The Power of ‘Just Because’ Gifting – How to Boost Morale, Engagement and Wellbeing In the Workplace with Random Acts of Gift Giving

It's an ordinary Tuesday, and Caitlin walks into her office, feeling the weight of her ever-growing to-do list. As she sits down at her desk, she notices a beautifully wrapped package with her name on it. No special occasion, no milestone, just a simple yet thoughtful 'just because' gift from the company. The smile spreading across Caitlin's face is telling, and the impact of that unexpected gesture lasts far longer than the day itself.

In a world where employee burnout and disengagement are rampant, why not disrupt the status quo and make a remarkable difference in your team's wellbeing? As we recognize Mental Health Awareness Month during May, it's high time for organizations to step out of their comfort zones and tap into the power of 'just because' gifting, a human-centric approach to nurturing connections and creating a supportive work environment.

The Magic of the Unexpected Gift

In the great juggling act of modern life, work-related stress has become the unwanted companion of countless employees. But what if there was a simple way to lighten the load, a random act of kindness that could spark joy and remind employees that they are valued? Enter 'just because' gifting, an underutilized yet powerful tool for promoting mental health and wellbeing. A thoughtful, surprise employee appreciation gift can make an ordinary day extraordinary, uplifting an employee's mood and providing a much-needed reminder that they are more than just a cog in the corporate machine.

Gifts, particularly when they appear like magic, possess an uncanny ability to strike a chord of appreciation and recognition within an organization. But the secret to transforming that chord into a symphony of boosted morale lies in sidestepping the treacherous pitfalls of exclusion and favoritism.

The solution? A thoughtful system in which employees nominate their peers to receive surprise gifts for acts of kindness, monumental contributions, or whatever sparks the imagination. In this grand performance, gifting morphs into a collective effort, weaving a tapestry of support where employees feel seen and valued by their teammates, and the organization as a whole.

The numbers don't lie…

While the world of 'just because' corporate gifting may not be overflowing with statistics, there's plenty of research pointing to the benefits of promoting wellness and recognition in the workplace. Case in point, Gallup found that employees who feel recognized and appreciated are more likely to be engaged, productive, and loyal to their organization. And according to the American Psychological Association, employees who perceive their workplace as supportive of their well-being report higher job satisfaction, better performance, and lower levels of stress.

The takeaway? Don't underestimate the potential of 'just because' gifting to bring about a paradigm shift in your organization. By embracing this unconventional approach to employee appreciation, you can unlock the door to a healthier, happier, and more engaged workplace.

The Trailblazers: Companies Championing Wellness at Work

While the concept of 'just because' gifting may still be a relatively uncharted territory in the corporate gifting space, there are well documented cases of pioneering companies venturing into the realm of employee wellness and reaping the rewards.

At the heart of Google's initial growth and success lay a deep-seated commitment to its employees, a belief in creating a nurturing work environment where people could thrive. The tech giant orchestrated a symphony of wellness initiatives, from flexible work hours and mental health resources to on-site fitness centers and generous parental leave policies.

With a steadfast commitment to employee wellbeing, Salesforce has emerged as a champion of mental health in the workplace. The company has armed its workforce with an arsenal of wellness benefits, such as mindfulness programs, mental health professional access, and wellness reimbursement programs.

And few companies embody a commitment to employee wellness as comprehensively as Johnson & Johnson. The healthcare giant has woven a rich tapestry of health and wellness programs, ranging from on-site fitness centers and stress management courses to health coaching and mental health support.

These trailblazing companies have demonstrated the transformative power of focusing on employee wellness. By learning from their efforts, HR teams and company leaders can begin to see the profound impact that 'just because' gifting could also have on their organizations.

The Combined Power of 'Just Because' Gifts and Customization

In the pursuit of the perfect 'just because' gift, business leaders might feel like they're chasing rainbows. But what if the pot of gold lies in the art of gift customization?

In a world where thoughtfulness and care are often overlooked, we imagine a different kind of gift box. One that is meticulously crafted, with a symphony of wellness gifts carefully chosen to match the unique culture of your company and the personal preferences of your employees.

For some, the sweet harmony of a scented candle paired with a soothing bath bomb may be just what the doctor ordered. For others, a mix of specialty teas and a gratitude journal could be the perfect blend of mindfulness and inspiration. Whatever the case may be, we believe that an employee gift box that truly resonates with your team is a powerful way to show that you care.

