Employee Appreciation

What To Put In An Employee Appreciation Gift Box

June 2, 2022
min read

Your employees sit in the driver’s seat of your business and have considerable impact on the direction your company takes, but they are also the engine that fuels your success as well. In order to keep this vehicle moving in pristine condition, it’s your responsibility to keep your team engaged and motivated by showing appreciation

A happy employee is an inspired employee, which in turn leads to a motivated team member that will have a genuine drive to perform well and go the extra mile for their job. 

Employee appreciation gift boxes can be highly impactful, but in order for them to be received well by your people, they must be more than a few miscellaneous items thrown into a box. 

This gift must be well thought out with consideration to the individual’s character, interests and preferences. 

Although it takes some effort on your part to find what will speak to your employees the most, an employee appreciation gift box is effective in showing that the company cares enough about its people to understand them on a personal level and that you’re genuinely interested in their well-being. 

A thoughtful gift can go a long way in boosting your company’s corporate culture and can ensure your employees feel valued for the work they accomplish on a daily basis. 

Even if it's a spontaneous reward for a job well done or for an employee anniversary, it’s important to gift what will support each employee the most. 

Here are some great ideas on what to put in an employee appreciation gift box!

Thoughtfulness And Creativity Are Key

The key to creating a successful employee appreciation box that is meaningful, is focusing on creativity, thoughtfulness and a little bit of investigation to find out what would truly speak to each individual.

When thinking about who this box is for, consider what you already know about the employee, what seems to mean the most to them and if there’s any missing information that could help narrow their employee appreciation gift box into a physical representation of their character. 

It’s as simple as knowing if they appreciate wellness and healthy eating, for example, and filling a gift box with healthy snacks, fitness subscriptions and wellness products (e.g. skincare, meditation guides, etc). On the other hand, if they spend their weekends reading then a few books by their favorite author, a gift card for a bookstore or even a specially crafted bookmark would go a long way in helping them to feel appreciated. 

An employee appreciation gift box challenges you to be creative and to think outside the box (to figure out what’s best to put in the box). The gift does not have to be a cultivation of multiple themed items and can depend on what current state your employee’s in. For example, if you know your person is going through a tough time, you can create a box with individually wrapped gifts that they can open one by one whenever they need that added sense of positivity and gratitude. Moral of the story is that the box can be defined however you see fit and there are limitless possibilities to recognize your employees through an appreciation gift box. 

12 Ideas For Employee Appreciation Gift Boxes

Year-Round Employee Appreciation Gift Boxes

1. Culinary Food Box

If you have a masterchef on your team who spends a lot of their free time indulging in culinary experiments and brings the best home cooked meals to work, a gourmet food box would be perfect to help them flavor their dishes and add an emotional touch to their kitchen! Every time they participate in their favorite activity, they will be reminded by how much their company cares. 

Some possible ideas for this would include a cookbook, specially curated virgin olive oil, fresh herbs like garlic or rosemary, authentic Himalayan salt and a handcrafted mortar and pestle. If you want to go the extra mile for your employee, you could include some luxury items like truffle oil and saffron! 

Another idea for this category would be to pack a collection of comfort food items in a colander for your person. You could include a base such as pasta that fits the use for a colander and add in authentic Italian pasta sauce, olive oil, a wedge of parmesan cheese and a mini grater. 

2. Wine Lover’s Gift Box

If your employee’s go-to topic of conversation is the latest wines they’ve tried, then this is the perfect gift box to show appreciation for their dedication and hard work! 

This is a convenient theme for a gift box as you can find out a lot about their preferences through a small number of factors (e.g. do they prefer whites to reds? Is their go-to wine usually drier or do they prefer something light with little after taste? What type of foods do they usually pair their wine with?), and it also has a considerable range of options for what can be included in the gift box besides the main bottle of wine from their favorite estate. 

For example, you can include all the tools for the perfect charcuterie board such as gourmet cheese, crackers, olives, nuts and dark chocolate. You could also throw in a small, handcrafted board itself to add a special touch that will leave them with endless amounts of gratitude. Another option would be including a wine chiller or opener that they can add to their collection of tools. 

3. Homemade Cookies In A Jar

This is such a lovely gift that’s not only inexpensive and accessible to create, but conveys genuine appreciation through the personal effort you made to bake the treats for them. It’s as simple as finding out your employee’s favorite cookie flavor and then baking a tray at home. You can add a special touch by packaging them in a glass jar, adding a handwritten note and pretty ribbon around the neck of the bottle to truly personalize it for the employee. 

If you want to add to this box, you could throw in a box of tea, coffee or hot chocolate mix for them to enjoy their cookies with.

You could also take this gift in the opposite direction and make an appreciation box that includes all the ingredients your employee needs to make their own homemade cookies. Create a box from a new baking pan and throw in either pre-made cookie dough with other baking ingredients, or set your person up to make them from scratch. 

4. Energy Snack Pack

Your employees probably have a stash of snacks to keep them going throughout the work day, so a fully loaded snack pack will not only be appreciated by your employees, but it will also help them to stay productive and feel cared for while they’re on the job!

Think protein or energy bars, dried fruit, granola and trail mix, beef jerky, popcorn, macaroons, chocolate, coffee beans or grounds, meat and cheese boxes and so much more!

5. At-Home Spa Hamper

While Monday to Friday might be dedicated to the hustle and bustle of work life, employees need their weekends to unwind, relax and destress from the pressures of the office. Help them accomplish this rejuvenation by putting together a calming spa hamper that they can enjoy at home. 

