15 Best Employee Appreciation Gifts for Every Budget

15 Best Employee Appreciation Gifts for Every Budget

Every successful organization has a team of hardworking, committed employees. While compensating your employees well is the first step, what better way to show how much you value them than with a thoughtful gift?

A structured employee appreciation gift program is a great way to help employees feel special, keep them motivated to do their best, and boost workplace morale and loyalty.

Whether you’re a startup with a few team members or an enterprise organization with hundreds of employees, we have excellent employee appreciation gift ideas for everyone. 

In this blog post, we discuss how employee appreciation gifts will significantly impact employee well-being and share some ideas you can use immediately.

What is Employee Appreciation?

Employee appreciation is the meaningful process of expressing gratitude to your employees for their hard work, creativity, and workplace contributions.

A popular and effective way for team recognition is by giving them employee gifts. Research shows that tangible acknowledgment of a job well done or a milestone reached is a mental boost that keeps employees going.

For example, when your team member achieves a goal or goes over and beyond to serve customers, you could hand out employee appreciation gifts as monthly or quarterly rewards. Send the entire team personalized gifts to foster staff appreciation on special occasions.

The best part is that these gifts could be as simple as a voucher to the employee’s favorite coffee shop with a handwritten note valuing their contributions to your organization’s growth or goals.

On the other hand, a corporate gift for the whole team needs to be more well-thought-out  and liked by most people. They can be healthy snacks, personalized t-shirts, company swag, and electronics such as chargers, AirPods, JBL speakers, etc. 

Importance of Employee Appreciation Gifts

Most organizations already have appreciation programs that offer annual rewards or gifts to mark specific festivals. These are undoubtedly essential. But a tailored employee appreciation program has special benefits and bonus points, including:

1. Enhanced well-being

Showing gratitude increases the employee’s wellness, boosts their mental health, and helps them be more productive and miss fewer work days. This impacts work results and employee interaction. With employee appreciation gifts, you’re boosting their performance and engagement and employee well-being and health. 

2. Helps attract top talent 

Happy employees are the best advocates for new talent to join your organization and are more likely to refer their friends and acquaintances to join your company. A modern office and workplace with a culture of employee appreciation gifts will likely attract high-quality candidates who want to feel valued for their work.

3. Improved performance

Employee appreciation gifts serve as positive reinforcement for good behavior on the job. Recognition can be tied to more than just employee performance. Celebrate when employees go above and beyond. This helps develop emotional connections to the workplace that fuel future performance and success. 

4. Higher job satisfaction

When you reward employees for doing well, they feel happier and more motivated to keep showing up. Here’s where the magic gets better. Satisfied employees become brand ambassadors. They foster loyalty and significantly reduce turnover rates.

Think about the possibilities: when employees feel appreciated, there are fewer exit interviews, reduced costs, and a positive work culture. Investing in employee appreciation gifts could be the catalyst that elevates job performance and productivity to greater heights. 

5. Reinforces values 

Employee appreciation and recognition for adopting a behavior aligned with company values encourages them to continue those behaviors and actions and set a positive example for others. 

15 Great Employee Appreciation Gift Ideas

The best employee appreciation gifts are the ones that make the employee feel seen and valued. And the fun part is that you don’t need to break the bank or spend time researching. 

We’ve rounded up 15 amazing ideas on staff appreciation gifts for every context and every budget. Pick your favorites and start bringing smiles to your employees’ faces today. 

The best employee appreciation gifts suitable for any occasion

1. Hamper of treats

An excellent way to tell your employees that “they’re amazing” is by giving them their favorite treats. You can keep it as simple as a box of fresh pastries or get a personalized and meaningful hamper made with their favorite snacks, drinks, and desk accessories such as a coffee mug.

Look up local gifting vendors who can get these custom hampers done for you. Or, look up this holiday gift guide to thoughtfully curate a gift box your employees will love and appreciate!

