Are you considering gifts for your employees at this holiday season? If so, you join the 25-30% of businesses that make this gesture.
While employee surveys show they prefer cash, bonuses or gift certificates, many employers avoid them because of the potential for IRS complications. “Money” can be considered compensation and trigger income taxes and, perhaps more of a nuisance, re-calculation of benefits for the current year and even for future years.
What about the traditional “office party?” There are many potential negatives to a party: spouses don’t want to attend, colleagues engage in inappropriate behavior, and there’s a real liability associated with an alcohol-related traffic accident from people on their way home afterwards.
Consider something new and different that works for both employee and employer.
After the Northridge Earthquake in California and Superstorm Sandy in New Jersey, hundreds of employers discovered what we all know:
After a disaster employees do not return to work until their own homes and families are safe.
Are you confident that if a disaster hits your business your key employees will be willing to return to work as quickly as you need or are able to use them? What would additional absences meant to the recovery of your business?
To the extent that employees have developed personal disaster plans they will be ready to return to work sooner and able to make better decisions when they do.
The gift of a survival kit can kick-start an overall employee personal disaster recovery program.
Consider these benefits:
- A survival kit can serve as the perfect kick-off for an employee program aimed at securing employee homes and families.
- A kit costing $25 can be fully deducted per IRS gift guidelines.
- Adding an emergency supplies fair at lunch or posting emergency-related questions in company communications will continue to help employees take action to get and keep their families prepared.
- Sponsoring a personal disaster recovery program makes it logical for the company to develop or re-invigorate its own business continuity program.
Why a holiday gift at all?
People who feel appreciated are more positive about themselves and will bring better ideas and more enthusiasm to their work. You probably have some sort of regular reward and recognition program already in place, one that extends throughout the year.
Add this unusual holiday gift. It will stand out in that it brings the employee’s family into the equation, sending a powerful message of caring and respect that will be appreciated by all.