9 Easy Gifts Your Employees Will Love


We’ve only got a few more weeks until Christmas arrives, and if you’re struggling to come up with appropriate gift ideas for your hardworking employees, consider these suggestions and show your sincere appreciation for everything they do.

Group Gift

Avoid the stress of selecting individual gifts for all of your employees and take care of Christmas presents for the office in one fell swoop. Plan a group outing that your employees will enjoy, whether it be a dinner, a fun camaraderie building course, or one of those Escape Room facilities where you have to work together and find clues to get out of a space—sure to inspire teamwork and laughter.

Christmas Bonuses

Ask any employee what they want from their boss for Christmas and you will hear a resounding word: bonus. If you appreciate all that your employees have done for you, show it through monetary reward. It will help them handle their holiday expenses and hopefully inspire them to work even harder after they come back from Christmas break.

Joke Gifts

If you have a friendly relationship with your employees, consider getting them some appropriate joke gifts that will inspire a smile during long work days. Whether it’s mini table games, like foosball or pool, or a funny office shirt for everyone with their names emblazoned on the backs, laughter is always a wonderful gift, especially during the holiday season. For a fun breakroom addition, install a mini golf game that they can use to practice their swing while chatting around the water cooler. Want to really get your employees laughing? Hire a hypnotist to come in for the afternoon and put on a show for everyone—just make sure the hypnotist knows things need to be kept PG.

Gifts for the Coffee Junkie

Finding gifts for the coffee junkies in your office is an easy task. If you’ve never seen said employee without a Starbucks cup in their hand when they arrive in the morning, then a coffee gift is sure to go over well. Hand out gift certificates to a local coffee shop, or go one step further and update your office kitchen with the latest Keurig and a few dozen coffee pods to make sure your employees get their caffeine fix without breaking the bank.

Well Being Gifts

If you work in an office you know how quickly germs can spread from worker to worker, so get all of your employees a homemade “wellbeing” basket for the upcoming flu season. Add in chocolate for those days when they just need a treat, flu remedies like Dayquil, Emergen-C, tea bags, and anything else that can make staying healthy through the holidays more doable.

Catered Meals for a week

Your employees have their own lives filled with different stresses, so take at least one worry off their backs the week before Christmas with catered food every day for lunch, and let them take the leftovers home to their families at night. Have a different restaurant bring in some delicious food for your employees each day to munch on while hitting those holiday deadlines.

A Night Out

Give your employees a gift card to a popular restaurant in town or a pair of movie tickets to help them plan a date night with their significant others or kids. If you choose to go the movie route, include a gift certificate for theater snacks.

Christmas Décor for the Office

Make the office fun to be in during the holiday season by decking the halls with Christmas decorations. Whether it’s a personalized stocking with their name on it that you fill with small treats on the last day of work, garland hung from the ceiling, or Christmas trees in every office, some simple décor will bring back some spirit into the office and help your employees enjoy the season to the fullest.

A Day Off

Stop stressing abut material items for your employees and give them a gift they really want—extra time with their loved ones. Offer a paid day off without cutting into their vacation time. This sentimental offering of time is sure to go over well, and if your work flow can handle it, it’s sure to make their celebrations that much better this year.

Portland Startup Hively Teams Up With TangoCard To Reward Great Customer Service

Portland StartupsLast week when we brought you our interview with Hively co-founder Jason Lander, we knew we were going to hear an announcement regarding a partner for customer service rewards. Now we hear about rewards startups all the time and loyalty and rewards programs. Hively is a little different, they’re taking the responsibility for a great customer service interaction back into the providers hands. Quite frankly, the way it should be.

Customer service is the number one driver of loyalty. It’s what turned Sprint around when Dan Hesse took over. It’s why I stayed with T-Mobile for years (not anymore as their customer service slid), it’s why I try to stay at Drury when I can.  All of these companies have had superior customer service. In fact, several studies have shown that customers will pay a premium, or maybe a little more for a product or meal from a place where they know they are going to receive great service, than go for a deal with places that have bad customer service.

Customer service and rewards for good customer service are the foundation for Hively.

In our interview Lander told us that they were soon going to unveil a way for customer service people to redeem points from good one click reviews. Now we’ve found out what the customer service people can do with the points. They can get “stuff” from TangoCard’s network of retailers.

Three things happen in the Hively model:

A customer service agent focuses on their quality of service using the incentivized program. This way, even in non commissioned sales environments, agents and sales people can earn something “more”,and it’s not even based on a sale. With the improved customer service the sales will flow in, just ask Sptrint.

A customer service agent/sales rep will encourage customers to use the one click method of rating their service. They obviously want their points and the establishment wants the feedback.

Sales are driven by better customer service.

We love startups that turn an industry on it’s head.

“We believe that the right rewards given at the right time will drive significant and valuable results,” said David Leeds, CEO and founder of Tango Card. “We’re excited to partner with Hively to source and fulfill their program requirement for digital rewards.”

“Hively has always been about gathering and measuring customer happiness,” said Jason Lander, co-founder of Hively. “Since virtual rewards can quickly lose their appeal, our customers have asked for a way to more tangibly recognize colleagues and top performers. Our partnership with Tango Card is the perfect solution.”


Hively is here

TangoCard is Here

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Denver Startup Plink Raises $3M Series A From Grotech Ventures

Denver loyalty and rewards startup Plink has been on a roll lately. Back in June we brought you this story about how they partnered with TangoCard to bring their rewards beyond Facebook credits and that strategy has seemed to pay off.

Today they’ve announced that they’ve closed a $3 million dollar series A round entirely from mid-atlantic (VA & MD) based Grotech Ventures.

Plink began as a company that would take offline businesses and incentivize their customer base with something simple, and easy that millions would benefit from, Facebook credits. While only offering Facebook credits they rapidly ramped up their brick and mortar customer base, until the recent transition to rewards from TangoCard partners. The company has reported that they will use the new funding to continue accelerating development of their offline program. Of course they will also ramp up member acquisition and their marketing efforts.

“Connecting online-to-offline is a challenge for marketers,” said Plink Co-founder and CEO Peter Vogel. “Plink bridges that gap and Grotech Ventures’ investment brings nearly 20 years of successful experience, an enormous amount of industry know-how, insight, and strategic guidance to propel Plink to the next level.”

“For consumers, Plink is a no-brainer,” said Joe Zell, general partner of Grotech Ventures. “Why wouldn’t someone join and get rewards for going out to their favorite places? There’s no extra card to carry or steps a consumer has to take. In addition, Plink has already proven that huge national restaurant brands love the model and they’re already seeing significant increases in consumer purchases.”

Some of the largest fast food establishments are already on board with Plink including Arby’s, Dunkin Donuts and Burger King.

Large chains have embraced Plink because it doesn’t require any changes to their existing point-of-sale infrastructure, does not require staff training, Plink does all the marketing and the restaurants only pay a percentage of the sales that Plink drives. Initial results have shown that Plink members are spending 65 percent more per month at partner restaurants than they were prior to joining Plink. It’s a risk-free, 100 percent turn-key model for national chains and Plink will soon be adding large retail and travel partners.

Plink has raised $4 million to date.


Check out Plink here

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