By Graeme McQueen, of Business Plus Magazine
Despite the recession, corporate gifting at Christmas is still popular with 65% of respondents to a survey of 400 Irish companies carried out by One4all Rewards.
The survey, which was conducted online among a broad spectrum of small, medium and large sized enterprises, explored changing trends and attitudes to corporate gifting throughout the last ten years.
Although 72% of respondents do not feel obliged to gift at Christmas time, over half of companies surveyed gift their staff each year, while 36% send corporate gifts to clients.
Saying thank you is the most important reason for sending corporate gifts at Christmas according to two-thirds of companies, while building client relationships (20%) and customer loyalty (12%) are also key factors.
The majority of companies surveyed rate gift cards and vouchers as the best gift (40%), followed by charity donations (31%) and wine (11%).
Wine is also rated as the most commonly received corporate gift by over half of respondents (53%), followed by gift cards (14%) and chocolates (13%).
In terms of worst corporate gifts received, stationery and pens top the poll, along with desktop toys or nothing at all. Other responses range from bad wine or a stale box of biscuits to a fire extinguisher and a box of satsumas.
Under the Revenue Commissioners’ approved Small Benefit Exemption Scheme, employers can provide employees with a non cash benefit up to the value of €250 once every tax year. The €250 payment is exempt from tax, USC and employee and employer’s PRSI.