Seal the Deal with a Cause or Donation Element

When an employee unwraps a gift that whispers of a greater story, the bond between the giver and the receiver grows stronger. By giving gifts that give back, you're tapping into the intrinsic desire we all share to make a difference in the world. This symbiotic gifting experience ignites an emotional connection, allowing employees to feel not only valued by their organization but also part of a larger purpose.

The 'Just Because' Gifting Playbook

With these actionable tips, you can create a gifting program that not only fosters a sense of appreciation and wellbeing but also seamlessly integrates into your HR calendar.
            1. Timing it right:  It used to be that corporate gifting only happened during the holidays, but leaders are realizing there are more effective ways to rise above the din of gourmet hampers and create powerful connections with employees throughout the year. While ‘just because’ gifting should be unexpected, it’s helpful to plan your gifting initiatives around meaningful dates in the HR calendar. These could include employee anniversaries, team achievements or national awareness days, weeks or months. By tying gifts to relevant events, you can create memorable moments that resonate with your teams.
            2. Determine budget and frequency: Before launching your gifting program, establish a budget and determine the frequency of gift-giving. This will help keep your initiative sustainable and consistent over time. You may choose to allocate a specific budget per employee or per team, and decide on a gifting frequency that works best for your organization.
            3. Involve employees in the gift selection process: One of the keys to unlocking the full potential of 'just because' gifting lies in the art of meaningful selection. To ensure that your gifts resonate with employees, consider involving them in the gifting process by soliciting their input on preferred items or experiences. Gifting platforms such as our GIFTforward service can not only create a sense of ownership and connection but also helps tailor your gifting program to the unique preferences and needs of your team.
            4. Communicate the purpose and value of your gifting program: To make your gifting program truly remarkable, it's essential to communicate its purpose and value to your employees. Share the why behind your initiative with a printed note with every gift and encourage an ongoing dialogue about the impact of gifting on workplace culture and wellbeing. By being transparent about your intentions, you can create a shared sense of purpose and inspire employees to embrace the spirit of appreciation and recognition.
            5. Turn gifting into a team sport: By introducing a system where employees nominate their peers to receive 'just because' gifts, you can orchestrate a ripple effect that extends far beyond the initial act of gift-giving. This approach encourages employees to actively seek out and celebrate the positive contributions and acts of kindness demonstrated by their fellow team members. As a result, a culture of appreciation and recognition emerges, where everyone feels seen, valued, and motivated to support one another in their work. This chorus of camaraderie not only elevates the workplace environment but also sets the stage for a grand finale of long-term success and growth within your organization.
            6. No one left behind: Keeping tabs on the balance and fairness of your ‘just because’ gifting program will help you foster appreciation and engagement while avoiding the pitfalls of favoritism. Not everyone in your organization may have a high visibility role, so relying solely on employee nominations or team achievements to guide your ‘just because’ gifting allocation could create an imbalance that may ruffle a few feathers. Monitor gift frequency per team member to safeguard against this faux pas, and create additional ‘just because’ gifting moments for underserved segments of your teams and redress the balance.
            7. Track and iterate on your gifting program: As with any endeavor in the workplace, the key to any successful gifting program is the ability to track its impact and iterate accordingly. This means closely monitoring employee engagement, morale, and feedback to identify opportunities for improvement and refine your gifting strategy over time. One of the standout features of the GIFTforward® gifting service is the ability for gift recipients to leave ‘thank you’ notes, a feature that has received rave reviews. These notes provide managers with invaluable feedback that is both personal and emotionally resonant.


Embracing the Power of 'Just Because' Gifting

As the landscape of workplace culture continues to evolve, it's time for HR teams and company leaders to take a step forward and embrace the power of 'just because' gifting. In the realm of work, there's a natural inclination to cling to the familiar, to follow the well-trodden path of conventional employee recognition and rewards. But what if, by daring to step beyond the familiar and embracing the power of 'just because' gifting, you could create a workplace culture that stands out from the crowd?

At its core, the power of 'just because' gifting lies in its ability to create a happier, healthier, and more engaged workforce. When employees feel genuinely valued and supported, they are more likely to bring their best selves to work, contributing their unique talents and perspectives in a way that drives your organization forward.

So, as we observe Mental Health Awareness Month, why not embrace the power of 'just because' gifting, and create a workplace culture that serves as a beacon of hope and inspiration for the future of work.

To find out how Gifts for Good can help your organization implement a year-round ‘just because’ gifting strategy through the power and ease of our GIFTforward® platform, please contact us or go right ahead and book a live demo with our team.


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