When thinking about this employee appreciation gift box, you can include items like luxury bath foam, tea lights, crystal bath salts, body body cream, scented hand cream, a fluffy face cloth, and even a bottle of sparkling wine with a champagne flute to sip on while taking a relaxing bath. 

For even more fun, add a small portable speaker so they can stream their favorite music on their self-care night!

6. Fitness Membership

This employee appreciation gift box is perfect for not only your healthwise employees, but is ideal for companies that experience a remote work environment. The disadvantage of work from home life is that it brings less opportunity for your people to move around, get their steps in and have that added activity of working in an office. 

Countless studios, gyms, recreation centers and personal trainers offer online training packages and subscriptions. This box could include a three-month membership for your employees to help them maintain a healthy lifestyle and truly shows that you care for them outside of the company and that you’re dedicated to promoting a healthy work-life balance. 

Complete this box with healthy snacks to keep them fueled or even small workout equipment (e.g. resistance bands, a new water bottle, 5lb-8lb hand weights, etc).

Related: 30 Ideas For Employee Appreciation Gifts To Reward Your Team

7. Nifty Tech Kit

Almost everyone has felt the irritation and inconvenience of forgetting to pack a phone charger for the office and watching your phone slowly lose battery throughout the day. This employee appreciation gift box is the perfect way to save your employees from that bit of annoyance and create a reasonable reward that will be valued and benefit them at work. 

This nifty tech kit could come in a neat organizational box and include items such as a multi-point lightning-to-USB cable and a small power bank. You can take it a step further and add true surprises for your employees such as airpods or a bluetooth speaker for them to relax to their favorite music with. To wrap this gift up, throw in a microfiber cloth and screen spray to help them keep their gadgets in pristine condition. 

8. Virtual Wine Or Coffee Tasting

This is a worthwhile experience for your entire team that will not only give them a chance to bond outside of work, but also create long-lasting memories for them to associate their job with. 

It can be as simple as putting together a curated selection of wines or coffee in individual appreciation boxes and sending them to your employees. After that, just schedule a video call with your team and participate in a collective lunch or dinner tasting all together! You will learn a lot about your people’s personal preferences and let them find like-minded coworkers to share their interests with.

Taking this employee appreciation gift box a step further would look like booking a true wine or coffee expert and having this specialist lead the tasting. Your team will enjoy a fun few hours together and simultaneously expand their knowledge on either beverage!

Low-Budget Appreciation Gift Boxes

If you want to show appreciation to your employees but are working with a stricter budget, we’ve put together a list of gift boxes that are not just inexpensive, but personalized and meaningful as well! 

9. Desk Plant

Plants always bring a sense of freshness and liveliness to an office space, and can add a touch of beauty to the space, so gifting your employee with a low-maintenance desk plant will surely be appreciated. Fig trees and succulent plants are ideal gifts that are easy to take care of and don’t require direct sunlight as well! 

To personalize your gift box, include a written note that provides care instructions, the benefits of maintaining the plant in your person’s office (e.g. like the benefit of feng shui) and even a short history of the plant to provide an interesting background for your employee. Whenever they look at or care for their plant, their mind will be reminded of the effort you took in displaying your appreciation through the gift. 

You could complete this gift box with a small watering can to add substance and a thoughtful touch to the reward too. 

10. Chocolate

Chocolate is one of the most enjoyed sweets and the majority of people appreciate a luxury box of handcrafted chocolates that they might not go out of the way to buy for themselves. You can do a bit of investigation to find your employee’s preferences to help navigate your selection, but there is tons of potential for this gift outside of the actual chocolate as well. 

Including a mug and hot chocolate mix, chocolate lollipops or other unusual sweets that might not be on their radar and even a speciality box that comes with a variety of chocolates and written guide for them to explore, would be effective additions to this gift box. 

You will want to keep obvious health considerations in mind when making this gift and accommodate for factors such as lactose-intolerance and diabetes by looking for sugar-free and dairy-free chocolate.

11. Coffee Creation Gift Box

Every employee understands the benefits of coffee in maintaining a focused mind and energy during work. This employee appreciation gift box is ideal for providing your employees with the fuel they need to get the job done! 

A mixed coffee gift box will be welcomed and can include items such as a bag of coffee beans or ground coffee, a small plunger, creamer sachets, barista-style dairy or non-dairy milk and cream, and even a high quality mug or even a thermos so they can travel with their drink. 

If alcohol seems appropriate for your work culture, your employees could even appreciate flavored cream liqueur so they can enjoy boozy iced coffees on their days off!

12. Cured Meat or Salami Bouquet 

This is a delicious appreciation gift box that will be a hit for your employees that prefer savory treats! It can also be a creative way to show recognition, especially if you consider a salami bouquet that contains a fun and mouth-watering collection of salami packaged like a bouquet of flowers. 

Alternatively, build a charcuterie, cheese, and biscuits gift box. If you want to add that special touch, include one or two preserves and a cheese knife to complete the box. 

Final Thoughts

Here we’ve listed 12 effective, budget-friendly and thoughtful appreciation gift box ideas to reward your employees with. They reflect the care and attention you put into your team and are not difficult to put together either. Your only responsibility is to add some genuine effort and a personal touch to each box so every member of your company feels seen for who they are and not just what they offer professionally. 

The key to a successful employee appreciation gift box is the amount of focus that goes into building them and your continued awareness towards what each individual would cherish. 

Finally, it’s important to always include a note of thanks and appreciation with an explanation of why you want to reward that person. Although recognition is always accepted, employees will connect more with your gift if they are validated through your honest thoughts and feedback about the success they bring to the company. 

If you show them what you appreciate, they will be driven to deliver more of that!

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