Top Picks for Employee Appreciation Gift Ideas
An appreciated team member is a happy team member. This is a simple concept to understand, it's important to treat both customers and employees with respect. How do you show appreciation to employees? A little token of appreciation can go a long way.
When you're considering a thoughtful gift for work anniversaries, birthdays, or a recognition program for top performers, choosing the right corporate gift can feel overwhelming. We’ve put our 19 years of experience in the promotional gifting industry to work giving you 10 ideas to show appreciation to your employees.
Why Employee Recognition Matters
Employees are what keeps your business running. Happy employees and employee engagement is important if you want your team to succeed. Treating employees with kindness and showing appreciation for their efforts can maintain a positive working environment.
What are the rewards of appreciation? When employees are shown appreciation, businesses experience increased productivity (opens in a new window), increased employee retention, and motivation to maintain high-quality performance. In addition, employee recognition has shown improved self-esteem and a 73% decrease (opens in a new window) in routine feelings of burnout.
10 Best Employee Appreciation Gifts
Gift-giving is the perfect way to add a personal touch to positive employee recognition. What gifts are appreciated by employees? Employees will appreciate gifts they can use in their day-to-day lives. Personalized gifts should recognize their hard work, personal milestones, and the efforts they’ve made that have contributed to your business's success.
We’ve put together a list to help guide you in choosing the right staff appreciation gifts that will make the entire team, in-person and remote employees, feel valued.
1. Personalized Drinkware
Drinkware items are useful gifts that employees can use in the office or on the go. Our stainless steel water bottles and premium vacuum-insulated tumblers are options that can maintain the temperature of the beverage inside. For a milestone, consider a custom coffee mug in a gift box with a bag of beans or gift card to the local coffee shop.
2. Awards and Trophies
Receiving an official award that displays the employee’s name as well as their achievement, is a keepsake as well as a way for the employee to display their achievement. An engraved paperweight served the dual purpose of being a classy award and a useful desk ornament.
If you want to give out a trophy for an Employee of the Year Award, something unique, such as an engraved 3D crystal award is a step up from the golden plastic figures atop a column.
3. Gift Cards
What gifts motivate employees? Feeling valued and getting a modest holiday gift create significant motivation (opens in a new window) in employees. Gift cards are very popular around the holidays, as they give recipients the ability to choose their own gifts. After all, who doesn't love a shopping spree where they don't have to pay anything?
When taking this route, make sure you know the personal preferences of your employees. Knowing what your employee is interested in and their preferences show that you care and appreciate them. If you are unsure, consider a gift card from a local vendor in the area or close to the office so they don’t need to travel far to redeem the gift. This is a great gift to give out at corporate Christmas parties.
4. Tech Gifts
Technology items with your company logo like earbuds are useful for the workspace, both at the office or for the remote team’s home offices. These and other Bluetooth devices can grant privacy during calls or allow employees to block out surrounding noise as they listen to their favorite music. Phone chargers and power banks are also tech gadget gifts that add convenience to anyone's life.
5. Budget Friendly Options
We always like to focus on the fact that it's truly the thought that counts. If the budget is tight, don’t give out cheap swag like a company keychain that your employees may not use. It’s better to give something more heartfelt, like a touching thank you card with a personalized message. What are some gifts for employees that are inexpensive? A gift idea for employees that is inexpensive can be a reusable tote, a cute succulent, food-related goodies, or even offering a late start on a Monday or leaving an hour early on a Friday for happy hour.
6. Engraved Pen Gift Sets
Personalized engraved pen sets are timeless corporate employee gifts that never go out of style. They're excellent gifts for helping employees celebrate work anniversaries, birthdays, holidays, and personal achievements. They make for useful and attractive desk accessories that are sure to add a heightened sense of pride to any task they're involved in. Their formal and dignified appearance will make an employee at any level feel like an executive.
7. Fun & Whimsical Items
Want to bring some laughs and smiles into the office? Unique employee appreciation gifts present an opportunity to engage in some outside-the-box corporate gifting. Novelty gifts are a way to show you appreciate hard work but also understand the value of having some fun in the workplace. You can go the retro route with a Rubik's Cube or 8 Ball or go in an even more unique direction with something like a pair of light-up shoelaces or a dancing desktop robot.
8. Gifts for the Great Outdoors
For travelers and adventurers on your staff, useful outdoor items are a good fit for employee appreciation gifts. Check out our hydration packs for the office hiker or a stadium blankets and folding chairs are perfect for teammates who enjoy picnics and camping trips. Beach towels and sunglasses are ideal for enjoying fun in the sun, while an umbrella is a creative gift that will keep employees dry and comfortable on a rainy day.
9. Apparel Gifts
Custom logo apparel items like t-shirts and company logo hats are great for onboarding swag. For employee appreciation, consider something a little nicer, like outerwear and the classic beanie hat. When you give your employees business logo apparel gifts, they'll be able to wear their accomplishments and company pride on their sleeves.
10. Self-Care Kits
Self-care and wellness are so important to avoid burnout and maintain good health. These gifts help employees look and feel their best. You can put together thank-you gift baskets with items such as hand lotion, lip balm, sleep masks, sunscreen, and more.
If you want to put together a luxurious well-being gift package, you can give your star employees personalized bathrobes along with skincare kits. Allow them to spoil themselves with a little in-home spa treatment, courtesy of your business.
Don’t Forget Employee Appreciation Day!
Employee Appreciation Day is a special holiday that exists for the specific purpose of thanking employees for their hard work. It falls on the first Friday in March, so in 2024, Employee Appreciation Day will be March 1st.
This provides a perfect gift-giving opportunity for your business. Consider buying lunch for the office or sending out handwritten notes to your coworkers praising their teamwork and skills.
Order Personalized Bulk Employee Appreciation Gifts
No matter which employee appreciation gifts you choose to go with, make sure your chosen token of appreciation fits the situation. If it's tied to a specific milestone, achievement, or contribution, find a gift that reflects what you're recognizing. Give a handwritten card with a gift that gives congratulations and acknowledges the individual.
If you have a whole team to thank, you can buy bulk employee appreciation gifts and get wholesale savings. Make sure to plan and get your bulk orders in before Employee Appreciation Day. Remember, your employees are your greatest resource. Show them just how much you appreciate them with a thoughtful employee appreciation gift!
Wickham, N. (2023, July 6). The Importance of Employee Recognition: Statistics and Research. Quantum Workplace. Retrieved November 6, 2023, from https://www.quantumworkplace.com/future-of-work/importance-of-employee-recognition (opens in a new window)
Kinne, A. (2023, April 6). What Are the Benefits of Employee Recognition? Workhuman. Retrieved November 6, 2023, from https://www.workhuman.com/blog/benefits-of-employee-recognition/ (opens in a new window)
Torres, M. (2018, December 6). Research: Rewarding employees with a gift keeps them motivated. The Ladders. Retrieved November 7, 2023, from https://www.theladders.com/career-advice/research-rewarding-employees-with-a-gift-keeps-them-motivate (opens in a new window)