The power of wellbeing gifts for staff

A quick summary:

  • What are wellbeing gifts for staff?
  • How to create the perfect staff wellbeing basket
  • Different categories of wellbeing gifts
  • Our final verdict of workplace gift-giving
  • Are wellbeing gifts for employees enough?

We all love receiving gifts. They lift our mood and put a smile on our faces. Well, wellbeing gifts for staff achieve much more than a gleaming grin.

In a business sense, recognition and rewards are considered psychological drivers of workplace engagement. They create win-win scenarios for both employer and employee.

But the rising demand for better health and wellbeing in the workplace has turned employee reward strategies on their heads. Rather than a box of chocolates and a thank you card, corporate wellbeing gift boxes are now better options.

That said, gift giving in the workplace has become somewhat stale in many organisations. Instead of meaningful staff wellbeing gifts, employees are given a ‘shout out’ or forced round of applause.

And while this may be in good nature, it doesn’t really support employees in any way, shape or form. I’m sure the answer is clear: leaders need to begin investing in staff wellbeing gifts.

In this guide to wellbeing gifts for staff, we’re looking at what makes them such a great idea. We’ll look at how you can create the perfect staff wellbeing basket, including some ideas and inspirations.

Once you’re done, you’ll be well on your way to offering unique wellbeing gifts for employees. The kind they will wholeheartedly appreciate and feel more valued.

A woman applying a skincare product to her face
What is meant by wellbeing gifts for staff?

What are wellbeing gifts for staff?

Staff wellbeing gifts are typically rewards focused on health, self-care and holistic wellbeing experiences or products. They are given to employees within a company to recognise their hard work and effort.

Companies should consider wellbeing gifts for employees for a number of reasons:

  1. They help team members take care of their health and happiness
  2. When we’re happier we’re more productive and engaged!
  3. Staff wellbeing gifts support existing employee lifestyle choices
  4. Wellbeing gifts can minimise the stress and anxiety of modern life

This list is by no means complete. It does, however, exhibit just some of the reasons that make wellbeing gifts for staff so important. These are key details leaders must remember when investing in recognition and rewards.

Instead of a three-month subscription to Netflix, why not offer a massage experience? Rather than a box of chocolate, why not nutritious and healthy snacks? There are always healthier alternatives to your current form of gift giving in the workplace.

When should I give my staff wellbeing gifts?

Believe it or not, rewarding someone too often is not advised. Done regularly, businesses can see huge benefits, but recognition given for the smallest of achievements can lead to poor performance and negative consequences.

Leaders should be honest and transparent with staff wellbeing gifts. Highlight why a particular employee has been rewarded and make sure it is with good reason. This will quash any negative feelings like jealousy or assumptions of favouritism.

Employees walking through their office smiling
Creating the perfect staff wellbeing basket

How to create the perfect staff wellbeing basket

So, how can leadership teams develop the perfect staff wellbeing basket? We’re going to look at a number of different categories of staff wellbeing gifts, including wellbeing boxes, wellness experiences and positivity packages.

If you already have ideas for your own wellbeing gifts for staff, jump to our next section where we look at considerations to make before going ahead with gift giving. If not, let’s jump right into corporate wellbeing gift boxes.

Corporate wellbeing gift boxes

Corporate wellbeing gift boxes are exactly what they say on the tin. They’re packages of some kind filled with health and wellbeing goodies. Your staff wellbeing basket must be personal, which requires good knowledge of the receiver’s interests and hobbies.

If you know they are big foodies, consider a book on healthy recipes, if they are fans of self-care, include candles and other aromatherapy gifts. The idea is that employees can use these corporate wellbeing gift boxes to improve their health and happiness.

Anything that doesn’t contribute to these goals shouldn’t make it into a staff wellbeing box. There are a number of subscription and ready-made boxes out there to consider too. These allow you to put your feet up knowing everything is taken care of.

If you’re going solo speak with other colleagues who may have a better idea of what the receiver likes and dislikes. You should also ask them directly what they enjoy doing to support personal health and wellbeing.

These questions will arm you with all you need to develop a staff wellbeing basket that includes all the receiver’s essentials. In a matter of days or weeks, watch their happiness skyrocket!

