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Why Should Startups Focus on Gifting For Employee Engagement

Employee engagement and retention is one of the keys of a successful startup. Learn how to improve the engagement with employee rewards.

Gone are the days when customary phone calls and personal congratulatory messages were the norms. Job-hopping wasn't as common, opportunities were significantly less, and companies thrived even by doing the bare minimum.

That's not the case anymore, is it?

Now, for companies to reduce employee turnover, improve employee retention, and increase productivity, it's imperative to ensure that your employees are deeply engaged with the organization.

As companies are coming up with creative ideas to strengthen relationships with new employees, corporate gifting has emerged as a stand-out strategy among businesses to improve employee engagement.

Role of employee engagement in a startup

Employee engagement plays an important role in the success of an organization. It can be used to achieve business objectives, drive productivity and maximize employee’s potential.

Engaged employees are more likely to care about the organization and its goals, perform at a higher level, be committed to their work, be willing to go above and beyond, and feel that they are part of something bigger than themselves.

Further, these employees have higher levels of emotional energy and empathy toward colleagues, which leads to greater workplace cooperation and collaboration.

In fact, gift-giving is now considered an integral part of corporate culture, considering the umpteen benefits it offers a business. 

If you are a small business or startup looking to gain an edge over your competitors, it pays to go the extra mile with thoughtful corporate gifts to win their loyalty and engagement. 

Here's why—

Benefits of Corporate Gift-Giving on Employee Engagement

Corporate gifting promotes employee engagement and retention in the following ways:

1. Gets you off on the right foot with new employees 

One of the biggest challenges companies face is during employee onboarding. It's common for employees to feel out of place on their first day at a new job. From finding it difficult to strike conversations with fellow employees to breaking the ice with managers and executives, there are one too many things putting a dent on their first-day experience. 

On top of that, getting used to a new work environment can't be easy.

Here's an opportunity for companies to shine. How? By putting together a warm welcome with a thoughtfully-curated new employee gift hamper.

It's possibly the best conversation starter for employees to get mingling from the get-go. Plus, it allows managers to create a positive impression and ensure employees feel like they belong in the organization. 

The best part? It makes them feel valued and accounted for. Did you know employees who receive welcome gifts are highly likely to share about it on their social media handles? Bonus points for creating brand awareness, huh?

2. Improves productivity with recognition gifts

More than anything, employees want to feel acknowledged for their contributions to an organization. They want to know their honest efforts are instrumental to the success of the company. Only then will they feel motivated to be productive and keep giving their best.

As a startup that values its employees and recognizes their efforts through heartfelt gestures, you stand to inspire higher levels of productivity from your employees.

Whether it is on achieving a project milestone early (or on time) or completing a significant period at your company, make sure to acknowledge their loyalty and commitment with valuable gifts.

Take the recent example of the Chennai-based SaaS company Kissflow which gifted BMW cars to 5 of its senior management executives. They wanted to honor their 10-year commitment towards the company on the occasion of Kissflow's 10th work anniversary.

We aren't saying you need to be equally grand in your gesture; even an everyday item like a laptop bag, accessory, or smart device creates the impact—it's the thought that counts. 

3. Helps position you above your competitors

As a new brand looking to make a name for itself, you have to go the extra mile to retain your employees. At every step, it's imperative to outdo your competition by treating your employees right.

From creating a positive work environment to showing that you care, startups can use corporate gifts as a key tool to improve employee engagement.

Imagine a company that is concerned about your health and wellness, so much that it sends you health-oriented gifts during tough times—or sometimes, simply to help you beat weekly blues. That's the kind of company any employee would want to be associated with. 

Looking for gift ideas in this regard to stay relevant and effective? There are plenty! 

Luxury yoga mats, organic snacks or tea, at-home spa treatments, or entertainment gifts like speakers, etc — truly, the list is endless!

Lets you use special occasions as a time to build strong relationships 

One of the best times to shower your employees with gifts is when they expect it the most — special occasions!

  • It could be an employee's birthday, which is when a gift card from their favorite brand would be a huge hit, or 
  • During festivals like Diwali, Christmas, etc when you could hold Secret Santa events or other fun contests to present festive gifts, or
  • An employee's work anniversary, which gives you a chance to celebrate them with gifts like gourmet snacks or personalized luxury gadgets

All you need to do is take a look at the calendar to align your corporate gifting strategy with relevant occasions to win over your customers!

Inspires connectedness and enthusiasm toward the company

As per a Harter study, engaged employees are passionate, loyal, and work with twice as much vigor to produce results. Whereas disengaged employees do not feel connected to their jobs and thus, are unlikely to commit more time and effort than necessary to help their organizations succeed.

Do you know what elevated levels of engagement, passion, and enthusiasm lead to? Employee retention and increased productivity.

Some helpful ideas in this regard include personalized laptop bags, t-shirts, desk decor items, and so on. Daily use items like water bottles, stationery, travel bags, etc. also improve workday performance. Give employees gifts that they feel proud to own and show off, and help promote a positive mindset towards the company.


Whether you are a startup or an established enterprise, it pays to keep your employee happy and engaged. It places you way above your competitors and ensures employee loyalty and commitment.

For these reasons and many others, employee recognition and corporate gifting should be a key strategy in enhancing employee engagement and loyalty.


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