2. Charity donations

If you don’t want to give physical gifts, appreciate your employees while supporting a good cause by donating in their name to the charity of their choice. Another meaningful idea is to give them a day off to volunteer for a cause close to their heart—whatever that may be. 

3. Customized hoodies or loungewear

Encourage employees to make the most of remote work by dressing comfortably; nothing says ‘cozy’ like a hoodie or loungewear set. Customize the loungewear by adding the company logo and the employee’s name—you can even jazz it up by adding their favorite saying or a dialogue from a movie they love.

4. Team experiences

A fun day out is a great way to appreciate your team as a whole, especially after a tough month or quarter! Escape rooms, food festivals, coffee or food tastings, or theme park visits are all great ideas. An essential part of team activities is to get everyone’s input on the experiences they enjoy most.

5. Custom artwork

Giving art as an employee appreciation gift allows your employees to add a personal touch to their workspace, whether at home or in the office. It’s a unique way to express gratitude.

Get prints inspired by artists and styles the person follows or art based on their favorite movies, TV shows, music bands, or books.

Affordable employee appreciation gift options

6. Personalized drinkware

A mug or tumbler with the employee’s face or a personalized message is a fun employee appreciation gift idea on a budget. Customizing the drinkware with a picture of their pet or family would be a great gift. 

7. Houseplants

A succulent or potted flower is a beautiful and affordable employee gift idea. It gives them something to care for and serves as a cheerful reminder of the workplace for those who work from home.

8. Book or audiobook credits

This is the perfect employee appreciation gift for the bookworms on your team. Give them Audible credits to purchase their next listen or a gift voucher to Amazon or their favorite bookstore if they prefer to read the old-school way.

9. Gift cards to experiences or classes

Give your employees something fun and new to do with a voucher for an in-person cook your exotic lunch class, a painting class, or a wine-tasting experience! You can also give one plus one movie tickets so that they can have a fun date night with their partner.

10. Wellness mini-hampers

Encourage your remote employees to care for themselves with little hampers of wellness-themed gifts. Items like scented candles, lip balms, face or foot masks, or soothing teas don’t cost much.

They are a great employee appreciation gift during busy times or when you know your employee is taking on a lot of responsibilities at work. A gym membership is also one of the perfect gifts for employees to encourage them to live a healthy life. 

Premium employee appreciation gift options

11. Gift cards to spas or wellness programs

Let your employees pamper themselves after a job well done with a relaxing spa treatment! Give them a half-day experience at a local spa or splurge on a weekend wellness retreat. 

12. Home office upgrades

This is the perfect employee appreciation gift if you have a remote team! Surprise them with desk accessories like ergonomic chairs, a standing desk, headphones, or an extra monitor. If you’re on a smaller budget, a super fast charger or a whiteboard for their wall is a great appreciation gift. 

13. Travel accessories

For your team members who frequently have to travel for assignments—or even those who love globetrotting during the holidays—gifts like cabin luggage, laptop bags, headphones, or comfortable layers are ideal. They’re sure to use them often, and they’ll think of you every time they do. 

14. Blue light glasses

Screen time is non-negotiable for most employees, and a great way to help them stay healthy is by getting them personalized blue light glasses to protect their eyes. You can offer them a gift certificate to local optometrists so they can get the design of their choice.

15. Experience kits

You’ll find brands putting together DIY kits for people to create recipes, craft items, or science projects at home with their loved ones. Send your employees curated kits based on their interests—from hand-rolling pasta to building your snow globe to making your whisky; the options are endless. 

Other Ways to Show Employee Appreciation

Studies have consistently shown that employees are likelier to stay on and thrive with a company that regularly acknowledges their contributions.

While employee appreciation gifts are a great way to demonstrate your gratitude, there are several other ways to show employees that you care throughout the year.

1. Verbal acknowledgement

Even if you aren’t giving your employees a gift, give them an individual ‘thank you’ or note of praise for doing something well.

Use employee recognition software to streamline the process of measuring their contribution and to have an overview of how they contribute regularly.

