Employee Gifts

11 Employee Service Award Gifts For Diverse Teams

June 21, 2022
min read

It’s no secret that every business relies on loyal, dedicated and high-performing employees to reach the highest levels of success. Without people who are committed to contributing their efforts in the long-run, it would be difficult to manage company growth. That’s why it’s important to recognize your team for their hard work and consistently participate in employee service award gifts. 

That can be easier said than done if you’re unsure of how and what to gift for the occasion, or don’t have enough personal context from your employees to choose a reward that would be best suited to them individually. 

This article will provide you with productive tips on how to choose the right type of gift and will also share ideas for high-quality employee service awards that best fit diverse teams.

What Are Employee Service Award Gifts?

An employee service award gift is extended to employees who have reached a significant milestone within their company. It acknowledges the length of time that a member of the team has been committed to the company and recognizes them for their tenure (e.g. 1, 5, 10 or 20 year milestones are common). 

By being intentional and choosing a gift that best fits your employee, a service award can go beyond recognizing them for the length of their service and also acknowledges them for their unique skills, talents and professional successes.

You need to choose gifts that reflect how valued the employee is at the company and let them know you’re aware of their hard work!

Choosing The Right Service Award Gift For A Diverse Team 

There can be multiple factors to consider when choosing the perfect employee reward, as everyone arrives with diverse tastes and preferences and it can be difficult to determine what will voice your recognition the loudest to them. 

This can be further challenging if you hope to reward a large team altogether for reaching a particular milestone and have to consider multiple personalities at once. This is why personalized gifting options are ideal and can take the hassle out of finding the right reward. 

In addition to having a wide variety of options for your employee service award gifts, you should also be flexible and inclusive. For example, a Visa gift card would be an effective option as it allows your employees to use their gift in whatever way they wish. 

Related: 17 Thoughtful Work Anniversary Gifts For All Employee Milestones

11 Top Employee Service Award Gift Ideas For The Whole Team

Here are some high quality service award ideas for rewarding your team when they reach certain milestones. 

1. A Good Book

Books are a true gift to life - they can hold limitless knowledge within their pages and have the power to positively impact a person’s worldly perspective. 

Gifting an inspirational book can be one of the most thoughtful employee service awards, especially if you’re intentional about what type of content to give the specific person. 

Give them a memorable fiction novel to help relax from the stress of work, or opt for an interesting non-fiction piece so they can indulge themselves in new knowledge.

This gift can be further personalized by including a dedication on the first page or including a special note to create deeper meaning with the item.

2. A Framed Photo

This is a thoughtful employee service award gift that not only physicalizes the strong memories your team has made together but also promotes a tight-knit community within the company. 

This is a great method of employee appreciation as it lets them know they’re an important part of the company and directly reflects their value. To take this a step further, you could give one copy of the photo for the employee to display at home and also frame one for the office!

Creating a collection of employee photographs within the office, and physicalizing memories in general, lets your team feel comfortable and secure in their work environment. 

3. A Themed Work Party 

Another positive gift for an employee’s service award can be to throw an office wide celebration in honor of the recipient! This is an opportunity to truly show off how much you know about your people and cater an event to their specific personality and preferences.

It can be as easy as knowing what films or television shows your employee is a fan of and throwing them a party themed to match this interest! For example, a Harry Potter fan would love a party that includes the Sorting Hat and involves the team in picking each other’s Hogwarts Houses. 

This is a great way to inspire creativity from your team by including everyone in decorating the office space according to the theme and creating a surprise for the recipient!

When done intentionally and with genuine interest and enthusiasm, this type of gift can create a strong sense of community among the company. 

4. Milestones Scrapbook 

This is the perfect gift for employees that are celebrating multiple years at a company and have gained long-term memories with their team. 

If your schedule allows, creating an employee milestones scrapbook is one of the most personalized options for an employee service award gift and directly shows the company’s appreciation through the amount of time that went into its creation. 

This is a heartfelt and special token of appreciation and also works well for retirement gifts! Any employee that has made long-term, core memories at the company will be an ideal option for this idea. 

The scrapbook will let them look back on all of the positive moments in their professional life and create an intimate connection between them, the company and the entire team.

