February 26, 2024
March 1, 2024

12 Gift Ideas to Show Employee Appreciation and Why it Matters

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Have you ever found yourself dreading the thought of buying employee gifts because you’re not sure what to get? Or worse yet, have you ever assumed that employee gifts aren’t worth the time, effort, or money?

In a turbulent economy, that mindset can be tempting. But what if we told you that showing employees appreciation through gifts can be one of the best things for your productivity, motivation, and engagement levels? That’s right—giving out employee appreciation gifts truly is vital to making your people feel happy, valued, and engaged. And it doesn’t have to be difficult or expensive, either.

12 Thoughtful Gifts to Show Genuine Employee Appreciation

We understand that knowing people’s interests, hobbies, and likes/dislikes doesn’t mean buying a gift for them is easy—we struggle to choose the right gifts for our own family members every year! Gift-giving is difficult. But when done right, nothing makes employees feel more special or cared for.

To help you get started, we came up with twelve different gift ideas for employees. Hopefully these will spark other inspiration that helps you find the perfect gifts for your people.

1. Desk Plants

For those who appreciate a bit of green, a desk plant or some flowers for either home or the office is a great, budget-friendly idea. Plus, plants in the office can actually increase happiness and productivity!

2. Board or Card Games

As we mentioned before, people who value spending time with loved ones will almost always appreciate this gesture. Games are a great way to spend time together, and with these gifts, you show that the company prioritizes employee work-life balance.

3. Learning Experiences

For those who want to keep learning and improving, a class or experience can be an amazing gift. Find out what employees are interested in learning more about, and find a way to give the gift of learning.

4. Consultations With Experts

Do your employees have big decisions or plans to make? Whether they want to start investing, buy a new house, or redo their indoor decor, a consultation with an expert could be just the thing they need.

5. Handwritten Notes

One of the simplest and most affordable gifts of appreciation for employees is a handwritten note. When you or a manager writes a note to an employee, you show them that you appreciate and value them enough to take the time to do something personal and genuine. These can be extremely meaningful and valuable.

6. Gift Cards

Gift cards may not be the best option, but that depends on how you use them. As long as you know what your employees like and value, you can get them a gift card that means the world to them. Cards to the spa, a grocery store, or a specific dessert shop can all be fun and exciting gifts.

7. Charity Donations

For a more philanthropic gift, consider giving something to charity in your employees’ names. Ask the employees their favorite charity, and then donate for them.

8. Personalized Gift Baskets

This is especially great for remote employees. Send or give a basket with a few personalized items, such as the employee’s favorite snack, a gift card, a hobby item, and a personalized article of clothing.

9. Food or Meals

Free food is always a safe bet. Provide free breakfast or lunch at your office, send delivery to those working from home, or give out gift cards to employees’ favorite restaurants. Everyone’s gotta eat, right?

10. Books, eBooks, or Audiobooks

Many people love to read, whether that’s with a device, a pair of headphones, or a physical book. Learn which employees like to read and which medium they prefer, and then give them a book, an ebook, or credit for their audio account.

11. Vacation Credits or Days

A great way to show appreciation is by offering an extra day of PTO. You could also give people a personal vacation budget that lets employees travel in a more affordable way.

12. Office Upgrades

Whether your employees are remote or in the office, they’re sure to appreciate upgraded office equipment. Ergonomic keyboards, mice, or chairs are great. For those who don’t work in front of a computer, find what equipment they need to make their work better and give it to them.

We also have a gifting guide and a post on holiday gift ideas to help you find the right item for each person at your company. Hopefully these posts will ignite some ideas for you to truly give meaningful, personalized gifts to your people.

The Power of Recognition: Importance of Employee Appreciation Gifts

In a world of high turnover, high stress, and frequent burnout, appreciation can be the key to avoiding or reducing these negative outcomes. Let’s look at some stats:

One of the most powerful stats to us is that when employees feel like an individual, like they’re special, that feeling is more important for retention than compensation. Isn’t that amazing? When employees feel like you (as the company) care about them, they’re more likely to stay than if they had a better salary.

The important thing to remember is that it’s the thought that counts. Gifts don’t have to be expensive, grand, or flashy to provide these benefits. The only requirement for a good gift is thoughtfulness, not a high price tag.

  • Gifting tip: Awardco helps you provide customized gifts and rewards to all your employees, allowing them to choose the gift that means the most to them and saving you time.

Thoughtful gifts are a great way to show appreciation, convey value, and simply make employees more happy. On the other hand, thoughtless or generic gifts can do the opposite.

Why Thoughtless Gifts Can Do More Harm Than Good

Research shows that 56% of employees say the gifts they receive from their employers are impersonal. Think about company branded swag, one-size-fits-all items, or things employees simply don’t want. These gifts actually make employees feel under appreciated and uncared for.

Beyond Generic: Tips for Personalizing Employee Appreciation Gifts