We’ve all been there. Someone at work helped you out or even put their work aside to focus on what you needed from them.  They saved your butt.  You want to do something to thank them and you want to do it NOW!

So you run to Starbucks and buy them a $25 gift card.  How sweet.  Surely they must drink coffee or, if not, they can get an artisan tea or hot chocolate… maybe a Rice Krispy bar?  

Extra points for acting in the moment to capture your appreciation. This will help assure the person will be willing to help you out the next time you are in a crunch. Beyond that, however, you need to up your game.  How much thought goes into selecting a gift card?  Not much.  Like most things these days, you opted for the “quick and easy” instead of the “thoughtful and meaningful.”

I can count on one hand the number of times someone has done something for me that made me say “Wow.”  Once in college I remember a friend and his girlfriend coming over to my dorm room to clean up.  They folded clothes I had thrown about my room, straightened up my desk and bed, dusted and vacuumed.  I knew they were giving of themselves in a simple, personal way to show they appreciated something I had done. Although I can’t remember what I did, I still remember what THEY did to thank me… 40 years later!

I find companies take this same easy way out when they purchase gift cards in mass to be given to employees.  Maybe the first time you get a gift card at work it’s kind of cool.  But the 5th time? Boring.  I work with several corporations that routinely give employees a gift card when they finish a project.  No “Thanks, great job!” No note or public praise. Just a gift card.

That approach quickly loses its meaning and becomes a joke, if not insulting. And if you ask employees for their preference in gift cards, 85 percent will select a cash card if that is an option. When that happens, the “thanks” becomes little more than a cash substitute without even an emotional charge to go with it.

How much better it might have been to do something unique and personal to thank the person who helped you out.  I’m not saying you have to fold anyone’s clothes. In fact, you can allow them to select a unique gift of their choice for the value you select.   That’s what Snappy Gifts does and it provides a huge “WOW” factor that creates instant excitement and a memorable gift that will remind them of you every time they use it. The employee receives a fun email that announces a big thanks and opens onto a field of fun, unique gifts the person can choose from. There’s a bookshelf being held up by a miniature Superman or an assortment of fine teas, or an “all in one” hot dog and bun warmer and on, and on, and on.  Last time I got a Snappy Gift card, I found a dozen items I wanted to get.  Maybe I’ll get another Snappy thanks if I help that person out again?

Be the person people love to help out; give them a dose of excitement with a lasting memory attached!  They’ll value you all the more for doing so.