Evolution of Corporate Gifting

Even the smallest gestures of appreciation, right from early childhood, can always put a smile on another person’s face. There is no doubt that a little appreciation can go a long way, and corporate life is no exception. The concept of corporate gifting solutions has progressed significantly since its inception. The industry has undergone a major transition, from chocolate-filled gift baskets to gift cards. Corporate gifting has evolved around the premise of expressing gratitude with something tangible and personal. Corporate gifting solutions have evolved through the years and become an important aspect for keeping partners happy, employees engaged, and stakeholders satisfied. Let’s look at how corporate gifting has changed through times and how it is evolving today.

Corporate Gifting in the Past

In India, corporate gifting was very predictable until the arrival of new-age companies and the entry of millennials and Gen-Zs into the workforce. Originally, the concept of corporate gifting was limited to exchanging tokens of appreciation prior during business dealings with clients and greeting cards on festive occasions for employees accompanied by the traditional gift of sweets. However, with the increasing focus on employee experience, the corporate gifting sector gradually began evolving to come up with gifting strategies for employees especially during the festive season. As more employees were involved in the gifting process, symbols of appreciation such as signature pens, desk clocks, and trophies began to appear to promote employee morale. This was the beginning of employee incentives & recognition as we know them today.

Corporate Gifting at Present

After the imposition of COVID restrictions, maintaining employee productivity, engagement, and enthusiasm while working in isolated bubbles became a top priority for corporations around the world. As a result, companies have used incentives and recognition programmes, as well as other perks, for increasing employee engagement and productivity. For years, rewards and recognition was often achieved through sending out physical gifts to employees. While in-person gifting had its own charm, in the last 18 months, organizations had to look for alternatives that were quick, easy, and suitable options, given the ongoing pandemic situation. Although sending out physical gifts was still an option, it came with safety concerns, the burden of logistics, chances of delays and damage during transit, as employees worked from different locations. However, owing to the availability of technological resources, organizations were able to leverage digital gifting solutions, which has proven itself to be a significant paradigm shift in the corporate gifting sector.

Corporate Gifting: The Way Ahead

Corporate Gifting is already operating in the future because of the change in worldwide office gifting traditions due to COVID. What can be expected in the future is the involvement of AI for offering exceptional gifts to employees. There is a future ready to map every employee’s like and dislike through their social handles and choose a personalized gift according to their preferences. This approach is fast spreading across organizations worldwide and only seems to strengthen with its success. The adoption of digital gifting solutions is not an entirely new concept, but the move towards technology powered gifting solutions has been much accelerated by the imposition of lockdown conditions. Digitally powered rewards and recognition and incentive programmes are increasingly leveraging the flexibility and versatility provided by gift cards for employees, which have remarkably enhanced the user experience of not just the employees but also channel partners. With Sodexo’s suite of Corporate Gift Solutions, Premium Pass, users get the flexibility of choice, with access to 90,000+ online shopping and food portals, and 50 lakh+ outlets on the RuPay network. The Premium Pass suite offers a highly personalized, seamless experience for users through the Sodexo-Zeta mobile app. Employers also have the option to choose from the option of gifting physical or virtual gift cards, that can be personalized with the recipient and organization names. The adoption of personalized, digital gifting has been witnessing an upward trend in the Indian market that is only likely to increase further. By adapting to the change, companies can create a seamless gifting experience that saves time and effort while offering a truly enjoyable and hassle-free experience for both their company and employees.