the list of benefits we spoke about earlier will start to pay dividends (meaning happier companies) – it’s a rare ‘everyone wins’ situation. So let’s look at some simple ways to incorporate gifting into your everyday.

Reward and recognition

It’s a simple fact that if you want the best people working for you, their hard work should be recognised above and beyond paying them at the end of the month. After all, if you don’t, you can bet your bottom dollar another company will. Sending small gifts to say ‘thanks for the hard work’ is a cost-effective way of letting your people know you noticed their efforts.

Recruitment & onboarding

In the world of remote working, it’s easy for new starters to feel isolated without the rest of the team around them asking how they are settling in. Sending takeaway vouchers for virtual team lunches is a great way to ensure no one feels abandoned in those crucial first days and will help new hires get off to a great start.

Personal and professional milestones

You can’t expect your people to be invested in your company if you aren’t invested in them. So celebrating big life events like birthdays, weddings, babies, promotions and work anniversaries, etc., is a great way to show your people that they are more than just employees. If you want to go the extra mile, it’s worth thinking of gifts that can be shared with friends and family. Gifting guru Huggg has created a personal shopper tool to help you find the perfect gift no matter the occasion.

Seasonal opportunities

Whether it’s an iced coffee on a hot summer day or a case of beers to watch the World Cup final this winter, the year is packed full of occasions to help instil gifting into your employee experience strategy. Using a gifting timeline will make sure you don’t miss out on any opportunities to show your hard-working people that you’re thinking about them.

How Mo and Huggg can help

Now you’re an expert on employee experience and team gifting, it’s time to put it into practice. Mo, an employee engagement and recognition platform, has teamed up with Huggg to help you transform your employee experience with gifting to make sure you hit the ground running. Their selection of team gifts has options for all budget sizes and is now available to send directly through your Mo account. 

Book a demo with Mo today to find out how we can help you improve your employee engagement with Huggg!