People Operations
Recognition Gifts for Employees
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Recognition Gifts for Employees

April 05, 2019
Recognition Gifts for Employees

Managers of all levels want to recognize their employees’ hard work. Employee appreciation gifts thank, reward, and motivate your team while strengthening workplace relationships. Stumped on how to express your gratitude for your workers? Here are a few gift ideas for employee appreciation.

Gifts that Keep Giving

People enjoy gifts more when they have a practical use for the gift. Good quality pens or a reusable drink cup are more practical than a random quote on a canvas or trinket that will collect dust on the shelf. Even a simple candle serves a purpose and can add decoration and a nice aroma to a previously bland space. Everyone loves new gadgets and objects so gifting one is an easy way to show appreciation.

Other unique employee appreciation gifts include technology accessories such as a phone stand or mouse pad. Sometimes people don’t notice they need something until they finally have it, whether it be office supplies or decorations. Noticing what your employees are missing means you can fill that void with a gift when it comes time to recognize their hard work. Your gift could be the key to better organization.

Personalized Gifts

Personalizing an object shows employees you value the work they do. If you put effort into a recognition gift, your employees will be empowered to continue to put effort into their office work. Employees can place plaques, name cards, and engraved awards on their office desks and look back on the keepsakes to remember a job well done. Other personalized desk accessories include vases, clocks, pen holders, or lapel pins.

Personalization doesn’t always mean engraving something on glass. Personalization can be remembering a joke you once shared with an employee, time you spent together, or just showing that you know what your employee enjoys doing. Try to find gifts that are both memorable and practical. Rather than gifting a funny figurine, find one that doubles as a highlighter or pen. This will give employees a reason to keep the recognition gift sitting on their desk. It also fosters a fun atmosphere, something that plays into being a successful manager. Consider gifting a framed photo of the team at a conference or during an exciting moment in the employee’s career. Employees will proudly display one-of-a-kind gifts and cherish them for years. Recognition gifts for employees don’t need to break the bank or be excessively large. Remember — quality over quantity!

Gifts for the Family

Even though it’s traditional, a basket of goodies always acts as a fun recognition gift for employees. A lot of employees go home to a family at the end of the workday, so giving them something to take home and share is a great gift option. Baskets can be specialty themed around holidays or generally themed around color schemes or food groups. Possible basket stuffers include sweets, fruits, and drinks. These assortments won’t go to waste because even if your employee doesn’t like something inside, chances are someone they know will.

Besides gift baskets, many gadgets end up being brought home or are shipped to an employee’s house initially. Cooking dishes, mugs, and tote bags are examples of recognition gifts that an employee can use in their personal life. Functional gifts for your employee become useful for the entire family.

Gift Card Appreciation

If you can’t find the perfect recognition gift for an employee, let them find it themselves. A gift card with a genuine handwritten note will be as happily received as any other type of gift. Everyone has different preferences for their purchasing habits. Instead of gifting a specific brand gift card, buy one that acts like cash and can work anywhere. Restaurant gift cards are also a popular option. Whether the employee takes their significant other out for a date night or brings the whole family to lunch, the gift will be appreciated.

Some companies’ provide services so that employees and customers receive the best gift card experience possible by choosing their favorite stores from hundreds of name brand merchants. GC Incentives, one of these companies, allows managers to personalize gift cards with sentimental messages, videos with music, or animated digital photo books.


Do It Yourself

Be creative in your gift giving and convey your gratitude by taking the time to make something yourself. DIY employee appreciation gifts range in complexity and seriousness. As a manager, you could take a comical approach to make your own gifts and incorporate puns. This can be done most easily with food, for example, gifting donuts with a note that reads, “donut know what we’d do without you” or gifting a coffee basket with the note “you’re appreciated a latte”. People can take a craftier approach to a DIY gift and get creative using mason jars, ribbon, wood, or even a pottery wheel to spin clay.

Use DIY projects as a way to give something more value and significance than if it was purchased at the store. Managers can bake their own sweets instead of buying them boxed or make a “deconstructed” recipe by putting dry ingredients in a jar and including a recipe for employees to make at home. Even planting a succulent in a pot with a written note on the outside acts as a small, low maintenance desk addition and greatly appreciated gift for any employee.

Written by:

Junel Seet
Digital Marketing at Kisi