Did you know that one third of employees who get a gift at the end of the year throw it in the bin?

This was the standout finding of our annual survey which looks at employee attitudes to end of year reward.

When we asked employees what kind of presents were destined for the bin there were some common themes: cheap chocolates (often out of date), joke gifts guaranteed to make a maiden aunt blush and ones that show a real lack of thought such as Christmas cake for someone with a nut allergy or a turkey for a vegetarian.

Giving your employees something which motivates and rewards them for their efforts doesn’t have to be difficult. Even with two weeks to go, there is enough time to make sure you get it right. Here is how you should plan.

1) Make sure you choose reward which is easy to deliver to your employees – many employees said their reward is lost, forgotten or never reaches them. Getting 200 bottles of wine or boxes of chocolates to each employee is a logistical nightmare. Digital gifts are easy to deliver and are actually something your employees want.

2) Offer choice – if there is another thing your employees want it is a gift which they value. Vouchers, loaded gift cards and e-gift cards are perfect for this.

3) Make sure you say thanks – if the purpose of end of year reward is to express our thanks that it is critical that you do so! Make sure you and your managers have time in the diary to personally say thank you.

4) Be sensitive to diversity –Not everyone does Christmas so it is critical you are sensitive to employees for whom it is just another public holiday. Talking about end of year reward is a good way of being sensitive to this issue.

If you are reading this and have left it late in the day to sort out your end of year reward there is one last thing you can do – put a date in your 2015 to plan it earlier.

I'm sales and marketing director at employee benefits provider Edenred. You can find insight and reports on reward-related issues at www.edenred.co.uk/ehub and follow me on twitter @andy_philpott.