employee appreciation gifts

18 Employee Appreciation Gifts Your Team Will Love

Giving employee appreciation gifts is a great way to show your team that you value their efforts. But what type of gifts will your employees respond to? What will they enjoy? And what type of gifts can you give without breaking the bank?

In this article, we discuss the answers to those questions and give you ideas for the best employee appreciation gifts out there.

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Forge a strong relationship

Employees laughing together

Forging a strong employee/employer relationship is the first step in coming up with great ideas for employee appreciation gifts. Getting to know your team well gives you insight into what they like and what they dislike.

For example, through the course of conversation and observation, you discover that one employee always seems to be cold while another always seems to be warm.

The first employee would really appreciate a gift of blankets and a small space heater (the first entry in the list below), while the second employee would really appreciate a fan or personal A/C unit for their desk.

If you hadn’t gotten to know your team, in this case, you wouldn’t have been able to customize the employee appreciation gifts to suit their needs and wants.

Ideas for great employee appreciation gifts

Employee working at a standup desk

1) Blankets and a space heater

Chances are, no matter what temperature you keep the office, a few employees are going to be cold.

Show them you care about their well-being by gifting them a plush blanket and a small space heater to keep their feet warm.

If you’re feeling a little extra, you can even get the blanket embroidered with your logo for some added branding.

You might be thinking, “What if my team doesn’t sit at a desk all day?” In that case, you could always go with a warm jacket for your perpetually cold employees on the move.

2) Ergonomic furniture

You may not be able to give ergonomic furniture as employee appreciation gifts very often (because they can be expensive), but, as a thank you for completing a big project, adjustable-height desks or comfy chairs for the whole team really show you care.

If your team spends most of their days at a computer, consider an ergonomic keyboard to help them keep those keys clacking without compromising their comfort.

3) Organizational supplies

Maintaining efficiency at work can be a challenge.

But when you include organizational supplies — like digital or hard-copy planners — as part of your employee appreciation gifts, you not only give them something they need, you help them do their job better.

Got someone who always has too much clutter on their desk? Try a neat desk organizer. Just be sure you don’t single them out.

For more tips to stay organized at work, check out this article from the Sling blog: How To Be Organized At Work: The 18 Best Tips.

4) Upgrade the coffee machine

employee appreciation gifts

Coffee is the lifeblood of workplace activity. As such, a new coffee machine — perhaps even an espresso machine — is one of the best employee appreciation gifts you can give your team.

A coffee machine without coffee isn’t much good though, is it? Make sure you’re prepared to keep the java stocked and available. Because there’s nothing worse than needing a pick-me-up and finding an empty cupboard.

If some of your employees don’t drink coffee, consider providing tea supplies as well.

5) Lottery tickets

Few things say, “We appreciate you and your work!” like the chance to win seven figures or more. Consider purchasing lottery tickets for your team as a reward for a job well done.

6) Gas money

The price of a gallon of gas has risen dramatically in recent months, making the commute to and from work even more of a pain.

You can make this pinch point less of an issue by including a gas card on your list of employee appreciation gifts.

7) Other commute expenses

Of course, not all of your employees drive to work every day. Some take the bus. Some take the train. Some may prefer to bike to work. These forms of transportation can get expensive as well.

Offering employee appreciation gifts, such as bus passes, prepaid train cards, parking permits, or other benefits that cover commute expenses, can make your employees’ lives much easier.

And for your bike commuters, consider a gift card to your local bike shop so they can spruce up their ride.

8) A surprise breakfast

Food always tops the list of great employee appreciation gifts, and breakfast is no different.

Plus, breakfast is one of the most difficult meals to squeeze in before work. So, if your team can get what they need at the office, they’ll be better fueled for the activities to come.

9) A better break room

A better break room is a perfect employee appreciation gift

Break rooms don’t typically get a lot of love, but they’re one of the places your employees visit the most.

Make the break room better by giving it a facelift, providing plenty of seating, and even stocking it with snacks and drinks. You can even change up those refreshments periodically as another form of employee appreciation gift.

10) More frequent small employee appreciation gifts

Many managers think that employee appreciation gifts have to be grand and expensive to make an impact. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Sometimes your employees will be satisfied with some simple recognition.

Consider giving out small, inexpensive gifts — like a simple thank you card or a fun bobblehead to display on their desk — to show your appreciation more often.

11) Cupcakes

Everyone loves a good cupcake. Give the gift of cake and frosting to a high-performing employee (or your whole team) and watch the smiles go on and on.

12) A good word here and there

One of the least expensive employee appreciation gifts on this list is also one of the most effective. Just saying “thank you.”

Pull the employee aside, shake their hand, and express how glad you are to have them on the team. No amount of money or things can match that sentiment.

13) A clean house

You don’t actually have to do this yourself to show your appreciation. Instead, hire a cleaning service to tidy up their home or apartment for a month or two.

The goodwill you create with this simple act can boost employee satisfaction by leaps and bounds.

14) Massage

Massage for employee appreciation gifts

In the middle of a difficult project — or any time, really — the gift of massage goes a long way toward showing your team just how much you appreciate their efforts.

Consider hiring a masseuse to come to your office and provide back and shoulder rubs throughout the day. Or, give a gift certificate to a local spa for an hour of relaxation.

If your team has been particularly stressed lately, this is a great way to alleviate that and get them relaxed again.

15) Game time

Workplace games can range from simple to complex and are really only limited by your imagination and resources.

However you choose to do it, game time — or even game day — makes a great addition to this list of employee appreciation gifts.

For inspiration on implementing this idea in your business, take a few minutes to read these articles from our blog:

16) Plants

Say “thanks” and brighten up the office in the process by giving a plant to each employee.

Succulents are easy to take care of and don’t take up a lot of space, but other greenery options include:

  • Chinese evergreen
  • Anthurium
  • Spider plant
  • Hibiscus
  • Pothos
  • Snake plant
  • Elephant ear

Be sure to consider how big the plant will get as well as the care and feeding it will need before using these as employee appreciation gifts.

Not only will plants brighten the mood at your workplace, but they’ll also help freshen up the air for your team.

17) Monthly subscription box

There are so many different monthly subscription boxes out there — from fitness to fashion to food — that you’re sure to find one that piques a specific employee’s interest.

When these packages arrive every month, your team members will be reminded just how much you appreciate their work.

18) Wall of fame

The wall of fame is a riff on the employee of the month program that is a fun way to say “thanks” for a job well done.

Your wall of fame can take many forms, but a simple picture of the employee with a description of their achievement makes for an eye-catching feature wall that will have people stopping to check out the additions long after they’ve been posted.

Plan your employee appreciation gifts

Using a phone to plan for employee appreciation gifts

With the hectic work schedule that most businesses contend with every day, finding time to give employee appreciation gifts can be difficult. And when you don’t show your appreciation on a regular basis, the whole process becomes less productive.

But if you plan your employee appreciation gifts ahead of time, they’ll have more of an effect on the way your team feels, works, and cooperates.

That’s where the Sling suite of tools comes in.

Sling makes it easy to schedule even the most complicated parts of your business, including:

  • A once-a-year employee anniversary
  • Celebrations for the successful completion of a big project
  • And much more

Instead of reading about it, though, why not try it out? Sign up for a free account and see for yourself how Sling makes work — and giving employee appreciation gifts — better.

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This content is for informational purposes and is not intended as legal, tax, HR, or any other professional advice. Please contact an attorney or other professional for specific advice.

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