Employee Appreciation

30 Ideas For Employee Appreciation Gifts To Reward Your Team

June 2, 2022
min read

Appreciation is at the core of all healthy relationships and has a fundamental role in the quality of our private and professional lives. When thinking about creating appreciation within the latter, employee appreciation gifts are an effective way to show your team that you value their contributions. 

By recognizing employees for their hard work, you show them that they’re valued for their commitment to the company. This is even more important considering that right now, employee retention is at an all-time low. Today’s employers need to take note of this and recognize that a salary alone is not enough to motivate employees.

Along with that, employee appreciation should not be reserved for a mere one or two days a year - it should be part of your company culture. Giving them consistent recognition and attention shows that you value them and fosters positive relationships.

In this article, we share amazing employee appreciation gift ideas you can use to reward your team.

How to Reward Team Work With Employee Appreciation Gifts

Here are 30 great ways to show your employees you value them. 

1. Handwritten Note

Don’t underestimate the impact of a sincere hand-written note. This may seem old school, but that’s what makes it even more special. Sharing your appreciation in a fun card or letter will be valued much more than an impersonal material item.

2. Company-Wide Email

A company-wide message can also boost morale and drive high performance. Posting a message of recognition for your team on your communication platform (i.e. Slack, Teams, etc.) is another perfect Employee Appreciation Day gift

3. Time Off Work 

Paid time off is trending among employees. What better way to recognize your employees than by giving them personal time to relax and unwind? 

Providing your team with an extra day off shows that you recognize the need for work-life balance and understand that stepping away from work lets employees dive back in with greater retention. 

4. Company Coupon Book 

It’s not always possible to give your employees a full day off work, but adding a little flexibility to their lives is sure to be appreciated. To do this, make a small booklet containing coupons with opportunities like: "Take an extra 30 minutes on your lunch break”, “Take an extra hour to yourself in the morning”, “Enjoy a half-day on a Friday of your choice”, and more. 

5. Breakfast or Brunch at Work

Plan a catered office meal to show your appreciation to your team. A breakfast buffet could be a productive idea as it offers a wide variety of foods to meet everyone’s preferences and dietary needs. 

It’s a wonderful employee appreciation gift to encourage positive relationships and lets employees get together to socialize outside of the usual professional communication. 

6. Lunch with a Leader

In many organizations, the team does not regularly interact with management one-on-one. A company lunch with management can be one of the best employee appreciation gifts, as it shows that the company takes time to get to know their people. This is a stellar way to strengthen the establishment’s connection and the general work dynamic. 

7. Offsite Outing 

A company outing is a great reward method and also promotes team building to strengthen your company culture. Think local bowling alley, laser tag, paintball and other activities that allow people to spend time and collaborate together in a non-professional environment. 

Making memories and experiencing new things as a team will only benefit the social dynamic at work. 

8. Play With Puppies

This one is not only fun but it’s also a proven stress reliever and a sure way to get your entire company smiling together. Get in contact with a dog rescue or daycare that can bring puppies or other pets to the office and give your people a positive emotional boost. 

9. Dunk Tank Day

Revenge is sweet! Allow employees to dunk the manager, the big boss or anyone that’s willing to get soaked. A rented dunk tank combined with some food and drink can be an entertaining employee appreciation event and adds a touch of personality and fun to the company. 

10. Karaoke Day

Rent a karaoke machine and take an afternoon to let your employees express themselves in song. It’s an entertaining way to not only relieve work stress and build rapport with each other, but is also another avenue to make long-lasting memories. 

Related: 4 Ways To Reward Employees Who Go Above & Beyond

11. Guided Paint Night

A creative way to allow people to play around with their artistic abilities, a guided paint night is a positive space for all levels of talent and team members that have never painted can participate in the same room as others who may excel in visual arts. 

Your employees can bond while they follow along with the steps to create a masterpiece and many paint night events also combine happy hour (if it’s appropriate for your company) with the class.

Learn a bit of art, have a drink and enjoy a relaxing night all together. 

12. Dinner on the Boss

Taking the team out to dine is an excellent opportunity to get to know your employees, and they will definitely feel appreciated by sharing a complimentary meal all together. The added knowledge that you personally are treating them will definitely go a long way, as well.

Create a relaxed atmosphere to promote easy connection and let employees bond with each other, and you, over nice food and positive conversation.

13. Gift Cards

While a gift card may seem a little impersonal, they are a practical choice for team rewards. In organizations with remote or large teams, it can be challenging to determine each employee's personal preferences. 

A corporate rewards platform, such as PerkUp, is a great way to take this idea one step further and allow employees to choose their own rewards and make the most of the money you gift to them. 

14. Stress Balls

Stress balls are making a comeback. A soft ball that allows the user to relieve tension through the repetitive action of gripping and releasing it in your hand, they also come in a range of colors and styles so you can meet the personalities of everyone on your team. 

