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Why You Should Buy Gift Certificates for Your Employees

For the 11th year in a row, non-cash incentives like gift certificates continue to be the most popular item on wish lists, requested by 61% of employees surveyed. The benefits of employee rewards are clear: They make employees feel appreciated, they convey a sense of gratitude, and they further motivate employee productivity and performance. 


Employers especially stand to gain from using gift certificates as a form of employee reward because there’s no risk of discriminating between employees. Employees retain a sense of choice over their gifts, and gift certificates can streamline the online shopping process. 


Before giving out this token of appreciation to employees, there are a couple of significant elements that can help you when deciding whether gift certificates are worth gifting this year. Here’s what you need to know: 


The Pros of Buying Gift Certificates

Even if it’s not on their wishlists, employees see gifts as a worthy choice of reward. 69% of those surveyed say they would like to receive a reward from their employer.  Luckily, employers are listening because gift certificates are essentially non-cash incentives. 


Their desirability and popularity tell us that employers see obvious benefits to giving employees gift certificates. 


1) It’s Convenient for Both Parties

The “convenience” factor of gift certificates has two faces: employers and employees. Gift certificates give both of these groups the power of choice. 


For employers, giving a gift certificate means they can easily and quickly choose just one type of gift and uniformly distribute it across all employees. This gesture of gratitude goes a long way in building a positive relationship with employees. 


Giving a gift certificate also means that employers are not running the risk of showing favoritism to one or more individuals over all others. Employers don’t need to spend copious amounts of time trying to tailor gifts to specific people. Nor do they have to spend more on one person than all others. 


This way, no one feels more or less coveted as a productive worker than any of their colleagues. Gift certificates eliminate the risk of discrimination, lower overall gift giving costs, and promote easy and fast decision-making for both employer and employee. 


The reason so many employees covet gift certificates and consider them a worthy choice of reward is because they can choose whichever brands or items they desire. Employers should look for a gift certificate that offers a wide range of brand choice for employees. This will help the gift certificate appeal to a wide range of employee tastes.


A gift certificate says that an employer sees them and values their work enough to go above and beyond, giving them a symbol of their gratitude. But, in a very practical sense, employees don’t need to be stuck with a gift they don’t like or wouldn’t choose for themselves. 


Some would say that giving no gift at all might be preferable to giving a gift that dissatisfies someone. That’s because the delight of receiving a gift diminishes for the receiver if they accept something they don’t like. 


Gift certificates eliminate this uncomfortable situation or any chance of uncertainty for either party. 


2) You Save On Shipping Costs

While the act of gift-giving has qualitative benefits that simply cannot be quantified, the fact of the matter remains that businesses must pick up the tab. 


When you give items like gift baskets or physical boxes of gifts, no matter how small, you’re responsible for all upfront costs related to the gift-giving. Besides the gift itself, this also involves the wrapping, personalizing, and even shipping. 


You can ship gifts to your office and then hand them out or you can shipping gifts directly to your employees. No matter which method you choose, shipping remains a substantial cost and it requires you to foot the bill. 


Gift certificates allow you to bypass the entire shipping cost and hassle completely. You can pick the gift certificates up at the retailer offering the certificates or have them mailed to you. From here, it’s just a matter of handing them out. 


3) Reach A Specific Demographic

Gift certificates don’t have to be generic at all. Many individuals looking for the “cons” of gift certificates routinely say that they’re impersonal choices, something an employer just bought without a second thought. 


Truthfully, gift certificates require just as much forethought as gifts. When you purchase one, you’re making a choice. When purchase gift certificates, you also have an opportunity to appeal to a specific demographic. 


The gift certificate you purchase from a retailer should be in alignment with the demographic or values you have in your workplace or the business at large. It inadvertently tells the receiver what you consider is an important and worthy addition to their lives. 


Through your gift certificate choice, you can speak to the values of your receiver or let them know what you value.


4) You Can Keep Things Within De Minimis Fringe Benefit

Many employers mistakenly think that the value of their gift is a business write-off. 


It may well be. But it just as easily could be taxable. The difference between whether your gift is tax-exempt or not is based on its value. Giving a gift valued under a certain amount, or a specific kind of gift certificate falls under the de minimis fringe benefit criteria outlined by the IRS.


So if your gift qualifies for this exclusion, you won’t need to report it or pay tax on it. The dollar amount varies, but it should be fairly small. Clear gift item exemptions are ham and turkey holiday gift certificates.



The beauty underlying all the pros of gift certificates is the way in which these gift types can forge and strengthen relationships between employers and employees. When given and received, gift certificates generate a sense of goodwill, gratitude, and recognition. 


For the employer, gift certificates, especially for hams and turkeys, present proven benefits they’re eligible for de minimis fringe benefits and are easily redeemed. For employees, gift certificates bring mean the power of choice.


Hams and turkeys from PFR Corporate gifts are the perfect choice to help you further strengthen your workplace relationships and culture while keeping your corporate business objectives intact.