Being away from family during the holidays is tough. Not only will your assignees likely be forgoing traditional holiday comforts this season, but it is often difficult and expensive for them to send and receive gifts from family. Even if sending gifts hasn’t been front and center on your mind this year (we won’t tell!), there are many last-minute efforts you can make as a global mobility or HR manager to lift your assignees’ spirits during the holidays. Here are three examples of last-minute gifts you can organize and send off in just a few hours.
Holiday Care Packages
Chances are, your assignees are hungry for a familiar taste of home this holiday season. Though assignees based in Brazil might be perfectly content chowing down on rabanada, a holiday dish similar to French toast, there are certain American comforts that are unavailable abroad. Fill their care package with all of their favorite holiday goodies-- the larger the better-- as sizes tend to be much smaller abroad. By including a group holiday card and some snap shots from around the office, you can make your assignee feel included in office festivities, almost like they never left. While you might have to bribe FedEx for a snappy shipment on your care package, your assignee will be forever grateful for your kind words and they’ll be excited to feast on their new collection of funsized holiday candy. You can also take advantage of USPS flat rate boxes, just don’t forget to fill out your customs forms!
If your assignee is keeping an active blog, you should have a good idea of their new favorite hot spots and hobbies. Local surprises make great last minute gifts because assignees will be able to use your gift immediately and you are much more likely to get quick shipping. Reach out to specialty shops in your assignee’s neighborhood. Some may just be willing to make a last-minute delivery of that wood-carved matryoshka doll your assignee was going on about. Another great option is making a reservation at your assignee’s favorite restaurants and paying their bills over the phone--many restaurants will be more than happy to work with you. While you may have to put in a little more effort, going the extra mile will help you surprise your assignee in a personal way they won’t soon forget.
Family Holiday Videos
While corporate gifts are great, the love your assignee really craves this holiday season is from family. Video gifts are great, because they simply require a smartphone and some organized family love! Invite assignee family members to film a short, video message for their loved ones abroad. If possible, teach them a little bit of language to add to their videos for a special touch. After all, there’s no better way to say a quick Finnish Minä rakastan sinua or a Tanzanian Kuwa na Krismasi njema than by learning the language their family member is surrounded by daily. Encourage family members to make a quick call to their family as well. There’s nothing quite like hearing a loved one’s voice during the holidays.
Last minute gifts don’t have to be thoughtless. By getting creative and personalizing a gift unique to your assignee, you can help ease your assignees adjustment and have a happy holiday abroad. For more ways to help your assignee have the best 2016 possible, read our white paper, “Reassignment Red Flags.”