5. A Day Off 

Although one of the simplest gifts, this employee service award can have a tremendous impact in your employee’s life. As a direct reflection of your understanding of work-life balance, your people will appreciatesome blissful time away from work so they can return to the office with fresh motivation. 

When speaking about this method of employee appreciation, it’s understandable that you won’t be able to reward your team with a day off all at once. With adjustments and careful planning, you could stagger the reward so everyone who’s celebrating an important milestone can enjoy well-deserved time off!

Personalize this gift by adding in a spa coupon or another relaxation opportunity to help them destress in luxury.

6. Social Media Post 

Social media has become a normal form of communication in the modern day, and the millenials in your team are probably active on a platform like Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter or Facebook. 

A dedicated social media post is the simplest mode of employee recognition as it takes one shared message to have a direct impact on your team’s perception of your appreciation. 

Public acknowledgements of hard work are effective in maintaining employee retention and job satisfaction and it’s as easy as posting a team photo on the company page, commending your team for their amazing work and conveying how grateful you are to have them!

Related: The Right Way To Do A LinkedIn Work Anniversary Post

7. Destination Team-Building

As long as time, money and resources align for this idea, sending your team to a fun destination for a company retreat or workshop is a unique and effective employee service award. You don’t have to book an expensive international getaway either, it just takes a little bit of research to find local options available to make this a reality!

Team-building activities, when done correctly and with your team’s specific personalities in mind, allow everyone to have fun while working together in a non-professional setting. They can build collaboration skills, practice working under pressure and build strong communication with each other in the process. 

There are countless team-building activities available to choose from, such as: sports days, escape rooms, trivia games, workshops and more!

Your employees will work together, achieve a concrete goal and have fun in the process. 

8. A Donation In The Team’s Name

This is a thoughtful gift that not only shines a positive light on the company, but can be meaningful for the employee as well. 

Let your service award recipient choose a charity or cause that’s close to their heart and offer to make a sizable donation in their name. 

9. Dinner And A Movie

This employee service award gift is ideal if you’re skeptical about their preferences. You can offer the recipient a dinner or lunch coupon for two to a high class restaurant so they celebrate their milestone with a person of their choice, and throw in a movie theater gift card as an extra touch.

The movie gift card will give them the freedom to choose whatever film peaks their interest and will most likely let them purchase snacks for the show too. 

You could also modify this gift by funding a team event to a restaurant and movie and let your employees celebrate their teammates together! A dinner and movie night is perfect for introverts and extroverts and captures the diversity of your team effectively. 

10. Sponsor A Development Course

Investing in employee professional development can have a positive impact on their personal growth, but also directly benefits the company when the team can apply the added knowledge into their position.

This is a wonderful opportunity to involve the entire team too, as a group educational course can help foster a sense of community and collaboration in the workplace. They can learn and bounce ideas off of each other while taking the day to complete the course!

Let your employees know that you see their potential and want to guide them as they take on more responsibilities in the company by directly funding a new professional development opportunity. 

It’s important that you take time out of regular office hours to incorporate these courses into the workplace to not add extra work for your team during their off time. An added touch would be to buy everyone lunch and make a special work day out of it. 

11. Prepaid Cards

We hope that one of these options caught your eye and gave you a start for thinking about how to implement productive employee service reward gifts into your workplace. If you’re still unsure about what the perfect reward would be for your team, then prepaid cards are a great way to reduce uncertainty and give them the gift of choice.

It’s understandable that everyone has unique needs and it isn’t always possible to accommodate each person’s specific preferences. A prepaid card allows you to add a set amount of money onto it and gift the monetary award to your employee. They can choose where and when to spend their card!

This is a productive way to establish flexibility for your employees, let them know that you’re sensitive to their diverse range of needs and preferences and convey your respect for their freedom of choice. 

This is also a great addition to any of the other gifts that we’ve mentioned above!

Related: What's The Difference Between Gift Cards vs Prepaid Cards


There are countless options for employee service award gifts. With a diverse team, it’s not effective to take a one-size-fits-all approach and risk a lack of consideration towards the valuable differences between your employees. 

All of these listed ideas are versatile and inclusive and you can always rely on prepaid cards to extend freedom of choice to your people!

Along with service awards, always remember to appreciate your employees on a regular basis and reward them for their service and contributions! This will only improve employee satisfaction and drive your company’s success in general.

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