It’s a great idea to publicly acknowledge someone’s achievement on your workplace group chat or Slack channel.

2. One-on-one wellness check-ins

Apart from your usual work-related catchups, doing a wellness check-in is a powerful way to show employees you care and makes for a great employee appreciation gift.

Ask them how they’re doing, encourage them to share any concerns, and, if relevant, offer them some extra time off to invest in their mental health.

In particular, it’s a good idea to check in if you know they’re going through a tough time or have suffered a loss.

3. Soliciting feedback

We’re not talking about those boring monthly employee surveys. If you want to make your employees feel heard, have periodic ‘open house’ days when they can come and share their ideas or feedback with you, individually or in a group. 

You can even conduct these meetings virtually with the help of digital workplace software so that they don’t feel disconnected, even if the organization has a remote working policy.

If you decide to implement any of those ideas, publicly acknowledge the people who came up with them. There’s nothing like the feeling that one has directly contributed to something new for one’s workplace. 

Create an Employee Appreciation and Rewards Program using ClickUp

Luckily, acknowledging and rewarding your workforce doesn’t have to be a complicated process! Simple, thoughtful items go a long way—and more importantly, the intent behind them counts.

So, create an employee appreciation and rewards program that helps you recognize exceptional work, keep your staff happy, reduce turnover, and promote positive behaviors aligned with organizational values.

Here’s what you must do:

1. Set clear criteria for rewards

Goal-setting is the most crucial function here as that enables you to ensure fairness in the program and avoid unconscious bias for specific employees. ClickUp Goals offers the perfect mix of performance management and goal-setting.

Set goals and track progress with ClickUp

They allow you to define and track KPIs and targets for individual employees and maintain weekly scorecards for the team to see which of their peers are performing well.

Such an automatic progress-tracking framework encourages staff participation and boosts their motivation.

Provide instant gratification by applauding employees through mentions or providing a shoutout in conversation threads using emojis.

ClickUp Chat View
Bring your conversations to ClickUp Chat View and collaborate with others in real-time 

2. Track milestones your way

ClickUp Milestone is a recognition system that identifies major team or employee accomplishments during an ongoing project. These work milestones are highlighted as a diamond icon with the task name in bold.

ClickUp Milestone Chart Template
Start with this template to document your project milestones in a collaborative, fun, and visually appealing way, so you stay on top of important milestones

No matter what type of view you’ve chosen, you’ll never miss out on a milestone moment.

Plus, using the Assign Comments feature by ClickUp, you can assign comments to selected employees to acknowledge their contributions.

ClickUp Annotation Features
ClickUp’s Annotation feature allows teams assign comments on files for faster collaboration

This act serves as a form of recognition, showing that their input or work is being noticed and valued.

3. Sort out performance reports for further analysis

Tap into the potential of the ClickUp Performance Report Template to evaluate team and individual performance using graphs and visualization in real time.

An example of ClickUp's Performance Report Template
Capture a detailed assessment of employee or program performance with this template from ClickUp

Download and study automated reports to assess an employee’s effectiveness, organizational impact, and overall effectiveness.

With clear metrics and benchmarks, these reports help identify top performers and enable you to reward their efforts appropriately.

At the same time, employee engagement software is essential to enhance communication, collaboration, and overall job satisfaction among the workforce.

Make Gift Giving a Part of Your DNA

You don’t need to have an ‘employee appreciation day’ of sorts in your organization. Sure, that’d help. But when you periodically hand out personalized gifts and employee incentives for staff appreciation, you show them that you care and want them to continue doing their best.

You can further help them by promoting goal tracking apps to set their individual objectives efficiently, fostering a culture of accountability and progress.

Whether you’re a startup getting off the ground or a big company with a proven track record, it’s never too late to start thanking your employees for everything they do—and these employee appreciation gift ideas are the perfect way to get started.

Sign up on ClickUp for free and build your first employee recognition and rewards system.

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