A chopper ride or a gourmet testing session on a helipad or a tree-house stay instead of the usual pack of sweets are among a number of innovative gifts that could come your way this Diwali.
Moving away from traditional sweets and gift vouchers, companies, including Flipkart, Larsen & Toubro, Procter & Gamble, InMobi and Amazon, among others, are looking at unique gifting experiences to retain talent.
A dinner on yacht with family, pizza making session in a luxury hotel for kids, exclusive movie screening for the entire family or the opportunity to record your own song are also on the cards.
According to Chennai-based employee engagement firm BI Worldwide, the approach towards rewards is based on the science of behavioural economics, which shows that 70% of decisions taken by humans are driven by emotions. “Companies have understood that the rewards efficacy is measured by creating lifetime memories, which have a high re-consumption value every time that memory is shared or recalled, against cash incentives that are short term,” said Siddharth Reddy, CEO at BI Worldwide.
Gifting or rewarding employees is no more a casual decision, human resource experts said.
“We are consciously designing experiences. The idea is to gift memories to good performers as part of a long-term retention strategy,” said Manoj Biswas, human resource head at Larsen & Toubro, which plans to offer vineyard tours, tree-house stays, sky diving and gourmet testing sessions to employees in the coming festival season. “The average budget does not exceed R8,000-10,000. In turn, we receive calls and letters to show gratitude from spouses and kids of our employees!”
InMobi, a mobile advertising and discovery platform backed by Japan’s Soft Bank, plans to reward employee referrals with a maximum budget of $20,000, and a minimum of $500. “Gifting a movie ticket or cash is passé. The new way to reward good employees is to surprise them by gifting customised vacations, including beer festival in Berlin, trip to Bali, Mongolia or Europe,” said Kevin Freitas, HR leader at InMobi. “Every time the employee would see the pictures, he/she would recall his ex-employer... It’s a deal to win a great performer for life.”
Several gifting solution providers, such as Giftxoxo, WittyGift and Gifting Happiness, work with companies to provide customised gifting options at lowest possible prices. “The average spending of an employer does not exceed R7,500, but the value of the gift looks nothing less than R25,000,” said Sumit Khandelwal, co-founder, Giftxoxo. It offers experiential gifting solutions to almost 500 companies, including P&G, Flipkart and Boston Consultancy Group, among others.
The minimum price to design an experiential gift is around R2,500. “In the last one month, queries from companies have gone up,” added Khandelwal.
Companies, including Flipkart, BCG, Microsoft and P&G, did not respond to mails sent by HT.