Decide if it should it be a gift to the whole team or something given to each member of the team. Whether the gift will be part of a recognition program being planned or as a way of remembering a holiday season, determine if the gift should have practical, unique, or fun characteristics, or some combination of those. And of course consider what the team gift needs to say besides thanks and whether it should be a single present, award, token, or if it should be a gift basket containing multiple items.
1. In considering practical team gifts, think about what work related items, food, or personal items may be appropriate. If considering a gift basket, a coffee mug allows for making individual miniature gift baskets for each team member by placing several small items in the mug, then wrapping it in cellophane and tying a bow on it along with a note of appreciation or celebration.
If it is to be a team gift basket then it should be larger and contain office supplies, food, or work items for the whole team where several items are put in a bucket, tote bag, or plastic container the team may use for transporting the materials. Then wrap the container and items in cellophane add a ribbon to hold it closed along with a purchased and signed card. To make a more specialized gift basket, consider building it around a theme by including a business book that helps members with their team or project roles and including materials that are appropriate to book topic. Example book topics include time management, goal setting, process mapping, meeting management, delivering presentations, project management, and team-building.
2. For a more unique team gift, consider office supplies members can not normally get out of their office supply cabinet. It may be well worth the time someone spends walking around in the local office supply store to find something unique and within a set budget for the team. The uniqueness of the gift will show the team that an effort was made to find something only those specially recognized for their team contribution would get within the organization. If a unique item can not be found, then a standard office item that can have the team name put on it may be used in order to make it more unique.
If it is an appreciation gift at the end of a long project, then put on it the project team name and the project timeline, which would be the project start date through the desired completion date if it has not yet occurred. If these ideas require too much effort, the old standby of a T-shirt or golf shirt with the team name and logo will also work as a unique gift idea. These shirts can be both practical and fun depending on the way in which they are presented to the team members. If a shirt alone does not seem like enough, then make it into a unique gift basket by wrapping it around an award or other office gift and tying it into a bundle so the shirt is an added bonus to the gift instead of the main thing given.
3. A gift that represents fun lets the team know it is OK to take a break from what may be too much work or stress upon occasion. Taking a break can increase future team productivity because a few minutes relaxing can often revitalize everyone. Fun can be brought into that break time as a way to increase both group and individual creativity and serve as a motivator to accomplish a better job on whatever project is at hand. Fun items to consider include playing cards to use in the break room, team toys or stress squeezers to use during long meetings to encourage creativity, or a book of team-building games or activities as meeting starters.
Another option is to create fun outside of work place to encourage interaction and building of deeper relationships among team members. This outside activity could be something like passes to a game the whole team might enjoy, or tickets to a local concert, or a group gift card for dinner at a local restaurant. Although individual gifts may be the easiest way to create fun, with a little thought a great gift basket for the entire team can be made that includes multiple items for both at work and outside work activities.
When planning the gift, consider whether it will be: a single item or a gift basket containing multiple items. Should it be for the entire team or given to individual members? Should the gift be practical, unique, fun or some combination of these? If it is to be a gift basket, be sure to consider for the basket portion something unusual looking or practical for team re-use. Remember to always give a vocal thanks to employee, supplier, or client teams and then consider going the extra step during a recognition program or holiday with a gift or gift basket and written thanks too.
Shirley Fine Lee has considerable training and expertise in leading effective meetings and projects, as well as training others within the corporate world to be able to do the same. Her book, “R.A!R.A! A Meeting Wizard’s Approach”, is a much-needed guide to planning and conducting meetings so that they are as productive, effectual, and smoothly run as possible. Sign up for Shirley’s free productivity newsletter on her website or visit her leadership blog.