The Best Gifts to Give Your Employees This Christmas

If you’ve been out buying Christmas gifts for your employees this December — I hope you kept the receipt. Turns out it’s not easy to know what the best gifts to give your employees is. Especially when marketers are trying to sell you everything under the sun during the festive season. That’s why when it comes to Christmas gifts, it’s best to listen to the data (not the marketing messages).


Instaprint has conducted research into the Christmas gifts that employees really want (and really don’t want). Their survey of 1,500 offices across the UK revealed some surprising insights into what employees actually want from their bosses.


The Best Gifts

The results are in: Alcohol, chocolate, and mugs are the top-ranking gifts employees love. With alcohol towering the other two with 38% of employees voting it their favourite gift for this season. This is compared to a respective 28% and 26% for chocolate and mugs.

The runners up to this were stationery and makeup both coming in with far fewer votes at 4% each. While loved by some, these gifts are a riskier option this season. Though are still acceptable (especially if you’ve been noticing dull pens around the office).



The Worst Gifts

Alcohol might be people’s favourite gift, but cheap wine is one of the worst. 5% of office employees think that this is the worst gift on the market. Meaning that at the end of the day, though alcohol is a top pick, if you’re not ready to splurge — chocolates and mugs might be the way to go.

Aside from cheap wine, what employees truly hate is socks. At a whopping 52% disapproval rate it seems that one of the most popular Christmas gifts is also one of the worst. Don’t be fooled by the festive green and red sock stripes, socks aren’t always fitting for Christmas.

Following this, the next worst-gifts are soap and shower gel. With an honourable mention for anti-wrinkle cream which, while well-intentioned, comes off as mildly offensive.



What do my employees want?

94% of workers surveyed said that receiving a gift from their employer made them feel appreciated, happy, and valued. If you’ve been thinking about rewarding your employees this Christmas, then you’re on the right track to boosting employing recognition and satisfaction in your workplace.

There are alternatives to mugs and stationery out there: gift cards were a common office gift and loved by many, but as was an early finish. The study found a gender divide in the two where women would prefer a gift voucher and men would prefer to finish up early.

The survey also showed that an open bar or donations were suitable ways to give back to employees during the festive season. 26% of employees want an open bar over any other Christmas gift. Meanwhile, 11% of senior management was interested in a donation as a gift, as was 6.9% of employees overall (making this more appealing than makeup or stationery).



An alternative way to show you care this Christmas

Four in five employees don’t feel heard. Feeling neglected, underappreciated, and ignored at work is a more common problem than managers might realise. For Christmas, consider giving your employees the chance to get their voice out. Employee surveys give every member of your business the opportunity to get their say in. The insights from these surveys can help your company to refocus on what matters to employees most and use these insights to boost satisfaction and relieve stress.

Giving back to employees this Christmas doesn’t have to be as difficult as sorting through dozens to hundreds of gift options, it can just be as simple as listening.

A CiVS employee survey provides all the tools needed to help achieve this objective. We offer 13 different question types to help employers capture a range of responses and ask a multitude of questions.

If you have any questions about survey structure, set up or process feel free to contact the CiVS team at or give us a call at (08) 6314 0580.