A stress ball is the ideal employee appreciation gift for team members who find it hard to relax and those who spend a lot of time typing.

Tech Gifts

15. Mini Desktop Fan

If your team works in a place with a hot climate, a mini fan could make a very welcomed gift. Better yet, mini fans are small enough to tuck into a desk drawer so they don’t take up too much space. They also run on a USB connection, making them quick and convenient to use. 

16. Phone Stand 

Employees today often work across multiple devices, including their mobile phones. If your employee likes to have their phone in easy reach, a functional phone stand could be the ideal appreciation gift.  

17. Wireless Charger

This is a helpful and non-traditional employee appreciation gift. Devices need to be charged on the go all the time so this would make your team’s life easier while also showing your appreciation. Add a special and personal touch to the gift by branding the charger with your company logo!

18. USB Mug Warmers

Busy employees often end up with cold coffee. A USB cup warmer is a useful, and unique, gift for keeping hot drinks at the right temperature while your employee meets those deadlines and put their best effort into their jobs. 

19. Touchscreen Gloves

If you live in a place where winters are cold and your team battles to keep their hands warm while using tech, touchscreen gloves can be perfect. Unlike ordinary gloves, your phone’s screen will respond straight away to your touch while also keeping your hands nice and toasty. 

Professional Gifts

20. Professional Magazine Subscriptions 

Help your employee stay up to date with their favorite interests through a subscription to a trade magazine or another publication they appreciate. There are multiple options from every industry, making this a flexible and personable gift for your team.

21. Professional Conferences 

The majority of employees do not have the financial means to attend a corporate conference in their industry. A company-paid trip will be warmly received while also encouraging creativity, networking, and professional development. 

This effort will go a long way to show your appreciation and also solidify long-term relationships and memories with each other. 

22. Company Swag

Company swag can be the perfect way to recognize your team’s efforts, especially if you’ve developed a strong workplace culture. There are limitless merchandise items to choose from, ranging from clothing, drinkware, home products and even electronics. 

Let your employees feel good about the company they work for while looking good too!

Gourmet Gifts

23. Food Gift Baskets

Food gift baskets are popular employee appreciation gifts and can be easily personalized, depending on each individual’s preference. This is a great way to promote appreciation by showing your team that you understand who they are independently. People love being recognized and knowing that their personalities are encouraged!

24. Chocolates

High-quality and specially curated chocolate is a luxury for many, so a small box of handcrafted sweets can make for an excellent employee appreciation gift. Ensure you keep dietary needs in mind when offering this (e.g. diabetes, lactose-free diets, etc) and offer a range of options (e.g. sugar-free or dairy-free chocolate) to this reward so you can meet each team member’s needs. 

25. Cooking Lessons

This gift offers your employees the opportunity to learn something new and gain special skills outside of the workplace. It’s a great way to reward a group of employees, let them work together to create something delicious and also expand their personal culinary knowledge. 

While taking your team out to eat is definitely a positive experience, this gift takes it a step further to let them be involved with the creation process and then enjoy the fruits of their labor all together. 

Lifestyle Gifts

26. Indoor Plants 

Plants are a productive way to improve indoor air quality and boost comfort in the workplace. Although flower bouquets are beautiful gifts, an indoor plant will last and be enjoyed for a lot longer. You can also accommodate your office space with smaller plants such as mini succulents, small glass terrariums, bonsai trees and more. 

Your employees will feel appreciated and your workplace will look gorgeous!

27. Picnic Set 

Encourage your employees to enjoy time outdoors with a picnic set. A highly unique and not usually accessible employee appreciation gift, a picnic basket is the perfect way to give your employees something original while also encouraging them to participate in a healthy work-life balance. 

28. Event Tickets  

This is an awesome way to get your employees together in a new experience, grow a positive company culture and make long-lasting memories! This employee appreciation gift will go a long way for employee motivation and can also inspire new ideas or innovations at work. 

With limitless options such as local sports games, theater productions, concerts, wine tastings and more, you will definitely be able to find an event that speaks to your work culture. 

Keep in mind that this gift will take organization, advanced notice and concrete planning to execute!

29. Gym Membership 

This gift is one of the best ways to show your employees that you care for them and want them to live a well-rounded and healthy lifestyle. What better way to celebrate your employees than by giving them a way to live a more positive life?

This will have a direct impact on the workplace dynamic too, since healthy and active employees are usually able to cope better with stress, maintain better focus on the job and practice a healthy routine. 

This makes wellness programs, including gym access, a wise investment for your workforce.

30. Yoga Lessons

Yoga has become a popular practice for the vast majority of young workers as they are paying greater attention to its benefits. The health benefits to yoga are endless so this is another way to show your people that you care about their wellbeing. 

One of the best ways to reduce stress, improve posture (especially important for an office worker) and promote better blood circulation, yoga and meditation are key methods to staying focused and productive. 

Gift your employees yoga classes and make a difference in their life!

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