Surprise & Delight: 2020’s Best Employee Gifts

Aubrey Lear, Senior Employee Engagement Manager

Article Categories: #News & Culture, #Employee Engagement

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A year end round-up of our favorite treats from 2020.

Viget exists to make the digital world a better place for everyone. The People Team at Viget exists to support and propel the careers of the strategists, designers, and engineers who create that digital world. From recruiting awesome candidates, to keeping in touch with our wonderful alumni network, and everything in between, we actively work to ensure that people at Viget have an unmatched professional experience. We do that through providing fantastic benefits, organizing legendary retreats, maintaining our commitment to progress, and, of course, by working with awesome clients.

A major part of our People Team’s work this year has been our commitment to surprising and delighting our colleagues. In the midst of an unbelievably difficult year, a small, thoughtful gesture can have an enormous impact. We are consistently asking ourselves how we can improve a perk, launch a new tradition, or just simply provide a little joy. We strive to create an environment where our culture comes across clearly in the work we do for our clients, our commitment to our community, and in the spaces we create for our teams. We also do this through good ol’ fashion swag.

This year kitting out our team looked a little different and our People Team had to master the skills of shopping and shipping. In the last 9 months we’ve shipped over 400 packages to employees, and this doesn’t include the fabulous prizes that sometimes pop up through all the ways we spark connection.

We’re longtime CustomInk customers, but this year we moved one of our large orders to a small shop, Burke Sporting Goods, local to our HQ office, and it went great. We collaborated on custom embroidered items and they even supported us by shipping items out directly to individual addresses. I expect we’ll continue to be both CustomInk and Burke Sporting Goods customers in the years to come.

This year we also experimented with sending items directly from Amazon, using both SnackNation (now Caroo) and BoxFox, and completely doing it ourselves with custom boxes we designed in house. The latter was the most work, but had the biggest impact. We used Packlane for the box, added custom sticker flair care of StickerMule, and included custom cards from Moo.

In addition to curating gifts and swag that surprise and delight, we also strive to spend responsibly. This year more than ever, we looked for ways to shop small and support organizations and businesses that are also committed to supporting their local communities. As we work with clients to make the digital world a better place, we also want to make an effort to make the non-digital world a better place, too.

Here is a roundup of our favorite things, from small organizations, that we’ve delighted our team and clients with this year. (Seriously, these are delightful and you should try them):

  • Appointed: Elevated paper goods, female-founded American-made and proudly based in the District of Columbia.
  • A Dozen Cousins: Black-owned, soulfully wholesome beans with social impact. Cooked in avocado oil and inspired by traditional Creole, Caribbean and Latin American recipes.
  • Cru Chocolate: Award winning, woman owned, equitably sourced chocolate based in Sacramento, California.
  • Fisher's Popcorn: Caramel popcorn from Ocean City, Maryland that has been a boardwalk standard since 1937.
  • Jeddah’s Tea: A Durham tearoom that ships small-scale organic, vegan-friendly and fair-trade teas nationwide.
  • Kazoobie Kazoos: USA-made in Beaufort, South Carolina instruments that help teams come together.
  • Kitchen17: A Chicago deep dish pie shop that ships their vegan and gluten free pizzas across the US.
  • Pizza John’s: A Maryland staple since 1966 that ships their bake-at-home pizza packs nationwide.
  • The Cookie Society: Gourmet Cookies from Frisco, Texas and recent addition to Oprah’s Favorite Things of 2020 list!
  • The Guilty Grape: More than just California wine, founders Nichelle and Nicole Nichols are committed to building legacies and pathways for minorities and women.
  • Trade Street Jam Co.: A minority & woman-certified small batch jam company based in Brooklyn, NY.
  • Turtle Fur: Founded in Stowe, Vermont by Millie Merrill this cold weather company is committed to comfort, creativity, and community.
  • Wonderpuff: Black owned, Durham based, small-batch gourmet cotton candy that sells out weekly thanks to fans like glitter-loving country star, Kacey Musgraves. Mail order cotton candy? Yes, it’s a thing. You should order some.

Are you a fan of thoughtful gift giving? Do you have a knack for always buying the perfect gift? We’re hoping to find our next People Operations Coordinator and Chief Joy Supplier to join our team in the new year.

Aubrey Lear

Aubrey is Viget’s Senior Employee Engagement Manager based in our Falls Church, VA, HQ. She is an organized advocate for color coordinated calendars and closets, but most importantly she is a believer in team spirit and creative thinking.

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