In an interview with Business News This Week (BNTW), Archer Chiang, Founder and CEO at Giftpack shared his views on corporate and holiday gifting strategies, challenges, and many more…
BNTW: What do people get wrong about workplace holiday gifting?
Many people overlook the importance of giving a thoughtful gift, especially in the workplace. This results in them gifting something that is clearly last-minute, generic, and not very thoughtful. We’ve all seen it and felt the uncomfortable reactions during a bad gift-exchange. Gifting is an important activity in many cultures for building relationships, showcasing thoughtfulness, and demonstrating a sense of understanding your coworkers as individuals.
In short, it all comes down to two things: the giftee and the gifter. Employers often incorrectly place the emphasis of their communications and actions on encouraging widespread participation in sending a gift rather than sending the right gift. That’s why most of the time, employees receive the same gifts, in bulk – the gift will not be appreciated, and employees will be disappointed, in bulk. The intentions and symbolism, not value or existence, of the gift itself is what is so important and often missed in corporate gifting practices.
BNTW: Why is this bad, and what goes wrong when a bad gift is given/received?
When a bad gift is given, not only is there a missed opportunity to build a stronger team culture, but feelings like resentment and awkwardness can fester making employees feel detached from their work and peers. A coworker leaves this experience disappointed they received a bad gift – a generic, ill-fitting hoodie or a water bottle that will sit on a shelf unused – and now is expected to go above and beyond for their employer, who clearly didn’t do the same for them.
Employees under these emotional conditions are likely to burn out, experience declines in performance, and look for another job. More than how it impacts one individual, a damaged team relationship can create discomfort, a decrease in team participation, and impact activities like creative brainstorming which requires trust and teamwork. The goal of Giftpack is to eliminate these pitfalls, ensuring gifts are meaningful and well-received.
BNTW: How does Giftpack address corporate and holiday gifting challenges?
Giftpack AI helps companies like Meta, Google, Zappos, and 1,400 others create better relationships with their workers through efficient and impactful personalized gifting. It’s a simple process – a recipient is issued a personality quiz to understand interests, personality, traits, preferences, behaviors, and more. Our AI compiles every gift in a 3.2M product catalog under the determined budget and then presents options aligned with the individual’s personality.
The company takes gifting, a project that typically takes hundreds of hours and countless resources, to a task of only a few minutes. 59% of employees said they would stay at their jobs longer if they received good gifts regularly, and gift recipients through Giftpack reported a 31% increase on talent retention.
BNTW: What impact has this had on improving the corporate reputation of organizations?
Giftpack has significantly enhanced corporate reputations. Thoughtful gifting showcases a commitment to employee well-being, creating a positive sentiment that resonates both internally and externally. Using Giftpack has saved companies 47 minutes per employee on the onboarding process. Additionally, there was a 57% boost in employee morale and engagement after using our unique gifting experience. Over three-quarters (83%) of our clients found our gifting generated positive measurable ROIs.
BNTW: In what ways does this improve company culture or morale within a team?
Personalized gifts have been found to boost morale, foster a sense of belonging and appreciation, and demonstrate understanding and acceptance. This contributes to a positive company culture, strengthening team bonds and employee engagement. Additionally, recognition is a strong tool for rewarding team members with outstanding performances. Keeping employees motivated, engaged, and happy is crucial for a company to operate at its best.
BNTW: Why do so few companies and managers participate in gifting?
Companies are starting to participate in gifting more as the competition for talent retention increases in intensity. A reported 95% of companies send corporate gifts at least once a year, and 87% of companies set aside specific budgets for gifting programs. The issue is that many employers invest substantial time and resources without a clear understanding of the goals they aim to achieve through gifting. This means that a large percentage of the companies sending corporate gifts are doing it wrong, and the budgets allocated for these programs are larger than they need to be.
Without well-defined objectives, these initiatives become empty gestures rather than strategic tools for enhancing employee engagement and satisfaction. Companies often lack a structured approach to their gifting efforts, leading to wasted resources like time, peoplepower, and money. They fail to leverage technology to increase the efficiency of this important HR project.
BNTW: Does gifting strategy change for remote work companies vs. in-office or hybrid teams?
Gifting challenges are more pronounced in remote work settings, which makes their impact even stronger – positive and negative. Physical distance creates a sense of detachment, making it easy for employees to burn out and feel disconnected from their job and peers. In contrast, in-office or hybrid teams benefit from more immediate, face-to-face interactions, naturally fostering a sense of culture of appreciation. Gifting is an easy way to create touchpoints between team members to remind them they are valued even in remote or hybrid settings.
BNTW: Is there anything else you’d like to add?
It’s crucial to recognize that AI should complement, not replace, human involvement. In fact, AI should be used to compound the impacts of human engagement among team members and colleagues. Giftpack empowers individuals to create genuine connections through thoughtful gifting, putting people at the heart of AI.