20+ Employee Appreciation Gifts & Ideas

A group of male senior employees shaking a hand of a female employee in a sign of appreciation

Although employee appreciation day takes place in March every year, you know very well that appreciating your team throughout the year goes a long way to increasing their productivity and helping them feel valued.

That’s why if you’re thinking of how to express gratitude to your employees, you may be looking for some ideas for employee appreciation. In this guide, we offer 23 stellar suggestions to make your team members feel great and appreciated.

So, let’s dive in and take a closer look!

23 Stellar gift ideas for employee appreciation

Whether you’re a manager or a human resources professional, you know one thing for sure and that is that your employees are the bedrock and driving force behind your organization’s success.

Nothing will motivate them more than knowing they are appreciated and valued. And there are several ways you can do this to ensure their continued motivation and success.

Some of the ideas below are bigger while others are smaller.

Whichever option you choose for your staff, according to your time and budget, taking the time out to appreciate them will go a long way. Here is our list of 23 ideas you might consider.

1. Casual Mondays

If your team is required to wear formal attire throughout the week, one way to thank them and express your gratitude to them for their efforts is by letting them loosen up a little by giving them the chance to wear casual clothes during a day of the week. Whether it’s a Casual Monday or Casual Friday doesn’t matter. It’s all about helping them feel comfortable.

2. Field trip

If you have the budget and resources for this, you may wish to take your team out on a field trip. Whether it’s to a local garden or park where you can have a picnic or even play some outdoor games, bring along some food and drinks and let the fun begin!

3. Volunteer

Many employees would like to volunteer some of their time to notable causes but they simply don’t have the time to spare. You can survey your team and decide on a cause they’d like to support and then give them the opportunity to make a difference in others’ lives in your community by volunteering for a couple of hours during work time.

4. Donate to a charity

For those who don’t have the time to volunteer but would still like to contribute, it’s a great idea to collect funds or products from your employees to donate to a charity of their choice. The company can match the donation or even exceed it as a way of showing that management supports the team and the cause.

5. Team lunch

Another great idea for showing employee appreciation is to take your team out to lunch. Whether it’s a casual pizza or something more fancy, your team will appreciate the break and your efforts.

6. Team games

The inner child in us will always love playing games and team games are a great way to have the whole team have a great time together and bond. You can choose mini-golf, laser tag, arcade games, an escape room, or anything else that will get your team outside and enjoying themselves.

7. Employee of the month

Recognizing achievements is another crucial part of ensuring your team is cohesive, happy, and feels valued. Make sure you appreciate your employees’ hard work by choosing an employee of the month each month. Place their photo on a wall of fame and be sure to thank them for their efforts publicly.

8. Celebrate work anniversaries

Work anniversaries are important milestones for employees and you should not neglect to celebrate these with them. Whether you give them a small token of appreciation or simply acknowledge their hard work and dedication, this one should not be missed.

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9. Give them a platform to speak out

Although different organizations have differing leadership styles, if you want your employees to feel good about their work, you can give them a platform to express their opinions and get involved in your organization’s decision-making processes. Whether it’s through voting by a show of hands, using a suggestion box, or anything else—give your team a chance to speak out. You may be surprised by their innovative and creative ideas just by giving them a voice.

10. Bring pets to work

Most people love pets and having a pet around you is a great way to relieve stress. So, why not let your employees take turns and bring their pets to the office for a day? It’s a great way to start conversations between new team members, it brings joy to everyone around, and simply petting a cat or a dog makes people feel good inside.

11. Food trucks

If your budget allows for it, another good employee appreciation idea is to book a food truck to come to your company’s premises for lunch or for a day. These food trucks often provide fresh, specialty foods and your employees will love your creative idea.

12. Thank you cards

As one of the most important employee appreciation ideas, you can write a thank you card to your team. Writing a personalized card or note is an excellent way of making your team feel valued. We may often overlook this but a thank you can go a long way to making the team feel appreciated. That’s why thank you notes should not be overlooked.

And, if you want to treat your employees to a sweet gift, make sure to check out our appreciation chocolates with an engraved “thank you” message.

13. Branded company merchandise

This employee appreciation idea can not only make your employees feel good but can also promote your business’ brand awareness. Whether it’s a t-shirt, a backpack or a branded sweet treat, your employees are a walking billboard for your organization and giving them branded merch is a great way to give them a gift while reaping the benefits of greater brand exposure.

14. Initiate a mentoring program

Inviting or appointing a mentor for your team is another great idea. This is an excellent way to coach your employees to even greater levels of success. A mentor can be someone from within the organization or an external person. When your employees know you have a vested interest in their development, they will feel appreciated.

15. Give some time off

If you know that one of your employees will be taking time off whether to go on a vacation, move house, or even to welcome a new child into their home, giving them some personal time off is a great idea. Let them know you appreciate them by letting them finish work a bit early or even give them a few days to adjust to their new life circumstances.

16. Create growth plans

Creating professional growth plans is akin to grooming your employees for future success. You’ll be teaching them to become leaders and ensuring that they have all the tools and resources they need to set them up for success. Discuss this with your HR team and be sure to be inclusive and not to make some of your employees feel neglected. Give credit where credit is due and show appreciation by acknowledging top performers.

17. Have a no-meetings day

Your employees want to be productive but meetings often take up valuable time and create interruptions throughout the day. By creating a no-meetings day, you’re respecting their time and efforts and they’ll appreciate you for it.

18. eLearning courses

Continuous learning, education, and development should be a part of any organization’s efforts to boost their team’s skills. That’s why giving your employees the chance to participate in and learn from elearning courses online is a good way of ensuring you achieve just that.

19. Gift cards

If you don’t know your team well enough just yet but would still like to show them appreciation, giving them a gift card with a preloaded monetary value on it is another excellent idea. Make sure that these gift cards can be used at multiple places so that your employees don’t feel limited by their options.

20. Specialty coffee

It’s fair to say that most people like coffee. So why not give the gift of specialty coffee to your team? You can either give them specially wrapped roasted coffee beans or you can invite a specialty coffee maker to your company to treat your employees to a delicious and aromatic hot beverage.

21. Coffee mugs

And speaking of coffee, one of the greatest small yet effective gifts you can give each of your team members is a personalized coffee mug with their name on it.

22. Pot plants

Pot plants can add a touch of greenery to any desk and this can often evoke feelings of calmness and relaxation, which is great especially if you work in a high-stress environment. Not to mention that greenery is loved by everyone and that it makes a work space appear less “work-like” and more cozy.

23. Sweet treats

And for the cherry on the cake, we recommend that you give your employees the gift of personalized employee appreciation gifts through personalized chocolate. There are many options and varieties to choose from, meaning you’ll be able to cater to every taste bud and palette preference.

Wrapping up

Whether it’s a personalized chocolate tower, box, cookie set, or 1 lb or 2 lb chocolate bar, with Totally Chocolate, your search for employee appreciation gift ideas is over.

That’s because we offer high-quality premium chocolate to suit every taste bud. From dark to milk and white chocolate, every member of your team will enjoy every melt-in-your-mouth bite.

And, with the ability to customize your chocolate gifts through personalized engraved messages or even branded logos, your employee appreciation gift just went to a whole new level.

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