These are the worst corporate gifts employees ever received

You might want to avoid giving out these gifts to your employees this year.

Bosses might think most corporate gifts during the holiday season come off as generous offerings, but most employees are either really picky or faking a smile when it comes to gift-giving.

A new survey conducted by corporate gifting company Snappy interviewed over 1,000 working Americans to find out which gifts they actually wanted to receive from their companies. The study found that a shocking amount of workers (84%) said they received a gift they didn’t want from their company.

Despite the ‘thank yous’ and smiles, nearly 90% of participants said those moments of gratification were fake, as they purposely looked thankful to a gift they disliked.

The dos and don’ts of gift-giving

Workers this year want something that isn’t branded with their company’s logo on it.

While four out of five employees felt receiving a holiday gift from their employer made them feel more appreciated and motivated during the holiday season, nearly three-fourths said it better not come with their company’s logo.

Seventy-two percent of participants said they prefer a gift that wasn’t self-advertising for the company they work for. One of the striking cords for employees was receiving a gift with no personal significance despite what the employers’ intentions were. So leave the pins and plaques in the Amazon cart — and definitely don’t get employees a gift card this year.

Seventy-nine percent of workers said gift cards were less meaningful than a gift. Eighty-six percent of individual respondents said they lost or forgot about a gift card with an existing balance.

What employees really want this holiday season

If you want to get the most joy in gift-giving, you might want to let your employees pick something they want.

Seventy-seven percent of employees said they’d rather choose their gift than have their bosses pick on out for them. That’s because 81% of respondents said they’ve been disappointed in the past by holiday gifts and hope it would be something different.

Some employers certainly gave out some dream-like gifts. Respondents said they once received an espresso machine, a gift list to choose from, and even a trip to Paris from their employers.

About one in three said they were interested in receiving a tech-like gift such as an iPad, Bluetooth speaker, or television compared to getting something the apparel or food/drink department.

Definitely avoid these gifts

Rethink the coffee mug or company-branded water bottle.

The worst corporate gift employees ever received was a mug, according to the survey. Others complained about gift cards to stores they’ve never been, company-branded gear, fanny packs, and even a magnet.

1. A mug

2. A gift card to a store I’ve never been to

3. Water bottle

4. Company logo junk

5. Fanny pack

6. Socks

7. Melted chocolate coins

8. A pin

9. Tourniquet

10. Calendar

11. A book on how to do a better job

12. Magnet

13. Turkey

14. A quart of milk

15. Post-It Note

16. Plaque

17. Pink slip

18. Nothing at all

19. Towel

20. Lanyard

21. Old stale cookies

22. Toy horse

23. Deli meat

24. Made us pay to go to a ‘mandatory’ Christmas party

25. Canceled PTO