Picture a workplace where employees show up early and excited, teamwork exists naturally, and respect, appreciation, and inclusion flow freely between colleagues. This atmosphere does not develop by accident, rather, it stems from strategic investments in the employee experience. In today’s competitive business environment, cultivating an inclusive company culture is more important than ever, as it lays the groundwork for increased engagement, higher efficiency, and faster growth.
As the founder of 4 companies, I promise “culture” is not just a buzzword or a fluffy concept. It determines how people act in the workplace, communicate with their coworkers, and handle the stress of the day-to-day. A strong cultural foundation drives companies ahead, especially startups and small businesses, where each employee is crucial to determining an organization’s future.
Establishing a positive experience for employees involves many facets, and one area that’s often overlooked but important is corporate gifting – and using AI to make it seamless. When done right, how you reward your workers can help organizations to retain their top talent and grow.
I. Effect of Personalized Gifting in a Remote/Hybrid Work
As remote and hybrid work options increase, the challenges only intensify. We’re far from the days of simply walking into the office and receiving tokens of appreciation or talking around the water cooler to connect with colleagues.
Because of this, corporate gifting has a bigger impact in a flexible work environment. Without much human interaction and social engagement at work, people tend to burn out more easily. The solution to this problem lies in technology – specifically, AI.
II. Recognizing the Potential of AI in Addressing Workplace Issues
The initial spark for me to pursue AI solutions for corporate gifting dates back to 2013. Online services were experiencing an unparalleled boom fueled by the internet’s continued growth and social media. While operational elements like delivery and purchasing improved, many problems remained unsolvable by conventional technologies.
Enter AI. Beyond early applications to e-commerce, I saw its potential to understand people’s habits and to use that data to create more customized and meaningful experiences.
By gaining insights into employees and their preferences, businesses can direct their efforts toward cultivating a culture that appeals to each team member and – as a result – propels the business forward.
III. Enhancing Corporate Culture and Employee Retention through AI
AI can also strengthen HR and leadership’s work towards building company culture and retention. To me, this occurs in two ways:
- AI facilitates seamless communication, collaboration, and data-driven decision-making. It enables companies to more efficiently analyze feedback, address concerns, and drive engagement.
- AI streamlines administrative tasks, freeing up time for employees. Devoting more time to meaningful work increases productivity, job satisfaction, and ultimately, retention. Down the road, these all lead to lower operating costs which are necessary for a business to scale.
Increasing employee retention rates takes time, but it is important to business growth by reducing recruitment, onboarding, and training costs. Of the many ways to address cultural challenges in a remote/hybrid environment, personalized gifting is straightforward, easily adoptable, and demonstrates clear investments into employees and their wellbeing. But offering personalized gifting has traditionally been unpopular because it was always a time consuming process. A tedious, yet important task? A perfect problem for an AI solution.
IV. AI as the Ideal Solution for Corporate Gifting
Why is AI well-suited for corporate gifting initiatives?
Gifting is something that crosses the minds of many business leaders – how to create company swag that employees will use, what to give to high performers to show appreciation, what to send to clients on holidays, and more. Figuring out what to send can feel daunting unless you have technology to help – something AI can do when built the right way. Tools like Giftpack leverage automation to do the back-end work required to make corporate gifts feel personal – even when on a large scale.
By harnessing the power of AI, previously impossible feats become achievable within a matter of minutes. The entire process of gift-giving, including mocking up and manufacturing, can be streamlined and hastened and has numerous advantages:
- Personalization: AI enables personalized gifting by analyzing data to understand individual preferences, ensuring tailored recommendations that resonate on a deeper level to increase the likelihood of a meaningful gift being sent.
- Time and Resource Efficiency: AI automates gift selection. Algorithms swiftly identify suitable gifts based on recipient profiles, eliminating manual searching.
- Data-Driven Insights: AI gathers valuable recipient data for actionable insights. Businesses can refine strategies, identify trends, and make smart decisions to optimize future campaigns.
And while I believe that many solutions lie in data, there is also a human element that cannot be removed from this element of HR strategies. After all, they are managing people and human experiences, not data.
V. Corporate Gifting in HR’s Workplace Strategies
For HR, several metrics deserve attention, but employee retention takes the forefront. The costs associated with hiring and retaining talent are substantial. Prioritizing satisfaction in the workplace is top-of-mind for leaders.
Corporate gifting helps people to feel recognized and appreciated; personalized gifting takes this a step further, ensuring equal treatment, avoiding blatant favoritism and removing the risk of appearing ignorant to an individual’s background, culture, or identity. When employees feel respected and included, they are more likely to be motivated, productive, and loyal.
VI. Considerations for Small Businesses in Gifting Customers, Suppliers, and Employees
Personalization is paramount, especially at small businesses where there are high levels of interaction between colleagues. Small businesses should contemplate whether they aim to surprise, welcome, appreciate, or reward the recipient. Custom-tailored gifts often bring joy and happiness, so it’s important to consider the interests and preferences of recipients. By keeping this in mind, the path to personalized gifting becomes smoother and the gift itself feels more purposeful.
Organizations can find innovative ways to create a workplace culture where innovation, connectivity, and collaboration thrive by embracing and developing synergies between AI and gifting. Integrating AI into these processes enables the delivery of highly-tailored tokens of appreciation while acknowledging the varied and diverse preferences and interests that make up a diverse workforce. This level of attention to detail showcases a commitment to genuine and authentic connections, and rewarding your employees will pay dividends in supporting your business – and with technology, it’s easy to do.
Archer Chiang is the CEO of Giftpack.