by Tom Taraci | October 14, 2013
It’s no secret that employee happiness not only affects the work environment, but also translates directly into stronger customer satisfaction. In many cases, the year-end bonus is too often the sole supplementary gift that is given to reward an employee’s hard work. Extra cash has a huge impact on everybody’s lives, but it can be impersonal. Today, there’s an opportunity to provide gifts with a more meaningful connection. What’s more, going the extra mile to express special gratitude ends with an extra bonus: enhancing your own happiness.

Recent studies in psychology have shown that acts of gratitude generate happiness not only in the recipient but also for the giver. So this year, on top of bonuses, take a moment to really appreciate your employees by selecting a great gift that’s unique to them. You’ll feel happy for doing it, and create a strong mutual appreciation between you and your employees that raises the standard of your business culture.

To help you get started, I’ve selected 10 products that are terrific holiday gifts for your employees, and will make you feel great giving them. 

1. For the Sharp-Dressed Executive: Blank Label Custom Shirts
Whether you’re leading a team, or trying to inspire confidence in a client, dressing stylishly impacts the ways others perceive and respond to you. Dressing stylishly doesn’t mean you need to be flashy, or fashion-forward. To dress sharply is to dress with attention to detail, with clothing that expresses inner confidence and sophisticated taste. People will respect, envy, and admire you for it. Fan Bi’s Blank Label is an exquisite collection of bespoke shirts for men. Choose from a range of fabrics and styles, get measured, fitted, and support your employees place at the top.

2. For the On-the-Go Woman Executive Who Has Everything: Shoes of Prey Custom-Crafted Shoes
Looking to give the perfect gift for stylish women executives? Take a look at Shoes of Prey. The company has a brilliant business model that translates the bespoke customization experience into the wardrobe item that many women obsess over: shoes. Choosing from a myriad of styles, colors, textures, and materials, a woman can design the perfect shoe to satisfy her tastes and elevate her experience of walking. 

3. The Creative Mind’s Muse: Dr. Dre’s Beats Pill
Many of my most creative colleagues do their best work when locked in a room listening to music. There’s no question that music is a great tool of creativity, and that a great stereo can create a transformative listening experience. Dr. Dre has been a genius at creating and marketing premium sound gear. In these days of sunglasses and headphones, how many long red cords have we seen attached to the happy ears of musical savants? The Pill is a standalone speaker system that uses Bluetooth technology to connect wirelessly to your computer, tablet, or smartphone, allowing you to stream audio from your collection or from the Internet’s most popular music services, or even make speakerphone calls. It’s light and portable, while still improving your life with clear, powerful, stereo sound.

4. Make All Employees Masters of Productivity: Crosstech Multi-Task Pen
Every organization wants to inspire its employees to achieve maximum efficiency, organization, and speed in the workplace. Good news! Cross has created the perfect tool to push every employee towards mastering their workflow. The Crosstech Multi-Task Pen combines a ballpoint pen for note taking, a red editing pen, and a pencil, plus it’s a stylus for digital screen use. This product will be a grateful addition to your employees’ lives, and the company’s productivity.

5. For the Traveling Rainmaker: Bose Quiet Comfort Headphones
We’ve all heard of the mythical high-level finance guy or gal who travels 275 days a year. Living hour upon hour in an airplane, I can’t imagine flying that much without the absolute best set of headphones to accomplish two things: (1) drown out all noise and (2) supply the most amazing sound quality. Bose is universally accepted as a leader in the art of sound delivery. Their QuietComfort noise-canceling headphones serve up state-of-the-art results in both quietness and quality. The rainmakers need their mental breaks and Bose delivers.

6. For the Millennial: Mophie Juice Pack Battery Booster
We all know a Millennial: cool and hip, his or her life is broadcast to the world with creativity, openness, and style. That type of broadcasting requires battery life — as much battery life as a salesman or top-level executive who burns hundreds of call minutes, and even more emails every week. Mophie has created an ultra-thin and stylish iPhone cover which doubles as a battery, providing up to 80 percent more power than iPhone’s stock supply. The range of colors suits a wide variety of tastes, and models are available for the majority of today’s other popular smartphone models, too.

7. For the Executive Foodie: Classic Le Creuset Assortment
It wasn’t long ago that a great set of cooking pots would be a gift for the cook of the family, or something found only on wedding registries. Even more so, an expensive set of cookware was reserved only for the few who understood food at a sophisticated level. For the past 15 years, the global foodie revolution has made a great set of cookware something that is desired by a wide audience. Le Creuset’s colorful cast iron pans are a signature of culinary excellence around the world. A five-piece set is highly coveted, and will be received with high praise. I wouldn’t be surprised if gourmet leftovers arrive on your desk after their first cookout.

8. For the Aspiring Don Draper: Baccarat Clear Crystal Glassware
Whisky has inspired its own breed of aficionados, those who can speak about the Scottish Highlands as if it were their second home. Baccarat, the luxury brand envied for crystal and jewelry (even luxury residences), has created a special line of glassware, including a whisky decanter and tumblers. This glassware isn’t for the rough-and-tumble types. In fact, Don Draper’s Canadian Clubs don’t belong poured inside this prized line.  This is a crystal for the single malt, the single barrel, and the rare blend. 

9. For Your Most Valued Colleagues: Michael Kors Watch
From Michelle Obama to Gwyneth Paltrow, Michael Kors dresses women who embody confidence and strength. When he moved into men’s and women’s watches with selections like the crystal strap and the Rose Golden stainless-steel line, he caught the eyes of celebrities such as Jay-Z, Jennifer Aniston, Kim Kardashian, Halle Berry, and many more. This is a special gift for employees whose efforts and talent have built up the company to where it is today. 

10. For Those Who Are Impossible to Buy For: Jo Malone Gift Sets 
They may have everything, they may want nothing, or their tastes could simply be impossible to pin down. While these people may enjoy a gift card, it’s important to remind ourselves of the big difference in feeling a gift card in our hand versus the physical package of a quality product. Jo Malone’s line of gift sets for him or her combine the best of the brand’s oils, lotions, crèmes, colognes, and more. Jo Malone offers a great assortment of curated gift sets, or custom packages curated by you. 

Tom Taraci is the CEO and founder of incentive marketing firm Taraci Motivation, which also publishes the Taraci Collection, a compendium of incentive gifts, available online and in print.