Here’s a short list of ideas to include in your corporate wellbeing gift boxes:

  • Candles and diffuser oils
  • Pillow mist and sleep aid products
  • Indoor plants (they’re good for humans!)
  • Bath bombs and self-care kits

A woman in a yoga pose amongst nature
Wellness experiences to gift your team

Wellness experiences for employees

With wellness experiences, these can tie in nicely with a staff wellbeing basket. That’s because there is so much variety available. Think about it; there are spa days, yoga classes, and sound bathing experiences — that’s just naming a few.

Anything that gets the blood pumping and helps employees achieve better health and wellbeing is definitely worth considering. These experiences make for great wellbeing gifts for staff because they are something to remember.

It goes above and beyond, putting the gift of a candle to shame. It’s something they can get involved in and enjoy. While most things we buy have that novelty factor, soon to end up in a storage cupboard, experiences aren’t treated the same way.

We’d go as far as to say that wellness experiences are the ultimate option for any staff wellbeing basket or hamper. Throw in a couple of gift cards for an experience and you’re well on your way to creating healthier, happier teams.

When thinking about wellness experiences for your team, consider some of the following options below:

  • Fitness classes
  • Yoga and meditation sessions
  • Treetop climbing
  • Painting and sculpting classes
  • Holistic wellness retreats

These are all things that our members have access to each month, plus more. We love to think that we can introduce people to new experiences, not just products. By offering wellness experiences, you’re also treating employees to something totally different.

Positivity packages

Our third and final inspiration when it comes to wellbeing gifts for staff is positivity packages. Sounds exciting, right? Well, whilst corporate wellbeing gift boxes are great for those lovely self-care gifts, we see positivity packages as a source of motivation.

Positivity packages are those products, services and experiences that really motivate and push your team to succeed. It’s a staff wellbeing basket that is all about employee empowerment. Because who doesn’t love that?

Some of the common products you’ll find in a staff wellbeing box dedicated to positivity:

  • Motivation and self-help books
  • Positivity-themed stationary
  • Motivational laptop stickers
  • Inspirational deck of cards
  • Positivity crystals

Some of these ideas may appear silly at first, but they have the potential to motivate and put a smile on your team’s faces. And that’s the goal with positivity-themed corporate wellbeing gift boxes.

Whilst these are just ideas, try to think outside the box and get creative with positivity packages. Different things motivate different people. Have a look through places like Etsy for inspiration to include in your staff wellbeing basket.

A woman smiling during a video call with her manager
Things to consider with your wellbeing gifts for staff

Thoughts for gift giving in the workplace

Now that we’ve explored some inspiration for your wellbeing gifts for staff, let’s look at some considerations you should be aware of. These points will help you execute the perfect staff wellbeing basket and offer something special to your team members.

Always personalise staff wellbeing gifts

As an employee wellbeing platform, we’re forever encouraging the personalisation of wellbeing in the workplace. We think it’s pivotal to your wellbeing gifts for staff too. Most companies may read through this guide but miss this point — it’s vital, don’t skip it!

When offering any kind of staff wellbeing basket, it’s important to ensure it matches the interests of the employee. As we’ve mentioned previously, it’s worth speaking directly to get to know them and how they support their health and wellbeing.

Not only will this give you better inspiration than this article ever will, but it will also help you build better relationships with your employees. With our platform, we always recommend new experiences and products based on our member's interests.

This is how you should approach your gift giving in the workplace. Put yourself in their shoes. What would they like in a staff wellbeing basket?

Don’t forget about your hybrid team members

As remote and hybrid working continue to take the workplace by storm, it can sometimes feel like there’s a lack of togetherness. Without the rise of these new ways of working, they like wouldn’t have made this list.
But here we are, and so we strongly recommend that you don’t forget your hybrid team members when offering wellbeing gifts for staff. Of course, it doesn’t make sense to offer anything that cannot be packaged and posted, but most corporate wellbeing gift boxes can easily be shipped!

Better yet, your wellbeing gifts for employees could be bought and dispatched straight from a company. This is why we recommend outsourcing your staff wellbeing gifts if it makes financial sense.

If you’re a much larger company, a sense of togetherness and belonging might become harder to maintain with a hybrid workforce. Ultimately, wellbeing gifts for staff are ideal for companies of all sizes.

