There are good bosses, and there are other types of bosses. If you are wondering if you have or are a good boss, here are some questions to answer, truthfully. Does your boss (or do you, if you are a boss) make the employee feel valued? Yes, we know (most) bosses are courteous, (say please and thank you), but does the appreciation end there? Does the boss remember to thank the team after a particularly big win, or does he or she attribute all the glory to his/herself while discountenancing the efforts of the others? Is (s)he concerned about the employees’ personal development, health, or abilities, or is he a slave driver that only cares about getting the job done? And we don’t mean to be petty, but what are his/her actions like during the holiday season?

In and out of the office environment, Christmas and the holiday season is the period when people look back through the activities and milestones of the year to show appreciation to those who made the outgoing year memorable. Of course, family and friends top the list of people who receive gifts on Christmas, but a look at party supplies stores reviews shows that offices and companies also give gifts to their employees as part of the appreciation of their service and dedication in the outgoing year. 

A good boss will therefore take the opportunity of the season to interact with his/her employees through Christmas parties, and step down from his/her pedestal to thank those who have worked hard to keep the company afloat in the outgoing year. By doing so, (s)he not only boosts the morale of the appreciated but also gives those that need to be motivated something to aspire to. If you are a boss, and you need some ideas on how to organize Christmas gifts that will convey your appreciation to your employee, we have some suggestions for you.

  • If your company has an existing holiday bonus plan for the staff, this should not stop you from personally thanking the members of your team. This could be an opportunity to show your staff that you pay attention to detail, by trying to give gifts in line with the employees’ preferences. You might even enlist the services of a trusted employee to get the best feedback before you make your purchases.
  • You could give monogrammed products that can be used in the office to your team members, fostering a sense of teamwork and creating your tribe. It does not have to be big – a mug, a t-shirt, etc. would hit the mark.
  • For companies that can afford it, nothing seals the comradeship of employees other than enjoying a retreat or a holiday party after a year of hard work, wins, and losses. When the boss puts himself/herself into the midst of the employees, parties, swims, and enjoys their companies, (s)he lays the foundation for more than work relationships – (s)he lays the foundation for loyalty beyond the immediate.
  • Witty handwritten notes that acknowledge the challenges, growth, and contributions of your subordinates is something that good bosses rely on to encourage and appreciate their employees. This offers personalized feedback that can motivate the employee to do better beyond any material gift.
  • A boss can also offer an opportunity for employees to even scores by offering the chance to be beaten at games. In the long run, it will be fun, and it will foster friendship and respect from the employees. The games could be chess, paintballing, basketball, soccer, etc. The winner(s) will be rewarded. The goal of such an activity is to create an opportunity for employees and bosses alike to wind down and have fun at the end of the year. Only bosses without insecurities or with good interpersonal skills can handle this without turning it into a competition, though.

Note that we are not talking about corporate gifting, which is usually blanket products that are shared within and outside a company. Rather, we are talking about individualized gifts that make employees know that their immediate bosses do appreciate their contributions to the success of their unit/team/business/company. 

At the end of the day, a good boss should be concerned about the mental, physical, and psychological health of every member of his team, and should design gifts and activities that will help him/her show appreciation as well as foster team spirit among the ranks.