If you're a manager, director or owner of a business and believe your staff should be rewarded for their hard work at Christmas time… give yourself a pat on the back. Gift-giving is a great initiative to reward staff for their commitment throughout the year, and showing appreciation for your staff before the holidays can make you feel pretty good, too! But many businesses stick to the same types of staff gifts every year, which can get a little repetitive – not to mention quite impersonal.
Avoid the boring stationery, food hampers or bottles of wine this Christmas. If you really want to inspire your staff and show them that you care, it's time to get creative with your Christmas gift-giving. Instead of buying them the same gift you gave out last year, give them an experience they'll remember. Help your staff to get out of the office and enjoy something fun.
We've put together a list of some great food and drink experiences that would make excellent ways to say thanks to your staff this Christmas.
Give your staff a pass to a cookery lesson for a particular type of baking or a cuisine they love. This is probably not something they would usually get the opportunity to try, and it allows them to develop a new skill, as well as have a whole bunch of fun with other team members in an informal setting.
For something truly special, try the state of the art cooking class at The Long Apron at Spicers Retreat in Queensland. The Tamarind Cooking School offers the opportunity to learn the intricacies of a range of cuisines from expert chefs, while overlooking stunning gardens in the heart of a rainforest. They have accommodation too – so your staff could make a weekend of it!
If your staff members have worked extra hard this year, why not offer them the opportunity to experience some magnificent fine dining? Gifting your staff a food experience like this gives them the chance to really treat themselves to an evening out with friends, family or colleagues. A voucher for a four-course shared menu at Merchant Osteria Veneta allows your staff the opportunity to enjoy delightful fine Venetian cuisine and culture, and, of course, some delicious fine wines to accompany the meal.
Got a seafood lover among your ranks? Treat them to an exquisite Sunday lunch, complete with seafood and dessert buffet at Coco's Restaurant. Featuring local produce and native Australian ingredients, the seafood buffet is a true delight with plenty of fresh delights from the ocean, including Tasmanian oysters, Endeavour prawns, blue swimmer crabs and mussels.
To top it all off, your staff members can indulge in a dessert buffet featuring an array of mouth-watering handmade treats. It's not every day that one gets treated to some top class seafood and heavenly desserts, so a Sunday luncheon makes for a gift idea your staff will really enjoy.
What better way to get your staff out of the office than to enjoy a day at a boutique winery, sampling and tasting some of the most exquisite Australian wines? There are wineries all around the country where you can enjoy a long lunch after you taste. Try Wild Dog Winery in Victoria,Darlington Estate Winery in Western Australia, or Ocean View Estates Winery and Restaurant in Queensland. Spend the day getting to know the wines of the estate, as well as sampling some amazing cheeses.
Gin is now more popular than ever, with the likes of Hendricks, Beefeater, Bombay Sapphire and Gordons being the drinking choice for many. Maybe your staff are intrigued by this historic beverage, and would enjoy a gin-making session! These have been popping up all around the country, and offer a unique opportunity to learn a new skill. Whether you take the team together as a bonding experience or give your staff a voucher so they can go when it pleases them, this will be an outing your staff will remember you for (as long as they don't enjoy the fruits of their labour too much!).
The next time you decide to reward your staff members for their hard work, consider breaking the mould and giving them a beautiful foodie experience. Spending time together out of the office can be really beneficial for the productivity and happiness of a team, not to mention that the thoughtful gifts will mean so much more to your team!