For remote and hybrid teams, think about the kind of staff wellbeing basket that may support their health and wellbeing from home. There are plenty of options like workstation gifts — and no we don’t mean pens and pencils, but more like weekly prompts, habit tracking cards and more.

Budget to avoid overspending on a staff wellbeing box

Finally, budgeting! As an organisation, wellbeing gifts for staff just aren’t practical if it costs your business heavily. That’s not to say that you shouldn’t offer them, but there are only so many spa days that can be paid for each month before it becomes an extreme expense.

You probably wouldn’t see Google or Microsoft offering gift cards for spa days to every single employee for reaching milestones or hitting targets. Instead, companies at this level offer onsite health experts and training facilities.

If you’re an extremely large business, think about other initiatives that are more cost-effective than handing out single wellbeing gifts for every employee. For small to medium businesses, wellbeing gifts for employees can be much easier to manage.

When thinking about your budgets, consider the whereabouts of your workforce. This goes back to the point about hybrid and remote workers. You must think about how you can get your staff wellbeing basket from one place to another without costing the world.

Have your HR department and finance team sit down and devise a plan with objectives and figures. Then carry out employee surveys and questionnaires to see if employee engagement and job satisfaction and workplace wellbeing have improved as a result of wellbeing gifts for staff.

Someone rolling out a yoga mat
Our final thoughts on gift giving in the workplace

Our final verdict of workplace gift-giving

Staff wellbeing gifts are a great idea. We believe you should incorporate them into a wider employee wellbeing strategy. The best scenario is to have an employee wellbeing platform and regularly recognise and reward with staff wellbeing gifts.

Any form of recognition and reward can be powerful, as we’ve explored in this blog post. A combination of techniques and strategies will help you boost employee engagement, retention, job satisfaction and performance – just to name a few.

As we’ll look at in more detail below, wellbeing gifts for staff, alone, are just not enough. Neither is a benefits package on its own. They must be combined with various initiatives, ways of working and management styles like conscious leadership.

Recognition and rewards have been a staple of employee motivation tactics for years. Little companies have turned to the gift of a staff wellbeing basket, however. Gift giving in the workplace has reached a point of being either a waste of time or meaningful.

If you’re looking to fully support your team in the next twelve months to a couple of years, think of ways to make life just a little easier.

Think about what makes them happy and whether you can put a smile on their face while also rewarding and recognising their hard work.

At Heka, we give our own team a monthly allowance, just like our members who receive one from their employers. This is our way of actively recognising the team’s efforts whilst helping them support their health and wellbeing.

Each month the team shares how they spend their budget and what new experiences or products they’ve tried. As a business, it helps us retain talent and improve the overall employee experience.

Are wellbeing gifts for employees enough?

We’ve now reached the last section of our article on the power of wellbeing gifts for staff. The question we want to leave you with is this…

Are wellbeing gifts for staff really enough?

If you asked us here at Heka, we’d probably have to say no. You may think we’re biased, but we think a staff wellbeing basket can only achieve so much. It’s more of an addition to a wider wellbeing strategy in our eyes.

We believe that your team should also make use of some kind of benefits package focused on wellbeing. Now, there are plenty of solutions out there, but with enough resources and time, you can build your own, just like wellbeing gifts for employees.

What’s the difference between wellbeing gifts for staff and platforms like Heka? Firstly, staff wellbeing gifts aren’t easily manageable. Unless someone is responsible for purchasing and delivering the gift to the employee, it can often get overlooked and neglected.

Employee wellbeing platforms like ours offer customer support and require little management — you only have to read what our existing customers say about that one!

What’s more, in comparison to using employee wellbeing platforms, staff wellbeing gifts may not be as affordable for organisations. Most platforms like Heka build strong relationships with health and wellbeing partners, which means they can offer a competitive price to users.

Ultimately, buying staff wellbeing gifts from general high-street shops can become a costly game in the long run. Businesses should avoid this by mixing the use of wellbeing gifts for staff with an employee wellbeing platform.

Our final point to make in the battle between staff wellbeing gifts and wellness platforms is variety and personalisation. With platforms like Heka, employees are empowered to take control of their own health and wellbeing.

Based on the allowance they receive each month, they choose the wellbeing experiences they want. There’s no guesswork from managers, as it comes down to employee choice.

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